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Senators snap skid, claim fifth in East

by Brian Hunter
Aided by a pair of rookie goal scorers, Brian Elliott made sure the Ottawa Senators' recent skid didn't reach season-long proportions.

Elliott stopped all 29 shots he faced and the Senators got offensive heroics from Peter Regin and Erik Karlsson in snapping a five-game losing streak with a 2-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night at Bell Centre.

"We got traffic on the net today and we got pucks in there," Karlsson said. "It's all a battle in front of the net and tonight I think we won them."

Ottawa finished the regular-season series taking five of six from Montreal and moved two points ahead of both the Canadiens and the idle Flyers into sole possession of fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 81 points.

The Senators also lost five straight back in January and followed that up with a franchise-record 11-game winning streak that has had them in playoff competition ever since.

"It feels great … obviously the two points, but even more I think the way we played," Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "The way Elliott played was huge for us. I mean that gave us a lot of confidence, and I thought we played really well in front of him as well and really put a lot of pressure on them."

The Canadiens lost their second in a row following a six-game winning streak. They also received a scare midway through the game when forward Travis Moen got cut in the face by the skate blade of the Senators' Matt Cullen.

"I had no idea -- I just turned and saw him on the ice," Cullen said. "Oh, that's really scary. It leaves you with a sick feeling in your stomach, of course, and I certainly hope that he's OK."

Moen, trailing blood, skated hurriedly off the ice and to the dressing room with Montreal trainer Graham Rynbend at his side. A team spokesman later said it was not expected that Moen would need to go to a hospital for any further medical attention.

"It's scary when the skate comes up like that," Montreal defenseman Hal Gill said. "You just hope it's not the eye. You hope he's doing all right."

Regin, in his first full NHL season after seeing 11 games with the Senators in 2008-09, scored his first goal in 10 games at 10:15 of the first period. He redirected a Karlsson pass at the edge of the crease for his 10th of the season.

Karlsson, a 19-year-old defenseman selected by Ottawa in the first round of the 2008 Entry Draft, scored his second career goal on the power play 8:17 into the third. Dominic Moore was in the penalty box for hooking when Karlsson snapped a shot from the point that beat Montreal goalie Jaroslav Halak through traffic.

Elliott did the rest, recording his fifth career shutout.

"(Elliott) played well, he made some big saves," Canadiens right wing Brian Gionta said. "We had some good opportunities where we could have got back into the game but it didn't go in."

Material from wire services was used in this report.

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