Senators climb into second place by topping Canadiens
Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist, as the Ottawa Senators downed the Montreal Canadiens, 4-1, at Scotiabank Place in the opener of a home-and-home series.
The victory edged Ottawa one point ahead of Montreal for second place in the Northeast Division.
Chris Phillips, Dany Heatley and Peter Schaefer also scored for the Senators, who avoided their third consecutive loss. Ottawa hasn't dropped three in a row since December 6-10. Anton Volchenkov added a pair of assists.
"We have to be a fast and physical team," Heatley said. "I thought we did that tonight. We were skating right from the get go and we were hitting. That's how we have to play to be successful, especially this time of year. The games are getting tighter."
Ray Emery stopped 27 shots for the Senators, who moved to 16-11-2 as the host this year.
Guillaume Latendresse scored on a penalty shot for the Canadiens, who have dropped four of their five games to begin this month and were coming off a close loss to visiting Carolina on Tuesday.
Cristobal Huet blocked 35-of-39 shots for Montreal, which has been an average road team this season, posting a 12-12-3 mark this year.
Phillips picked up his seventh goal this season, after letting a slap shot rip from the left circle that hit sharply off the netminder's shoulder, trickling right through the goal 4:32 into the first period.
Not even a minute out of the first intermission, Ottawa added to its early lead. Spezza found Heatley on a slow-rolling centering pass for a glove-side wrist shot, scored from the slot 56 seconds into the second.
Ottawa took a 3-0 lead, as Daniel Alfredsson blasted a shot from the point. Mike Fisher won the battle behind the net for the rebound, and Schaefer was waiting right in front of the crease for the easy glove-side wrister on the power play, 16:05 into the second.
GODDDDD!!! I cannot believe this. I don't understand why the 1st line can't score any goals, it's getting pathetic. Koivu is one of my favorite players and I have a lot of respect for him but if he is the captain of the MONTREAL CANADIENS he needs to start playing for the CH on the front of his jersey and play with pride. It's up to Koivu to get the guys going and right now he isn't doing that.