Maybe they were just worn out after spending a huge chunk of the second period playing a man short. Chris Kelly took a five-minute major for boarding at 8:48, then Mike Fisher followed it up with a double-minor for high-sticking (though a Montreal penalty negated half of that one) at 17:38. Successful kills kept the score 1-1, but the Senators just didn’t have a response when the Habs turned on the jets in the third.
Brian Gionta, Canadiens
Nobody has been more productive of late for the Habs than their captain. Gionta scored his fourth goal in the past five games after jumping on a Filip Kuba turnover and also picked up an assist on Montreal’s fourth and final goal of the night.
Daniel Alfredsson, Senators
This might be considered sacrilege in the capital, but it was the Ottawa captain’s turn in this slot. The Habs opened the scoring on the power play after he tried a no-look, behind-the-legs pass that went straight to Mike Cammalleri. The bigger issue is the fact Alfredsson hasn’t scored a point in nine games.
They say goals at the beginning or end of periods are critical, and the Habs cashed in early in the third to bust the open the tie game. Less than three minutes in, Chris Kelly lofted a Hail Mary clearing attempt into the neutral and watched it land on the stick of one Jeff Halpern. The Canadiens’ centre zipped into the Ottawa zone, made a quick deke to freeze Leclaire and popped in the game-winner.
- 27: Saves for Montreal netminder Carey Price.
- 8-1-1: Price’s record in his last 10 home games.
- 3.5: Periods rookie Bobby Butler lasted on the top line.
- 2:28: Playing time for Brian Elliott, who had to come in when Pascal Leclaire broke a skate blade.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
It looks like promising Montreal defenceman P.K. Subban’s press box exile might end after just two games. Sure he’s been yappy and his play in his own zone leaves something to be desired, but his offensive presence was sorely missed on the man advantage. After the Habs struggled through the aforementioned major penalty, the Bell Centre faithful started chanting “Su-bban!, Su-bban!, Su-bban!”
Jason Spezza may not be scoring a ton this season, but one aspect of his game has been very good: He’s been efficient in the faceoff circle (57 per cent). In fact, he was so good on one draw Tuesday night that nearly pulled it back into his own net. Leclaire, clearly surprised at how cleanly Spezza won it, stumbled backwards and barely kept the puck out of his net.