Canadiens take 3-1 win over Senators, end losing streak

Canadiens take 3-1 win over Senators, end losing streak

Main Pic: Montreal Canadiens’ Jeff Petry (26) celebrates with teammate Dale Weise (22) after scoring against the Ottawa Senators during second period NHL hockey action, in Montreal, on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL — A team-record barrage of shots in the first period showed how determined the Montreal Canadiens were to end a four-game losing streak.

Firing 27 shots and getting goals from Brian Flynn and Max Pacioretty in the first period lifted the Canadiens to a 3-1 victory over the flat-looking Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.

“The young guys were playing with energy, but it seemed that the older guys like myself weren’t pulling their weight,” Pacioretty said of the losing run. “Tonight, when it’s a rivalry game against Ottawa, and we always know it’s a man’s game when we play them, it was time to step up.

“We learned a lot from the last four games. This one wasn’t perfect. We got hemmed in a couple of times in the second period, but we came out on top.”

Jeff Petry also scored for Montreal (20-8-3), which scored more than two goals in a game for the first time in six contests. Pacioretty led the way with eight shots on goal, including six in the first frame.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for Ottawa (15-10-5), which ended a four-game road trip at 1-3-0,

The Canadiens tied a team shots record set during their dynasty years in 1973 and 1977 in the opening 20 minutes, but it looked like they would be limited to Flynn’s early marker until Tomas Plekanec jumped on a turnover at the Ottawa blue line and sent Pacioretty in on his off wing.

The Canadiens captain wristed his 14th of the season under the crossbar with 33 seconds left in the period.

“It was big,” said Plekanec, whose team had outshot opponents in three of their last four games but still managed to lose them. “That’s what we needed, to get the two-goal lead and get more breathing room.

“The games we lost, we just weren’t able to finish them off. We wanted to get a lot of shots. We weren’t scoring many goals so you start by shooting and having guys go to the net. We did a better job of that.”

Petry trailed in to take a feed from Dale Weise and scored from the slot 5:39 into the second frame.

It was after a goal was disallowed at 6:25 because Pacioretty batted the puck in with his hand that coach Dave Cameron pulled a frustrated Craig Anderson for Chris Driedger, who is fourth on the Senators goaltending depth chart but was called up due to injuries to Andrew Hammond and Matt O’Connor.

Driedger had only 22:52 of previous NHL experience in a game last season in New York.

The move woke up the Senators and Pageau, with a third goal in three games against Montreal this season, won a race for a big rebound off Alex Chiasson’s shot on a counterattack to beat Dustin Tokarski to the glove side at 11:24.

“I wouldn’t say I elevate my game (against Montreal),” said Pageau. “It was a good shot from Chiasson on net and it was just there.

“It could have been anybody.”

Anderson allowed three goals on 31 shots, while Driedger stopped all 11 he faced. He has yet to allow a goal in the NHL. Tokarski faced 26 shots.

“The team was ready, it’s just that the execution wasn’t there,” said Pageau. “We were waiting too long to make a play.”

Notes: The league record for shots in one period is 33 by Boston against Chicago in 1941. . . The Canadiens are 3-4-1 since Carey Price suffered a lower-body injury Nov. 25. . . Beaulieu returned to the Montreal lineup after sitting out a game and made a key play on Flynn’s goal. . . Anderson made a 14th straight start for Ottawa.

Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press

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