The Montreal Canadiens made their first trip to the nation’s capital on Saturday for game two of their home-and-home series and their first visit to the Canadian Tire Centre.
After a lacklustre performance in Montreal on Thursday night, the Habs were looking to avoid two consecutive losses for the first time this season.
Jake Allen got the start in net and Claude Julien confirmed prior with the media that Allen was scheduled to face the Senators, regardless of what the outcome was the previous game.
As the tilt got underway, the first five minutes were pretty tight, with both the Habs and Senators getting great chances at either end. That led to Montreal’s first power play, as Erik Brannstrom was penalized for interference. The man advantage didn’t last long, as defensemen Jeff Petry gloved the puck from mid air, where he’d drop it and blast one to the mesh by Matt Murray.
That gave the Canadiens an early 1-0 lead. Just five minutes later, Montreal was assessed their first penalty, as Alexander Romanov got called for roughing. With Ottawa now on the power play, Josh Norris found the stick of Colin White, who went five-hole past Allen to knot the game up at one.
With three minutes left in the first, the Senators were handed another penalty, as Thomas Chabot was sent off for roughing. That would see Montreal end the opening frame with the one-man advantage.
The second frame was much like the first, as Montreal threw lots of pucks Ottawa’s way, but couldn’t find a way to solve the Thunder Bay goaltender. This allowed the Senators to keep the Habs parked at bay.
Montreal then took three straight penalties while looking to shut down the Senators power play. Managing to do so successfully, this kept the game tied at one entering the second intermission.
Right off the draw from the third, the Canadiens came out firing, as winger Josh Anderson found a loose puck early and promptly banked it in with Murray out of position. That would see the Habs regain their lead, 2-1.
After that, the back-and-forth battle continued, with both teams keeping strong amid a very high contest. Ottawa pushed hard the rest of the way, however, came up short to Montreal in a losing effort. That would see the Canadiens claim the victory, 2-1.
Following the win on the road, Montreal now has a pair of days off before returning to action on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre. They’ll welcome in Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs for the first time this season.
In the first of a two-game home-stand, puck drop in downtown Montreal is scheduled to fall at 7:30pmET. The game is available for viewing on Sportsnet Ontario and RDS. As well, the game can be heard on TSN 690 Montreal and 98;5FM.