SUN Hockey Pool

Ottawa Senators trip up Canadiens

Ottawa Senators centre Kyle Turris (7) celebrates a goal scored by defenceman Marc Methot (not...

Ottawa Senators centre Kyle Turris (7) celebrates a goal scored by defenceman Marc Methot (not pictured) against the Montreal Canadiens at the Canadian Tire Centre. (Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:54 PM ET

It was a night for Local Heroes.

The Senators ended their five-game losing streak at home with a 4-1 victory over the arch-rival Montreal Canadiens led by the winner from Ottawa native Marc Methot and the first NHL goal from Stittsville’s Mark Borowiecki.

Not only did the Senators stretch their record to 5-0-2 against Eastern Conference opponents, a 33-save performance by Robin Lehner in front of 19,292 at the Canadian Tire Centre served notice Ottawa is on the road to recovery.

“I can’t really describe the feeling. It’s pretty cool,” said Borowiecki. “I really like fighting, I really like hitting but scoring goals pretty sweet to. It’s definitely a great feeling.”

Bobby Ryan chipped in with a two-point effort and Kyle Turris put it away in an empty net. Only Andrei Markov was able to beat Lehner, who was solid as the Ottawa renewed acquaintances with last spring’s first round opponent.

It was the club’s first victory at home since the opener Oct. 17 against the New Jersey Devils and couldn’t have come at a better time as the Senators open what will be a pivotal five-game stretch in Ottawa.

Lehner had to be at his best in the third with the Habs were pressing and Carey Price made only 20 stops.

“I like the fact we won the game,” said coach Paul MacLean. “I like the fact we’re building and getting better at our game but I thought (Thursday) we stayed level-par with our execution and speed with the puck.

“I thought we played too much in our end, but we played better in our end. That’s a good sign for us.”

Despite being outshot 23-13 through two periods, the Senators had the lead where it counts the most with a 3-1 advantage on the scoreboard. The Habs had terrific chances, but Lehner was there to make the stops when called upon.

“The bigger thing for us is to win in our building finally,” said Ryan. “Two in a row is great but we made up some valuable points. That’s essentially a four point game. We found a way to play with a lead. The structure is getting there.”

The Habs did have a goal called back with 3:09 left in the second that would have closed the gap because it was ruled Brendan Gallagher interfered with Lehner in the crease and the result was an Ottawa power play.

“He hit me pretty hard. He got me going,” said Lehner. “He jumped into my head. It was no goal.”

Borowiecki gave the Senators a two-goal advantage with a shot from the point that Kyle Turris wasn’t able to get his stick on in front, however, it still managed to beat Price at 12:08 of the second to give the club a two-goal lead.

Ryan went to retrieve the souvenir for Borowiecki. His parents weren’t at the game because they’re in Las Vegas. Did they bet on him scoring a goal?

“Probably not,” he said with a smile. “There’s probably not very good odds on that.”

That goal came only 37 seconds after Methot’s second of the season gave the club the lead. Markov put the puck directly on Methot’s stick on a terrible attempt to clear and he fired it by Price stick side at 11:31.

As they have 10 times this season, the Senators surrendered the opening goal but struck back quickly. Ryan extended his scored his ninth with seven minutes left in the first after Markov had given the Habs the lead at 12:32 of the first.

MacLean said he’ll make a decision on who starts when Craig Anderson is ready return from his injury.

“At this point in time Robin is the goalie. Craig is still day-to-day with an injury and we’ll make the determination when Craig comes back,” said MacLean.

The Senators host the Florida Panthers Saturday at 2 p.m.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @sungarrioch


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