Alfredsson drops Habs in shootout

Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson is congratulated by his teammates after scoring the game-winning...

Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson is congratulated by his teammates after scoring the game-winning shootout goal against the Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Que., Jan. 14, 2012. (CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/Reuters)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:25 AM ET

MONTREAL - There’s no stopping the sizzling Senators.

The names of the heroes were familiar on Hockey Night in Canada as goalie Craig Anderson stopped 32 shots in regulation and captain Daniel Alfredsson scored the winner in the shootout in a 3-2 victory over the Canadiens.

Alfredsson sent the crowd at the Bell Centre home unhappy as he beat Carey Price on the last shot in the skills contest.

For his part, the solid Anderson stopped all three Habs shooters in Ottawa’s fourth straight victory.

Alfredsson is 4-for-4 in the shootout this season. He felt Ottawa was fortunate to get the win.

“They started better than we did and Andy kept us in the game,” said Alfredsson, who has 102 career points vs. Montreal in 82 games. “They’re a stingy team. They don’t want to quit and they found a way to tie it up.

“Andy was huge in the shootout by stopping all three shots. They played well, Andy played unbelievable and he gave me a chance to win it for us.”

Jason Spezza and Kyle Turris scored in regulation for the Senators, who picked up their first victory of the season over Montreal in three attempts. Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec scored for Montreal.

The Senators looked like they were going to escape with the victory in regulation, but Pacioretty tied it up at 19:21 with the goalie pulled, picking up a rebound when Ottawa was unable to clear the puck out of its own zone.

With Plekanec serving a double-minor for high-sticking Zack Smith, Spezza scored only 22 seconds into the power play by firing a blast by Price high on the glove side at 13:42 that could have been the winner until Pacioretty tied it.

It was the first power play goal of the night for the Senators in six opportunities and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. They weren’t very good for two periods, and had to rely on Anderson, but played a strong third.

“It’s a gritty win. It’s a tough end of the road trip win,” said Spezza. “It’s unfortunate we let them tie it up. We found a way to get the two points and that’s the result we wanted.

“We’re just going to be short-sighted. We knew this Eastern part was going to be tough with some tough buildings, but to get six points is a big accomplishment. We can enjoy it (Saturday) and then get ready (for Winnipeg).”

With the Habs ahead 1-0, the Senators woke up and got into the action as Turris got his second in an Ottawa uniform with a great tip of a shot by Sergei Gonchar from the point to beat Price at 5:57 of the third.

Plekanec opened the scoring only 42 seconds into the third on a shorthanded effort. That halted Anderson’s shutout string on this trip at 129:28 when Erik Karlsson was tripped and then couldn’t recover to allow Plekanec in alone.

While Anderson hadn’t allowed a goal since 11:14 of the second period in a 5-1 victory over Pittsburgh Tuesday, he couldn’t do anything as Plekanec put the puck through Anderson on a night it looked like nobody would score.

Coming off a 3-0 victory with 34 saves against the Rangers Thursday, Anderson is in some kind of groove. The Senators were completely outplayed through 40 minutes, but were still tied 0-0 despite only having a handful of scoring chances.

The Senators didn’t do themselves any favours taking lousy, undisciplined penalties that resulted in five Montreal power plays through the first two periods. It didn’t matter because Anderson was simply unflappable.

His best stop: He stacked the pads on Erik Cole midway through the second.

Anderson is 11-2-2 since Dec. 13.

“You don’t want to give up a lead in the last minute. They had a couple of whacks at it. It’s frustrating but at the end of the day we found a way to get the win,” said Anderson.

“I don’t think we brought our best game, but in the third period, we found a way to win. That’s how this game goes. You’re not going to play or feel your best, but if keep getting points, everything gets washed under the rug.”

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @sungarrioch


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