Bad Hab-its all around

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:06 AM ET

Just when it looks like the Senators can't sink any lower ...

Last night all the blame could not be pinned on goalie Martin Gerber and the club did mount a comeback in the third period, but, in the end, the Senators lost for the seventh time in eight games, dropping a 6-3 decision to the Canadiens last night at Scotiabank Place.

The pressure is mounting from restless fans, who aren't used to seeing the Senators lose like this.

BRONX CHEER

Gerber, the No. 1 target, was given a Bronx cheer for making an easy stop and the Senators aren't winning anybody over.

Senators GM John Muckler is trying to be patient, but he can't sit still forever and a roster shakeup could be just around the corner as the club continues to sink to new lows with every loss.

Rookie Guillaume Latendresse scored twice while Alexei Kovalev, Mike Komisarek former Senator Radek Bonk and Mike Johnson also scored for Montreal as Ottawa dropped to 2-6 at home this season and hits the road to face the Sabres (tomorrow) and the Devils (Friday).

After spotting the Habs a 4-1 lead in the third, the Senators rallied with third-period goals from Antoine Vermette and Patrick Eaves to close the gap, but Gerber gave up a weak one to Johnson and it was lights out.

While Gerber's performance has been widely debated all season, he made big stops through the first two periods, but fell apart in the third as Latendresse scored two power-play goals in 31 seconds.

Whether Gerber looked better or not, though, the time has long since passed for moral victories for this team. The Senators need results and Gerber's 3-9 record isn't doing anything for his confidence, which is what is needed most to get Ottawa out of the doldrums.

NEED EMERY BACK

The Senators are hoping goalie Ray Emery will be ready to return Friday against New Jersey from a forearm injury, but he only took a few shots in the morning skate yesterday and there was concern he suffered a setback.

"I wish I had some relief for Martin Gerber," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "Ray Emery isn't ready, so (Gerber) is the one who is going to have to do it for us."

Tired of the inconsistency and lack of effort, Murray sent his own message on the power play by sending out the unit of Hamel, Vermette and Mike Fisher early in game.

Why not? Ranked 29th in the league on the power play, the Senators gave up their league-worst seventh short-handed goal of the season. The good news is they did score their first and second power-play goals of the season in third period from Eaves and Vermette, who beat Montreal goalie Cristobal Huet.

After a giveaway at the Montreal blue line, Tomas Plekanec broke in on a 2-on-1, threw the puck across to Komisarek and it squeaked through Gerber's legs to give the Habs a 1-0 lead at 12:20 of the first. It's the third short-handed goal Montreal has scored against Ottawa in three games this season.

It was Hamel who opened the scoring at even strength. He tipped a puck by Huet at 18:05 when Andrej Meszaros fired a shot from the point to tie it 1-1 after the 20 minutes.


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