Sens drive home point

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

As far as losses go -- and there have been plenty this season -- this one was at least a little different.

The Senators kept their modest momentum moving forward, battling back from a two-goal, third-period deficit and clawing a point out of a 5-4 shootout loss to the Canadiens last night, giving them points in three straight games.

"We can look at some things we didn't do well, but when you're down two goals in the third in this league and comeback ... that's a step forward even though we didn't play as well as we would like to," said Senators coach Craig Hartsburg.

Goals by Dany Heatley (his second of the night) and Mike Fisher with under two minutes left in the third period saw the Senators tie the game 4-4 and send it to overtime. There have been a lot of nights this season when the Senators didn't get a whiff in that situation.

Both Alexei Kovalev and Maxim Lapierre beat Senators rookie netminder Brian Elliott -- who had an up and down night -- while Senators Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson failed to score on Montreal's Jaroslav Halak to give the Habs the extra point.

"I just got beat. They waited me out and that's something that I've got to work on," said Elliott, who was in his first NHL shootout and saw both Kovalev and Lapierre fade to his right and beat him high into the net.

But Elliott did have his moments.

He made a couple of sharp glove saves on breakaways by Habs Tomas Plekanec and Robert Lang early in the second to keep his team in the game, but gave up a soft one to the short side -- his first one in four starts -- to Tom Kostopolous to make it 4-2 Montreal at the 11-minute mark of the third.

"It was an up and down night. I felt I made some good saves, but obviously I'd like to have that last one back," said Elliott. "But I can't look back. You've just got to correct it in practice."

CHARGE BACK

But the Senators, who were looking for their first three-game winning streak since last March, showed a little something in coming back to grab that point.

Spezza barged by big Montreal defenceman Mike Komisarek on the shift after Kostopolous' goal and Heatley beat Halak at 11:33 to make it 4-3. Fisher unleashed a heavy wrister to Halak's glove side after some nice work on the boards by Chris Neil at 18:13.

"It was a good sign that we didn't give up," said Fisher, now with five goals on the season. "We got ourselves in a hole running around a lot and chasing, not playing an easy game. We made it hard on ourselves, but we battled back and earned what we got."

The Senators survived a hooking penalty to defenceman Brian Lee, who hauled down Guillaume Latendresse with 20 seconds left in regulation time.

Heatley gave the Senators some life with his 18th and 19th goals of the season in the third. The first one made it 3-2 on a 3-on-1 where he carried it the length of the ice and beat Halak to the stick side at 5:31.

Elliott also made a great glove save on Latendresse on a 5-on-3 power play seconds before Kovalev wound up opening the scoring on a backdoor play at 7:50 of the first. The goal came with Spezza and Alfredsson in the box (Spezza for a slash and Alfredsson for a trip in the neutral zone) and handing a two-man advantage to a team far ahead of you in the standings is not a smart way to play it early in the game.

But Ottawa's Chris Kelly tied the game after some strong work by rookie Jesse Winchester to beat a couple of Canadiens along the boards and getting the puck to Jarkko Ruutu, who centred to Kelly at 11:59.

The Senators will have their skills competition today at 1 p.m. at Scotiabank Place and will face the Capitals at home Tuesday.


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