Habs hold off Senators
Bruce Garrioch, QMI Agency
|Ottawa Senators Zack Smith and Montreal Canadiens Brian Gionta collide in NHL hockey action at Scotiabank Place on Nov. 4, 2011. (QMI Agency)
This time, the Senators couldn’t write another one of those comeback scripts.
The Senators suffered a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in front of a season-high crowd of 20,329 at Scotiabank Place Friday night, as Ottawa dropped its second straight to a Northeast Division rival.
A second-period turnover by Erik Karlsson resulted in the winner by Andrei Kostitsyn, as the Senators were unable to erase a 2-0 third-period deficit with only Zack Smith, with a short-handed goal, able to solve Habs goalie Carey Price.
While Karlsson owned up to the mistake, Senators coach Paul MacLean wouldn’t blame the young defenceman.
“It was a totally intentional pass. Unfortunately the guy, I don’t know who it was (Bobby Butler), was there and the next second wasn’t,” said Karlsson.
“I was trying to make a play. Sometimes that happens. It’s a misread and it’s (nobody’s) fault. It’s the way it goes sometimes. Unfortunately, they scored on it.”
“No, it’s not Karlsson at all,” said MacLean. “The forward came back looking for the puck and then turned away.”
Erik Cole also beat Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, as the Habs picked up an important two points with the Senators now sitting at the .500 mark.
Anderson fell to the ice in the third after getting run over by Max Pacioretty in the crease. There was no call.
“I got very lucky it wasn’t worse than what it was,” said Anderson. “It’s very fortunate that I didn’t have to come out of the game.”
MacLean wasn’t happy there was no call — at least for goalie interference.
“I needed a clarification on Rule 69 — which is goaltender interference — because the way I understand it, I don’t understand it,” said MacLean. “To me, it was (goalie interference) but I’m not out refereeing the game. I’m standing behind the bench.”
The Ottawa power play, ranked No. 1 in the NHL this season, had a difficult night. The Senators went 0-for-4 with the man advantage, including two huge missed opportunities in the third.
“We were 0-for-4, but we had a lot of good looks,” said Senators centre Jason Spezza. “We’ve just got to put the puck in the net.”
The Senators must have wondered if they were playing at home at times.
The building was jammed with Montreal fans making plenty of noise.
The Habs played a tight-checking style under coach Jacques Martin that Ottawa fans were accustomed to seeing while he was here.
The Senators host the Sabres Saturday at 7 p.m.