Canadiens Down Senators 4-2

Team Page: Montreal :: Ottawa

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Christopher Higgins scored his third short-handed goal of the season and Alex Kovalev combined with his new Russian linemates for Montreal's second goal, leading the Canadiens to a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

David Aebischer made 31 saves for Montreal, 2-0-1 in its last three games.

Andrei Markov scored into an empty net at 18:44 of the third, and Steve Begin added his first of the season 19 seconds later, beating Ray Emery on a pass from Mike Johnson with 56.9 seconds remaining.

Aebischer, who stopped 47 shots in Saturday's 5-4 overtime loss to Toronto, lost a bid for his first Montreal shutout on Jason Spezza's goal 6:19 into the third.

Ray Emery stopped 25 shots for Ottawa, which has lost two straight after a three-game winning streak.

Senators right wing Chris Neil had to be helped off the ice after he was injured while falling behind the net as he set up Tom Preissing's goal with 8.4 seconds remaining.

The Senators, who set a franchise record with an NHL-leading 312 goals last season, have been held to two goals in the two losses after outscoring opponents 21-5 during their winning streak.

Wade Redden was out of Ottawa's lineup because of a nagging groin injury.

The Senators failed to convert on seven power-play opportunities. Ottawa has scored on only 9.4 percent of their chances, taking advantage six times in 64 chances this season. Montreal went 0-for-5 on the power play.

Higgins, who leads the NHL in short-handed goals, opened the scoring with a sensational effort with his team-high seventh goal.

With Alexander Perezhogin in the penalty box, Higgins drove in on Emery and beat him 5:30 into the second for his second short-handed goal against Ottawa in two games.

Normally a right wing, Kovalev moved to center between countrymen Sergei Samsonov and Perezhogin in the third period of Saturday's game, assisting on two late goals to draw Montreal even.

Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau kept the unit intact against Ottawa, and the move paid dividends late in the second. Kovalev redirected a centering feed from Samsonov past Ray Emery for his fourth goal at 18:32 to make it 2-0.

Notes: Senators LW Peter Schaefer returned after missing four games because of a hip flexor injury. ... Higgins led the Canadiens with three short-handed goals last season and has six in his career. He has as many short-handed goals this season as Carolina and more than every team in the league other than Pittsburgh, which is tied with Montreal with an NHL-best four. ... Aebischer's last shutout was March 2 against Columbus. He was playing with Colorado then and was traded to Montreal six days later for Jose Theodore.

by: Gary Roberts - - Email Us

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