for this game

Fisher-Comrie-Schaefer line too much for Canadiens

Mar 31, 2007 - 5:24 AM
OTTAWA (Ticker) -- The Montreal Canadiens are fighting for their playoff lives. The line of Mike Fisher, Mike Comrie and Peter Schaefer delivered a damaging blow.

Fisher scored two goals, Comrie netted another and Schaefer collected two assists as the trio combined for eight points in the Ottawa Senators' 5-2 triumph over the Canadiens.

With its first loss in six games, Montreal (40-32-6) remained just one point ahead of idle Toronto (37-29-11) for the eighth and final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference. Both Carolina (38-32-8) and the New York Islanders (36-29-12) lost Friday, failing to pull even with the Canadiens in points.

"Everybody's feeling it right now," Montreal rookie goaltender Jaroslav Halak said. "We have another game (Saturday), so we have to refocus and be ready."

Fisher began a strong first period by the Senators with his 21st goal of the season at 4:57. Jason Spezza and Comrie sandwiched tallies around one by Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray later in the session to stake Ottawa to a 3-1 lead.

"We have to come out with a better start because that's what killed us tonight," Montreal's Michael Ryder said. "Through the rest of the game, we played a little better and we kept up with them."

After a scoreless middle session, the Canadiens cut the deficit to one on blue-liner Mark Streit's goal less than three minutes into the third. But Fisher completed his second two-goal effort of the campaign with 3:53 remaining, ending Montreal's hopes while matching his career-high goals total set last season.

"It's nice to contribute and get some goals," Fisher said.

Dany Heatley scored an empty-netter in the final minute to extend his goal-scoring streak to four games and seal the win for the Senators (46-24-8), who pulled even in points with the idle Pittsburgh Penguins (45-23-10) for fourth in the East. Ottawa currently holds the tiebreaker with one more victory.

"We're not there yet, but we're trying to get ready," said Senators netminder Ray Emery, who made 26 saves. "We just have to keep playing well."

Heatley's goal was his 47th of the season, moving closer to a second consecutive season of 50 tallies.

"We were definitely looking for him to score when there's an empty net," Spezza said. "We didn't try to give him the puck any more than we normally do. He had some good chances tonight. He's a goal-scorer, he's hired to score goals, and hopefully we can get him to 50."

Comrie registered a pair of assists and Fisher added one for the Senators, who have won seven of their last nine.

"We cycled the puck really well, got some chances and did some good things," Fisher said of his line.

"It was a really good game for us," Comrie added. "We really outworked them, and that was the difference. We spent most of the night in their end."

Halak made 32 saves for Montreal, which lost for just the second time in nine games and concluded the season series against Ottawa at 3-4-1.

After a turnover in the left corner early in the opening period, Comrie dished the puck to Fisher, who fired it past Halak from the inner edge of the left faceoff circle.

"We got the puck on the forecheck and they moved it to me," Fisher said. "I tried to get open in the slot. Comrie made a nice play picking up the puck on a turnover. He made a nice pass and I was able to finish it."

Spezza doubled Ottawa's lead less than two minutes later, carrying down the left wing and cutting across the top of the slot before putting a wrist shot inside the left goalpost at 6:29.

"It was a 2-on-2 and I was trying to get to the middle of the ice," Spezza said. "I looked for a place to shoot and hit my spot. It doesn't happen very often, so it's nice."

Souray netted his 25th of the season with nine minutes to go in the period on a one-timer from above the right circle. Of his 61 points this season, 45 have come with the man advantage.

Comrie restored Ottawa's two-goal bulge with 1:58 left, burying a rebound from low in the left circle for his 17th of the season.

"We waited, we looked at them for five, 10, 15 minutes, and then we decide to play and make all the mistakes that we shouldn't," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "We know what kind of team they have. When you play a team like this, your best player has to beat their best player, and that was not the case."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 0 1 2
    OTTAWA 3 0 2 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - MIKE FISHER 21 (MIKE COMRIE, PETER SCHAEFER) 4:57
    OTT - JASON SPEZZA 31 (DANY HEATLEY, ANDREJ MESZAROS) 6:29
    MON - (PP) SHELDON SOURAY 25 (ANDREI MARKOV, SAKU KOIVU)
    11:00
    OTT - MIKE COMRIE 17 (PETER SCHAEFER,

    Mar 30 10:04 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    OTTAWA 5
    3RD PRD: OTT - (EN) DANY HEATLEY 47 (JASON SPEZZA) 19:07

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsMar 30 10:04 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    OTTAWA 4
    3RD PRD: OTT - MIKE FISHER 22 (MIKE COMRIE) 16:07

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsMar 30 9:57 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    OTTAWA 3
    3RD PRD: MON - MARK STREIT 10 (MAXIM LAPIERRE, STEVE BEGIN) 2:43

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsMar 30 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 0 1
    OTTAWA 3 0 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - MIKE FISHER 21 (MIKE COMRIE, PETER SCHAEFER) 4:57
    OTT - JASON SPEZZA 31 (DANY HEATLEY, ANDREJ MESZAROS) 6:29
    MON - (PP) SHELDON SOURAY 25 (ANDREI MARKOV, SAKU KOIVU)
    11:00
    OTT - MIKE COMRIE 17 (PET

    Mar 30 9:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 1
    OTTAWA 3 3 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - MIKE FISHER 21 (MIKE COMRIE, PETER SCHAEFER) 4:57
    OTT - JASON SPEZZA 31 (DANY HEATLEY, ANDREJ MESZAROS) 6:29
    MON - (PP) SHELDON SOURAY 25 (ANDREI MARKOV, SAKU KOIVU)
    11:00
    OTT - MIKE COMRIE 17 (PET

    Mar 30 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    OTTAWA 3
    1ST PRD: OTT - MIKE COMRIE 17 (PETER SCHAEFER, MIKE FISHER) 18:02

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsMar 30 8:13 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    OTTAWA 2
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) SHELDON SOURAY 25 (ANDREI MARKOV, SAKU KOIVU)
    11:00

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsMar 30 8:01 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 0
    OTTAWA 2
    1ST PRD: OTT - JASON SPEZZA 31 (DANY HEATLEY, ANDREJ MESZAROS) 6:29

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsMar 30 7:50 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 0
    OTTAWA 1
    1ST PRD: OTT - MIKE FISHER 21 (MIKE COMRIE, PETER SCHAEFER) 4:57

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsMar 30 7:47 PM