for this game

Spezza tallies twice as Senators edge Canadiens

Mar 20, 2009 - 3:53 AM
OTTAWA (AP) -- Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens continue to struggle in the wake of general manager Bob Gainey's surprising return to coaching.

Jason Spezza scored goals 52 seconds apart late in the first period and Daniel Alfredsson added a goal and an assist in the Ottawa Senators' 5-4 victory over Montreal on Thursday night.

The Canadiens, who got a pair from Guillaume Latendresse and singles from Alex Tanguay and Tom Kostopoulos, lost their fourth in a row. They remain tied with Carolina for seventh place with 81 points - one ahead of ninth-place Florida - in a tight race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spots.

Montreal is 1-2-2 since Gainey assumed the head coach's duties after firing Guy Carbonneau on March 9.

"Our team had been struggling for quite a while and I think the idea of changing the position of the coach was one to attempt to increase our chances in the last 16 games of the season, and I think we can judge how that goes when we finish our final game," Gainey said.

Price allowed four goals on 15 shots before he was replaced early in the second. The sophomore goalie has won four times in 18 starts since returning from an ankle injury prior to the All-Star Game.

"I've got to take responsibility. I can't be letting goals in," Price said. "It's a group effort but I've got to play better."

Nick Foligno and Jarkko Ruutu also scored for Ottawa, which has won three in a row and seven of eight.

Brian Elliott stopped 28 shots and set a Senators rookie record with his seventh straight victory.

Despite the run, Ottawa sits 12th in the East and is on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1996.

"Every time you put your gear on, it doesn't matter what the situation is, you want to win the game," Ruutu said. "We don't really look at the standings, we just take it a game at a time and you never know, magic might happen, but it's not really something you worry about too much."

Jaroslav Halak made 23 saves after taking over for Price following Ruutu's highlight-reel goal that made it 4-2 early in the second.

"It just felt like the opportune time to try to get the momentum of the game stopped by changing the goalie, and see if we could get things stopped and perhaps re-enter the game," Gainey said.

Halak stopped Christoph Schubert on a breakaway and made a left toe save on Alfredsson before Latendresse scored his second of the game midway through the second to draw Montreal to 4-3.

"He faced four or five really difficult scoring opportunities and held us there," Gainey said. "We did get back in the game and - not enough, in time."

Foligno scored with the man advantage 2:55 in after Latendresse opened the scoring 2:04 in with his first goal in two games since returning from a shoulder injury.

Spezza scored Ottawa's second straight power-play goal 16:44 into the first before adding his second goal - his 27th of the season - on a deflection that made it 3-1 at 17:36.

He picked up his third point of the game with an assist on Alfredsson's goal 14:34 into the second that put Ottawa up, 5-3.

Montreal closed within one three times, including Kostopoulos' ninth goal late in the second, without getting the tying goal.

"We have to stop playing catch-up hockey," Latendresse said.

Tanguay, who had the flu and missed Tuesday night's 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Rangers, scored 48 seconds into the second to draw Montreal within 3-2.

Ruutu answered moments later to chase Price, who made 11 saves. The pesky Finnish forward drove the right side and put the puck between his legs before putting a backhand into the top right corner that left the Canadiens goalie looking over his left shoulder while the Senators celebrated restoring their two-goal lead.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 3 0 4
    OTTAWA 3 2 0 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 10 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, MAXIM
    LAPIERRE) 2:04
    OTT - (PP) NICK FOLIGNO 15 (FILIP KUBA, BRENDAN BELL) 2:59
    OTT - (PP) JASON SPEZZA 26 (DANIEL ALFREDSSON, FILIP KUBA)
    16:44
    OTT - JASON SPEZZA 2

    Mar 19 10:06 PM
  • 70
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 19 roots (Close Finish)

    Canadiens 4, Senators 5  3rd - 4:04Mar 19 9:55 PM
  • 51
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 21 roots (Close Finish)

    Canadiens 4, Senators 5  3rd - 7:20Mar 19 9:48 PM
  • 30
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Close Finish)

    Canadiens 4, Senators 5  3rd - 11:40Mar 19 9:41 PM
  • 10
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Canadiens 4, Senators 5  End of 2ndMar 19 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 3 4
    OTTAWA 3 2 5 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 10 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, MAXIM
    LAPIERRE) 2:04
    OTT - (PP) NICK FOLIGNO 15 (FILIP KUBA, BRENDAN BELL) 2:59
    OTT - (PP) JASON SPEZZA 26 (DANIEL ALFREDSSON, FILIP KUBA)
    16:44
    OTT - J

    Mar 19 9:17 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    OTTAWA 5
    2ND PRD: MON - ROMAN HAMRLIK 5 (MIKE KOMISAREK, MAXIM LAPIERRE) 19:18

    Canadiens 4, Senators 5  2nd - 0:42Mar 19 9:15 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    OTTAWA 5
    2ND PRD: OTT - CHRIS PHILLIPS 7 (JASON SPEZZA, DANIEL ALFREDSSON)
    14:34

    Canadiens 3, Senators 5  2nd - 5:26Mar 19 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    OTTAWA 4
    2ND PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 11 (JOSH GORGES, ANDREI
    KOSTITSYN) 10:04

    Canadiens 3, Senators 4  2nd - 9:56Mar 19 8:55 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    OTTAWA 4
    2ND PRD: OTT - JARKKO RUUTU 6 (BRENDAN BELL) 2:28

    Canadiens 2, Senators 4  2nd - 17:32Mar 19 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    OTTAWA 3
    2ND PRD: MON - ALEX TANGUAY 12 (SAKU KOIVU) 0:48

    Canadiens 2, Senators 3  2nd - 19:12Mar 19 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 1
    OTTAWA 3 3 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 10 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, MAXIM
    LAPIERRE) 2:04
    OTT - (PP) NICK FOLIGNO 15 (FILIP KUBA, BRENDAN BELL) 2:59
    OTT - (PP) JASON SPEZZA 26 (DANIEL ALFREDSSON, FILIP KUBA)
    16:44
    OTT - J

    Mar 19 8:21 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    OTTAWA 3
    1ST PRD: OTT - JASON SPEZZA 27 (ANTON VOLCHENKOV, CHRIS PHILLIPS)
    17:36

    Canadiens 1, Senators 3  1st - 2:24Mar 19 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    OTTAWA 2
    1ST PRD: OTT - (PP) JASON SPEZZA 26 (DANIEL ALFREDSSON, FILIP KUBA)
    16:44

    Canadiens 1, Senators 2  1st - 3:16Mar 19 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    OTTAWA 1
    1ST PRD: OTT - (PP) NICK FOLIGNO 15 (FILIP KUBA, BRENDAN BELL) 2:59

    Canadiens 1, Senators 1  1st - 17:01Mar 19 7:47 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    OTTAWA 0
    1ST PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 10 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, MAXIM
    LAPIERRE) 2:04

    Canadiens 1, Senators 0  1st - 17:56Mar 19 7:43 PM
  • 5
    roots
    sensfaninohio Added 5 roots

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsMar 19 9:21 AM