Game 41: Senators play trick on Canadiens

Canadiens’ Tomas Plekanec looks on
dejectedly as the Senators celebrate their second goal of the game Monday night.
Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images

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AUDIO: Brian Gionta | Mike Cammalleri | Benoit Pouliot | Jaro Halak

• At a Glance: The Canadiens were served some of their own medicine on Monday night as Senators goaltender Pascal Leclaire was the difference in a 4-2 Ottawa win. Things looked good early on for the Canadiens as they grabbed a 2-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game. Michael Cammalleri scored his 19th of the season – and 20,000th in Canadiens history – on a nice tic-tac-toe play started by Andrei Markov, who passed to Andrei Kostitsyn before he fed Cammalleri. Benoit Pouliot scored his goal with the Canadiens 9:50 into the period when he gathered a rebound and flipped a shot passed Leclaire while falling. But Leclaire shut the door from that point on, and his teammates did the rest. Peter Regin made it 2-1 at the 12:48 mark of the period. Ryan Shannon scored on the power play in the second period to tie it 2-2 and Chris Neil batted a puck out of mid air for the third Ottawa goal 6:15 into the third period. Chris Campoli scored in an empty net to seal the game. The Canadiens were handed five penalties, while the Senators received a pass from the referees all night. Montreal outshot Ottawa 31-28.

• Key Moments: Near the end of the second period, Ottawa had a goal disallowed when referee Kerry Fraser judged that Chris Neil had interfered with Jaroslav Halak, but the replays clearly showed there was no contact and the goal should have counted.

• What It Means: The loss is Montreal’s first on their road trip and snaps a four-game winning streak. The Canadiens record now sits at 19-19-3. The Canadiens missed a chance to pass the Senators in the Eastern Conference standings and grab sixth place.

• What’s Next: The Canadiens head south to Florida to wrap up 2009 with games in Tampa Bay on Wednesday and the Panthers on New Year’s Eve. Montreal is then back home after the seven-game road trip on Jan. 3 against the Sabres.

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