Canadiens defenceman Mark Streit celebrates with teammate Alexei Kovalev after his second-period goal on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
Pierre Obendrauf, Gazette
Updated by The Gazette’s Kevin Mio
It was a lot closer than it had to be, but the Canadiens managed to hold on for a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night.
Ottawa jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Chris Kelly scored only 2:42 into the game after Cristobal Huet mishandled the puck behind his net.
But the Habs rallied after that with goals by Andrei Kostitsyn, on the power play, and Tomas Plekanec before the first period was over to grab a 2-1 lead.
Mark Streit padded the Montreal lead when he scored with a slap shot that whistled over Martin Gerber’s shoulder for a 3-1 Canadiens lead eight minutes into the second period. Plekanec added his second of the game, and 19th of the season, at the midway point of the frame by banking a shot off Gerber’s shoulder from the side of the net.
As was the case on Sunday, the Habs let a three-goal lead slip away.
The Senators scored two quick goals in the third period to narrow the gap to 4-3. Jason Spezza scored less than three minutes into the period and Joe Corvo banked a shot off a Canadiens defender during a power play for Ottawa’s third goal.
But unlike Sunday, the Canadiens held their ground and maintained their lead.
The Sens outshot the Habs 29-26. Montreal went 2-for-4 on the power play, while Ottawa managed only one goal on four opportunities with the man advantage.
With the victory, the Canadiens close to within one point of the Senators for first place in the Northeast Division and the Eastern Conference. The two teams will meet again on Saturday, this time in Ottawa.