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Balanced attacked paces Habs for second straight win over Sens

Balanced attacked paces Habs for second straight win over Sens
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OTTAWA — The Canadiens got a goal from each of their four lines as they defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-2 Thursday night at the Canadian Tire Centre.

The Canadiens kicked off a three-game road trip by sweeping their home-and-away series against the Senators. Montreal also beat Ottawa 5-2 Tuesday at the Bell Centre. The win gave the Canadiens 33 points and they moved into the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. They are one point ahead of Boston, which lost to Tampa Bay on Thursday, but the Bruins have played one fewer game.

Price made a spectacular glove save to rob Brady Tkachuk on the tail end of a 3-on-1 break at 7:56 of the first period, but the next 20 seconds showcased the importance of winning faceoffs.

On the faceoff following Price’s save, Colin White won the draw against Brendan Gallagher and Mark Stone continued his success against the Canadiens when he beat Price from the top of the faceoff circle at 7:58. It was Stone’s 14th goal of the season and four of those goals have been scored in three games against Montreal. Stone also assisted on White’s power-play goal at the end of the second period. That gives Stone nine goals and nine assists in 20 career games against the Canadiens.

Ottawa’s lead didn’t last long. Defenceman Jeff Petry beat Craig Anderson with a shot from the point at 8:18. He was set up by Michael Chaput, who won a faceoff against Matt Duchene .

The Canadiens came out strong in the second period, but the Senators had the best scoring chance in the early going. Tkachuk was alone at the side of the net, but he fanned on the shot.

Ottawa went more than nine minutes without a shot to start the second period. Their first shot was a short-handed effort by Chris Tierney, while Duchene was in the penalty box. The Canadiens failed to score on the power play, but they maintained the momentum and went ahead 2-1 when Paul Byron went to the net and scored on Phillip Danault’s cross-ice pass through the crease.

For the second consecutive game, coach Claude Julien did some line juggling during the second period, moving Andrew Shaw to a line with Finns Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Artturi Lehkonen. And for the second consecutive game, members of the line produced a goal. On Tuesday, it was Kotkaniemi who set up Lehkonen down low. In this game, it was Jonathan Drouin and Kotkaniemi setting up Shaw on a similar play. It was Shaw’s eighth goal this season.

Brendan Gallagher gave the Canadiens some breathing room when he scored early in the third period to restore the Canadiens’ two-goal lead. He scored his 13th of the season on the rebound of Tomas Tatar’s shot from the blue line. Byron scored his second goal into an empty net.

Both teams were disciplined, but the Senators won the battle of special teams. Ottawa scored on its only power play, while the Canadiens went 0-for-3 with the extra man. They managed five shots and none of them were from Shea Weber .

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