OTTAWA -- Ben Bishop learned when he arrived at the rink Monday morning that he had just been named the NHL's third star of last week.
Some 13 hours later, he took even more satisfaction being declared the first star of the Ottawa Senators' 2-1 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Place.
Peter Regin scored the decisive goal and Bishop made 44 saves through overtime, then four more in the shootout as the Senators picked up their fifth straight victory. It was also their third shootout win in a seven-day stretch.
"I didn't want to have a rough game coming off that news today," said Bishop, who is 3-0 since taking over for injured Ottawa starter Craig Anderson. "I wanted to come out really focused, and I thought I played fairly well. The guys did a great job in front of me."
The guys in front of him were outplayed by the Canadiens, who managed only 24 shots at goalie Carey Price before the shootout.
"Bishop to king's three. Checkmate," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "That's what it is tonight. It's all Ben Bishop. I thought their team really skated well, really cut us off and didn't give us an opportunity to do very much. Ben was outstanding."
The Eastern Conference-leading Canadiens have grabbed at least one point in each of their past seven games, but they took no solace in that fact after missing out on a victory in Ottawa.
Andrei Markov's fifth goal of the season -- all of which have come on power plays -- with 3.8 seconds left in the second period erased the 1-0 lead the Senators had built on a goal by AHL call-up Dave Dzuirzynski earlier in the period. Dzuirzynski's slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle was looking harmless enough until it slipped under Price's trapper and just inside the far post.
"That was the best game we played all year and I didn't come through," Price said. "I didn't make the saves I needed to. There's no excuse (for the Dzuirzynski goal). Just a bad goal. I made a mistake."
Also blaming himself was winger Max Pacioretty, who has four goals in his last five games. He had four shots on net and was one of three Canadiens to ding a shot off the post.
"You always feel like you let the team down if you don't get two points, especially when you don't score enough goals," he said. "We're playing good hockey. Maybe (we need to) touch up on a few things, get bodies to the net. Their goalie played great, but I think we made him look a lot better than he was."
Regin, who had missed the previous seven games with a chest injury, thought he won it for Ottawa when he hit a crossbar with three seconds left in OT.
"I heard it hit and then I couldn't find the puck. Usually you can see the puck. But when you can't find it, it's usually in the net," he said before downplaying the notion that the Senators are invincible in shootouts.
"Shootouts are lotteries. We're going to lose shootouts too this year. We've won three in a row, but one day we might lose three in row too, I think."
Regin has no goals and two assists in 13 games this season. When MacLean was asked why he used the fifth-year pro in the shootout, he smiled and said it was just "a great coaching decision."
Then he made a confession.
"I apologize, I said (after the morning skate) there were no changes to the lineup," MacLean said. "And then
after I came downstairs Peter marched into my office and said 'I'm ready
to play. I want to play. You've got to put me in the lineup.'
"He's a veteran player and when he comes in and tells you that, you've got to respect that, so I said, well, you're in.
"It was a good decision by him."
NOTES: Senators center Jason Spezza skated Monday morning, the first time he has been on ice since undergoing back surgery Feb. 1. The NHL's fourth leading scorer last season remains on target for a mid-to-late March return. ... Also making an appearance before the team's morning skate was Anderson, who suffered an ankle sprain Feb. 21. "He went on the ice, but he didn't skate," MacLean said. "It was more just a test than anything." At the time of his injury, Anderson was expected to miss two or three games. ... The Canadiens were in first place on Feb. 25 for the first time since 1993, when they went on to win the Stanley Cup. ... The game was the 500th for defenseman Francis Bouillon in a Canadiens jersey. ... All four of Montreal's regulation defeats have come against Northeast Division rivals. ... Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson entered the game with 420 career goals. The rest of the Ottawa lineup had a combined 524.