MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens
settled their shootout with the Ottawa Senators
before Kaspars Daugavins had a chance to show off his latest trick shot. Lars Eller
scored the decisive goal in the tie-breaker, and Montreal extended its winning streak to four with a 4-3 victory over Ottawa on Wednesday night at Bell Centre.
Alex Galchenyuk also scored for the Canadiens in the shootout, and Carey Price
stopped two of the Senators' three shooters after making 29 saves during the game.
"We have a lot of confidence in our ability in this room," Price said. "We have a really hard-working team. We feel that any type of adversity we face, we can battle through it."
Montreal, which blew a 3-1 advantage, leads the Eastern Conference with 40 points. The Canadiens have claimed standings points in 15 of its last 16 games (12-1-3).
"It's a big strength of this team that we can win all types of games," said Eller, who scored the first goal of the game 7:02 in. "We can defend leads, we can catch up if we're behind, we can win it in overtime a couple of times, we won it in the shootout today, so it's good for the team's confidence."
Jakob Silfverberg converted Ottawa's second shootout attempt, while Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson
and Kyle Turris failed to score.
Daugavins caused a stir throughout the league with a creative shootout attempt that came up short in a 3-2 loss to Boston on Monday. The 24-year-old Latvian drove in on Tuukka Rask carrying the puck with his stick blade turned down on the toe and spun around in a 360, only to have the Bruins goalie deny him with a left pad save.
Senators coach Paul MacLean, who had no problem with the unorthodox attempt, was asked if he hadn't considered using Daugavins again in the shootout.
"Oh, he was next, for sure," MacLean said. "He said he had something special again. We were disappointed we didn't get to see it."
Montreal got two goals with the man advantage in the second period, as Brendan Gallagher and P.K. Subban put the Canadiens up 3-1.
Patrick Wiercioch drew Ottawa even at 3-3 with his third goal of the season 1:50 into the third. Mika Zibanejad and Alfredsson scored power-play goals for the Senators. Robin Lehner
made 42 saves in his third straight start for Ottawa, which has one win in its last seven games (1-3-3).
"We battled hard," Alfredsson said. "A lot of our games where we get points it hasn't been pretty and we seem to find a way, and that shows characters. That's one thing we know in here, we're not going to give up and we're going to keep fighting until the final whistle."
Galchenyuk fired a shot off the crossbar with 1:25 left in regulation after Eller stole the puck inside the Senators' blue line.
Alfredsson scored in the dying seconds of the second period to draw Ottawa within 3-2. His shot over Price required a video review that showed that the puck struck the upper video camera inside the net with 1.6 seconds left.
Montreal's Gabriel Dumont got his first NHL point with an assist on Eller's goal 7:02 into the game.
Zibanejad drew Ottawa even at 1-1 with his sixth goal on a power play at 10:26 of the opening period.
Gallagher gave Montreal a 2-1 lead when he deflected Max Pacioretty's shot past Lehner for his eighth goal 6:40 into the second.
Subban made it a two-goal advantage when his drive from the point struck Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips on its way past Lehner at 17:11 of the second.
NOTES: Senators left wing Milan Michalek missed his second straight game because of the lingering effects of a knee injury. Michalek sat out Ottawa's 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins on Monday. He had two assists in his first two games back in the lineup after he was sidelined for the previous 10 games. ... Center Peter Regin was left out of the Senators' lineup for a second straight game. ... Injured forward Blake Geoffrion informed the Canadiens earlier in the day that he is contemplating retirement. Geoffrion is the grandson of Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion and the great-grandson of Howie Morenz, Hall of Famers whose numbers have been retired by the Canadiens. He suffered a skull fracture in a minor league game at the Bell Centre on Nov. 9 while playing for Hamilton, Montreal's AHL affiliate. ... Canadiens defenseman Tomas Kaberle was a healthy scratch for a third straight game. Kaberle, who was left out of the lineup for 12 straight games from Feb. 3-25, has three assists in 10 games.
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