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Senators 5, Canadiens 1

The SportsXchange

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators were led by their oldest and youngest Swedes as they defeated the Montreal Canadiens 5-1 Wednesday night at a packed Scotiabank Place.

Second-period power-play goals 1:58 apart by Daniel Alfredsson and Mika Zibanejad broke open a tie game and sparked the Senators to the win over their closest rivals.

It was the first goal of the season for the 40-year-old Alfredsson, and for the 19-year old Zibanejad, it was the first goal of his NHL career.

Both came with Montreal's Ryan White serving a double minor after he was nailed for roughing and then arguing the call.

Tomas Plekanec opened the scoring for Montreal early in the first period, but Senators goalie Craig Anderson put on another scintillating performance after that. Anderson, who has the NHL's best goals-against-average, improved his record to 5-0-1 by turning back 31 shots.

His most impressive stops came in the third period -- two off Brandon Prust and one off Erik Cole -- when the Habs were trying to mount a comeback.

Jim O'Brien, Chris Phillips and Chris Neil had the other Ottawa goals.

The loss snapped a four game winning streak for Montreal, who went with backup goalie Peter Budaj for the first time this season.

This chapter of the Montreal-Ottawa rivalry looks to become as heated as those of the past. The game was marked by a number of big hits, while first-period fights saw White tangle with Zack Smith and a marathon Prust-Neil brawl.

The two teams meet again Sunday afternoon in Montreal.

NOTES: The Senators were without front line center Jason Spezza for a second straight game. There's speculation he could miss a significant period of time, as Spezza reportedly went to Toronto Tuesday to see a doctor about his back. "We're waiting on the evaluation," said coach Paul MacLean. Spezza had back surgery in 2006 ... Ottawa defenseman Sergei Gonchar was also a late scratch with a "lower body" injury. ... Joining the Canadiens in Ottawa on Wednesday was P.K. Subban, who ended a contract holdout earlier in the week by signing a two-year, $5.75 million deal with the club. Subban skated with the scrubs in the morning and could be in the lineup on the weekend. "I'm going to continue to practice and get ready," said the 23-year-old defenseman. "As of right now, there's no time frame to when I'll be returning. I don't know. It's not my decision." ... In playing his 300th NHL game, Senators goalie Anderson went head to head with Budaj, his backup for two seasons in Colorado.
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