Canadiens vs. Senators: Tkachuk buries Montreal with late winner

Tim Stützle's four-point night culminated with an assist on Tkachuk's game-winning goal late in the third.

Brady Tkachuk's late winner propelled the Ottawa Senators to a 5-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens in a back-and-forth tilt on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators squeezed out a narrow 5-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night.

Tim Stützle was named the first star of the game with two goals and two assists, while Senators captain Brady Tkachuk buried the game-winning goal with just over a minute left. Anton Forsberg made 28 saves to earn his 11th win of the season.

Rookie forward Rafaël Harvey-Pinard spurred on the Canadiens' comeback effort with a pair of goals and Mike Hoffman registered a goal and an assist. Jake Allen stopped 24 of 29 shots, making a number of big saves to keep his team in the game.

Ottawa's top guns came to play

Stützle put his stamp on the Senators' big win with two key goals and a pair of helpers, recording his fifth career tally and 13th point against the Canadiens, making Montreal the team the 21-year-old has been most successful against.

Linemates Tkachuk and Mathieu Joseph each registered two points, with the trio combining for the winner late in the third period.

Star forwards Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux also got on the scoresheet, each finding a top corner to add to the goal-fest. Thomas Chabot chipped in three helpers from the blue line and was a plus-2 in a game-high 23:46 of ice time.

Undisciplined play almost cost Sens

The Senators seemed to be coasting their way to an easy win after getting out to an early two-goal lead in the first period. But a tripping penalty on Travis Hamonic would send the Canadiens to the power play midway through the opening frame, where Kirby Dach buried a loose puck behind Forsberg to give Montreal some life.

Ottawa would go on to take five penalties throughout the game, with the Habs — the NHL's worst team with the man advantage — capitalizing on two occasions. The Senators' 224 penalties on the season are the sixth-highest in the league, and are an area of the game D.J. Smith's squad should look at shoring up if it is serious about making a playoff push.

The Senators also gave the puck away 12 times, including five by defencemen, giving the Canadiens extended offensive zone time and letting them build momentum.

Harvey-Pinard making a name for himself

The Canadiens are bloodied and bruised, with multiple big names missing from the lineup with injuries, but one fill-in is making the most of his opportunity with the big club, and that is Harvey-Pinard.

Harvey-Pinard potted two goals — his fourth and fifth of the season — to tie the score on two occasions as the game came down to the wire in the third period.

The 24-year-old seventh-round pick in 2019 has managed an impressive six points in seven games after being called up from the AHL's Laval Rocket, and has seemingly caught the eye of head coach Martin St. Louis in the process. Harvey-Pinard logged a season-high 18:49, and got extended reps down the stretch on the top line with Nick Suzuki and Josh Anderson after starting the contest on the fourth line.

Harvey-Pinard's energy and industrious style seemed to rub off on the struggling Suzuki, who recorded his first multi-point game since Jan. 7.

The Reverse Retro curse lives on

Montreal is not made to wear anything but red, as evidenced once again by the narrow loss to the Senators. With the loss, the Canadiens are now 0-6-1 on the season when wearing the powder blue sweaters, seemingly unable to knock the curse no matter how hard they try.

Maybe the Reverse Retro unis are in on the tank for Connor Bedard.

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