OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators were led by their oldest and youngest Swedes as they defeated the Montreal Canadiens 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 to lift the Senators to a 5-1 victory over their closest rival. While it was the first goal of the season for the 40-year-old Alfredsson, the 19-year old Zibanejad scored the first 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.
"It's an emotional game sometimes. ... I crossed the line and paid for it tonight," White said. "I hurt the team and you never want to do that.
"I felt that I got a high-sticking penalty when a guy was holding my stick. That's the way it goes sometimes. I've got to learn to shut my mouth and just go to the box, not put my team in a bad situation.
"Obviously they capitalized and that was all she wrote."
For the second consecutive night, the Senators gave their opponents a head start before rallying to pick up two points.
"We'd like to get good starts, obviously, but we know we're capable of coming back from behind as well," said Alfredsson, whose goal was the 68th game-winner of his career, as well as being the 30th (along with 104 points) in 86 games versus the Habs. "We just keep plugging away. We have four lines now that are playing pretty good. Everybody's contributing, and that's a good feeling to have."
After Tomas Plekanec put Montreal on the board with a power-play goal at 5:31 of the opening period, Craig Anderson turned in another standout performance. With a league leading goals-against-average of .99, Anderson now has a 5-0-1 record on the season. Only once has he given up as many as two goals in a game, and that was on Tuesday, when the Senators defeated the Washington Capitals, 3-2.
"My job is just to go out there and give the team a chance to win, and look forward," Anderson said. "Whether it's a good game or bad game the night before, it's a matter of pushing forward and making sure you're ready for the next game.
"There's no time to rest, no time to look back and reflect on a performance. You have to get back on the horse and start riding again."
Anderson's 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.
"He's a top notch goalie and he made a few great saves that could have changed the momentum of the game," said Habs captain Brian Gionta. "That's the difference. They keep the momentum when that happens."
Jim O'Brien Chris Phillips and Chris Neil had Ottawa's other goals.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Montreal, who went with backup goalie Peter Budaj for the first time this season.
He made 22 saves.
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. But first, Ottawa visits Carolina Friday while the Habs host the Buffalo Sabres Saturday.
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, Anderson went head to head with Budaj, his backup for two seasons in Colorado.