Habs tops Sens for Cunneyworth's first NHL win

The Associated Press

OTTAWA (AP) Randy Cunneyworth has fond memories of playing in Ottawa. Thanks to the Montreal Canadiens' much-needed win over the Senators, the Canadian capital has given him another treasured hockey souvenir.

Michael Cammalleri, Tomas Plekanec, Louis Leblanc, P.K. Subban and Erik Cole each had a goal and an assist, and Montreal ended a five-game losing streak with a 6-2 win over the Senators on Tuesday night.

Raphael Diaz had three assists and Lars Eller scored his second short-handed goal of the season for the Canadiens, who gave interim coach Cunneyworth his first NHL win in five tries.

''He's been doing a good job for us and we haven't been playing up to par so it was really good to be able to get that one for him,'' said Carey Price, who stopped 33 shots.

Cunneyworth was Ottawa's captain when the modern Senators claimed their first playoff spot in 1997.

''I would have taken it a couple of games earlier but obviously a win's a win, and it's the start of hopefully many more,'' said Cunneyworth, who was an assistant before he took over behind Montreal's bench when head coach Jacques Martin - his former coach with the Senators - was fired on Dec. 17.

The Canadiens scored five unanswered goals, including four before chasing Ottawa starter Craig Anderson 2:03 into the second. Mathieu Darche had two assists.

''I would hope that we can play a little more uninhibited now, have a little more assertiveness in our game,'' Cammalleri said. ''It's one game, though. Let's not pretend that this is a 10-game winning streak already.''

Jason Spezza scored Ottawa's second goal at 6:49, 56 seconds after Subban beat Alex Auld to put Montreal up 5-1.

Zack Smith gave the Senators a 1-0 lead with his 10th goal 1:42 in.

Anderson made three saves, including two in the first period, when Ottawa held a 13-5 advantage in shots. Auld, who was Price's backup with Montreal last season, made 19 saves.

''They didn't have a lot of chances in the first and then they're up 3-1, so they made the most of it,'' said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, whose next goal will be his 400th. ''And then we knew they play pretty solid defense. They had four guys back, they chipped the puck and played really simple, and I didn't think we had the legs really to give the kind of push we can and create the havoc we can.

''We did create some chances but not enough to make up for the goals we gave up.''

Eller snapped a shot past Anderson from the left faceoff circle to draw the Canadiens even after Smith put away a rebound to give the Senators an early lead.

Darche picked up his second straight assist as Plekanec redirected Diaz's cross-ice pass in off the bottom of the crossbar to put Montreal up 2-1 with his eighth goal at 12:39.

Diaz got his third assist in a row on Cammalleri's seventh goal at 15:25.

Leblanc scored his second goal in 13 games overall to chase Anderson early in the second with the Canadiens leading 4-1.

Subban made it 5-1 with his third goal against Auld at 5:53.

Cole restored Montreal's lead to four with his team-leading 14th goal during a two-man advantage with 5:02 to go.

Notes: Leblanc and Diaz each had their first multi-point game. ... The Canadiens have scored three short-handed goals this season. The Senators have allowed five. ... A crowd of 20,500, Ottawa's 10th sellout of the season, was on hand as the Senators unveiled Scotiabank Place's partially-completed new video scoreboard. Large HD video screens were in place on all four sides of the scoreboard's temporarily exposed framework, which will have more displays added to it in time for next month's NHL All-Star Game. ''You look at situations, replays and what-not, it's way better for us players, and I'm sure the fans like it even more,'' Alfredsson said. ... The scoreboard went blank during the final minute of play and the PA announcer called out the remaining time.

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