SENATORS 4, HABS 1
It was a perfect end to a perfect road trip for the Ottawa Senators.
The Senators wrapped up their two-game “Mothers Trip” with their second straight win after the club skated into the Bell Centre on Tuesday night and wrapped up a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
With their mothers watching for a second straight game from a private suite, Mathieu Joseph, Shane Pinto, Jake Sanderson and Ridly Greig did the scoring as the Senators moved their record to 4-1-1 in their last six games.
“We’re playing really good hockey right now. We have to bring the moms on every trip,” Sanderson told TSN 1200’s Gord Wilson. “It feels pretty good.”
The players saluted their mothers as they left the ice and just for good measure their mothers were dancing in the hall outside the room.
“That was for the moms,” Greig said. “I don’t think the Habs’ fans knew that.”
Montreal’s Johnathan Kovacevic scored his sixth of the season to break Ottawa goalie Joonas Korpisalo’s bid for a shutout at 12:31 of the third and cut the Senators’ lead to only two goals.
That came as the Habs pressed desperately to get back into this one, but Joseph put it away into an empty net. This was Montreal’s third straight loss.
In Jacques Martin’s 18th game behind the bench since taking over last month, the interim coach saw his record move to 7-9-1. It was the club’s second consecutive win over the Habs after the Senators knocked off Montreal 6-2 Thursday at home.
The Senators have now won eight straight regular-season games against the Habs. The streak started with April 5, 2022 and Ottawa has outscored Montreal 40-18 in that stretch. The last time the Senators lost to the Habs was on Feb. 26, 2022 at the Canadian Tire Centre.
Martin opted to go back to Korpisalo after Mads Sogaard secured the win with 22 stops to start this trip in Philadelphia on Sunday with a 5-3 decision.
Through 40 minutes, the Senators were up 3-0 and had outshot the Habs 19-15. The Senators held the Hans to 0-for-5 on the power play and Korpisalo made one of his best stops of the game on Cole Caufield with Montreal pressing to get back into it in the third.
“Our best player was our goalie. He made some big saves. Overall, we’re going in the right direction,” Martin said.
Korpisalo hasn’t been very good for the club this season, but his numbers against the Habs have been decent and Martin relies on past records. Korpisalo had posted a 6-2-0 lifetime mark versus Montreal with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .921 save-percentage.
This was another sweet victory for Ottawa owner Michael Andlauer.
A part owner of the Habs for 20 years, he sat in the season tickets held beside the Zamboni entrance and was one of the few people in the building cheering every time the Senators scored on Montreal goalie Jake Allen.
IN THE ZONE
What a pass by alternate captain Claude Giroux to set up Pinto for his first of the season. He scored his first of the season in only his second game back by taking a pass from Giroux near the blueline and then skated in alone to beat Allen at 6:22 of the second. That opened up a 3-0 lead for the Senators and it was Pinto’s first since March 30 last season. “There’s not many feelings like that,” Pinto said … Winger Vladimir Tarasenko got a rare “throwing the stick” penalty to set up the Habs for their second power play in the second period. He kicked a stick dropped by captain Brady Tkachuk back to his teammate. It’s a nifty play, but it’s not allowed. You can hand a stick back … The Senators’ power play continues to mystify. The club into this one 0-for-9 in the last three games and it didn’t get any better with an 0-for-5 in this one against Montreal. Ottawa had a 5-on-3 in the third for 28 seconds and it was interesting to see the club use five forwards.
Sanderson’s seventh a year at 8:26 of the first gave the club a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. Defenceman Artem Zub did a good job keeping the puck in at the line and then threw to Sanderson in the slot. He fired a blast inside the post on Allen on the stick side that he had no chance on. Sanderson was happy to score with his mother, Ellen in the room. “She’s the best,” Sanderson told TSN’s Claire Hanna after the first period. “Ever since I was a little kid she sacrificed so much for me. It’s pretty special that I’m here and she gets to see me score.”… Greig scored the first shorthanded effort of his career and his seventh of the season to open the scoring. He showed good patience holding onto the puck to beat Allen with backhander at 7:45 of the first. It’s the 26th time in 42 games the club has scored the first goal this season. “We’re starting to play with a lot more confidence and we’re starting to get into a rhythm here,” Greig said. “We’re really managing the game a lot better than we were. On top of that, we’re not getting frustrated like we were when there was a little bit of adversity. We’re not as a fragile.”
THE FINAL BUZZER
Centre Mark Kastelic was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. He played only six minutes and 29 seconds versus the Jets on Saturday at home …. There were 23 scouts from 16 teams taking in this one. The Senators and Habs are expected to be sellers at the March 8 deadline. The Dallas Stars led the list with three representatives while Tampa, Toronto, New Jersey, Winnipeg and Boston had two each. Senators’ chief pro scout Rob Murphy was among the group. The club’s pro scouting staff will be in Ottawa Thursday to sit down with GM Steve Staios and senior VP Dave Poulin to prepare for the deadline.
Recommended from Editorial
MISSED THE BOAT: Former Habs coach says the Senators should have hired Patrick Roy
MOTHERS KNOW BEST: Senators thrilled to have their mothers on road trip