Battered and bruised, the Senators got up off the mat and laid a beating on the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night. Playing without No. 1 centre Jason Spezza and veteran blueliner Sergei Gonchar (lower body), the Senators didn't use their injuries as an excuse and sent the Habs packing with a 5-1 thrashing in front of 19,620 at Scotiabank Place. Goaltender Craig Anderson was his steady self with 31 stops in his 300th career start, while rookie Mika Zibanejad scored his first career goal. Captain Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Neil, Chris Phillips and Jim O'Brien also scored. "Guys are missing, back-to-back games and we bounced back from the way we played (vs. Washington)," said Alfredsson. "We knew we had to come out better and I thought we did. "That was nice. We had the power play working for us (with two goals) and once again (Anderson) was real solid. It seems like he's in a zone and making the puck look big." Coach Paul MacLean cautioned the Senators to put their foot on the gas early against the Canadiens because they had a four-game winning streak. Ottawa had all hands on deck for this one as 13 different players picked up points. "The balance of our team we like it right now," said MacLean, who added he doesn't expect Gonchar to be out long. "The way we're putting up with injury to (Spezza) is goal scoring by committee type of thing. We're going to have to be that hard-working team that grinds out some goals. "We did that (Wednesday) and we have to continue to do it." Habs coach Michel Therrien had to be kicking himself for giving Carey Price the night off and Peter Budaj the start. No, it wasn't all his fault, but Budaj couldn't come up with the stops Montreal needed with the Senators pushing hard. Anderson, making his sixth start in seven games, continued to shut the door on opponents. He hasn't had a lot of luck vs. the Habs, but moved his career record to 5-5-1. He made two huge stops off Brandon Prust in the third. Only Tomas Plekanec scored for the Habs. "Overall, it was a pretty solid effort," said Anderson. "The guys are in front of me are doing their jobs and it allows me to do my job a lot easier." Three goals by Phillips, Zibanejad and Alfredsson in a span of a 3:35 were enough to stick a dagger in the hearts of the Habs. Phillips scored the third unanswered goal by beating Budaj high at 9:25 to give the club a 4-1 lead. Goals by Zibanejad and Alfredsson came on the power play with Ryan White in the box serving a double-minor.
Ottawa Senators roll over Montreal Canadiens 5-1
Ottawa Sun | Jan 31