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Jan 23, 2024 9:54 pm

First-period flurry sparks Senators’ win over Canadiens

Ridly Greig and Jake Sanderson scored 41 seconds apart in the first period and the visiting Ottawa Senators continued their recent dominance over the Montreal Canadiens with a 4-1 victory on Tuesday night.

Ottawa’s Shane Pinto scored in his second contest of the season following a 41-game suspension for violating the NHL’s gambling rules. Mathieu Joseph added an empty-netter for the Senators, who have outscored the Canadiens 40-18 during an eight-game series winning streak.

Joonas Korpisalo made 24 saves for the Senators, who are 3-0-1 in their past four games, a stretch that began with a 6-2 home win over Montreal on Thursday.

Rather quiet for two periods, the Canadiens showed offensive life in the third. However, Korpisalo was stout in stopping nine of the 10 shots on goal he faced in the final frame, yielding only Johnathan Kovacevic’s seeing-eye snap shot through traffic with 7:29 remaining in regulation.

Montreal, which lost 9-4 at Boston on Saturday, has been outscored 19-7 during its current three-game losing streak.

Ottawa opened the scoring 7:45 into the game while short-handed. Off a faceoff win, Erik Brannstrom fired the puck on net, where Montreal goaltender Jake Allen’s long rebound went right to Greig to maneuver and ultimately convert for his seventh goal of the season and first career short-handed tally.

Less than a minute later, the Senators made it 2-0, this time starting with defenseman Artem Zub keeping the puck in Montreal’s zone. He then found Sanderson, who slid into the slot and beat Allen (24 saves) with 11:34 left in the first period.

Ottawa extended its advantage with 13:38 remaining in the second. From the end boards in his own zone, Claude Giroux sent a perfectly placed stretch pass that directed off the neutral-zone boards and onto the stick of a streaking Pinto, who broke in alone, then beat Allen on the glove side for his initial goal of 2023-24.

Montreal made things interesting with Kovacevic’s goal, but the home team could not get any closer while losing for the third time in four home games.

–Field Level Media

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