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NHL Game Summary - Ottawa at Montreal

(Tuesday, October 31st)

Final Score: Montreal 4, Ottawa 2

Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Backup goaltender David Aebischer stopped 31 shots for his fourth win of the season, as the Montreal Canadiens shut down the Ottawa Senators, 4-2, at the Bell Centre.

Chris Higgins, Alexei Kovalev, Andrei Markov, and Steve Begin tallied for Montreal, which has won two of their last three games.

Ray Emery played well in the loss, making 25 saves. Jason Spezza and Tom Preissing scored for the Senators, who have lost two straight after a three- game win streak.

After a relatively quiet first 20 minutes, Montreal broke the scoring drought at 5:30 of the second.

With the Senators on a power play, a mishandled neutral zone pass from Dany Heatley to Spezza was picked off by Higgins. On the transition, he broke in and cut towards the crease. Pulling Emery out of the net in anticipation of a pass, Higgins instead slipped a backhander along the ice which found open space through the five-hole.

The Canadiens extended their lead to 2-0 with 1:28 left. Sergei Samsonov gathered a dump-in attempt in the Ottawa zone at the right boards along the goal line. He spotted an uncovered Kovalev coming down the left wing, and sent a cross-ice feed to the streaking winger. Kovalev finished the play nicely with a quick wrister that hit a half-open net.

In the third, Ottawa cut the lead to one on a fluke play. Spezza held the puck on the left boards near the blue line. With no open passing lanes, he turned and lifted a floating wrister that deflected off a Montreal player past Aebischer, who was screened by the Senators' Patrick Eaves.

The goal, at 6:19, set in motion some tense moments in the final period, where both teams missed key several key opportunities as Aebischer and Emery battled to keep their teams in the game.

However, in a space of only 19 seconds, Montreal would clinch the contest. First, Markov's 200-foot clearing attempt from behind his own net managed to curve into the Ottawa goal. Then, Begin finished off a 3-on-2 break, taking a feed from Mike Johnson and shooting it high over a prone Emery for his first of the year.

The Sens struck for a meaningless goal with nine seconds left. Chris Neil flipped a blind shot from behind the cage that deflected off Preissing and past a startled Aebischer.

Game Notes

Ottawa has lost four of their last five games in Montreal dating back to last season...Sens' defenseman Wade Redden missed his second game in a row with a groin injury...Higgins' shorthanded goal is his third of the season and second against Ottawa...Montreal finished 0-for-5 on the power play, Ottawa 0-for-7.

10/31 22:50:41 ET

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