NHL Game Summary - Ottawa at Montreal
(Thursday, March 25th)
Final Score: Ottawa 4, Montreal 0
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Daniel Alfredsson had two goals and an assist and Patrick Lalime stopped 29 shots for the Senators in his fourth shutout of the year, as Ottawa pounded the Montreal Canadiens, 4-0, at the Bell Centre.
Bryan Smolinski recorded a goal and two assists and Jason Spezza also scored for Ottawa. Peter Bondra added two assists for the Senators, who won for just the second time in six contests (2-3-0-1).
With the win, the Senators pulled within one point of Toronto for second place in the Northeast Division, and two points of Boston atop the standings.
"Lalime made the difference early in the game," Montreal head coach Claude Julien said. "I thought we came out well and if we'd been more opportunistic early, it might have been a different game."
Jose Theodore made 27 saves in net for Montreal, which lost its second straight contest.
Smolinski got the Senators on the board 8:22 into the opening stanza on his 19th goal of the season. Alfredsson took a pass from Bondra at the point and feathered a pass right down the middle to Smolinski moving toward the crease. He put a quick shot on Theodore and then slid the rebound under the falling goaltender for the score.
Ottawa grabbed a two-goal lead with 5:19 left in the first, when Bondra stole the puck along the right boards and passed to Smolinski at the point. He blasted a one-timer on net that Theodore kicked aside, but Alfredsson swept in to bang the rebound past the netminder, sliding to try to get into position.
Bondra earned a penalty shot after being dragged down on a breakaway, but Theodore stood his ground and hit the netminder center mass with his shot.
Alfredsson made it a three-goal game with 1:11 remaining in the second period on his 31st tally of the season. Smolinski hit Alfredsson with a left-to-right pass as Alfredsson was crossing in front of the net. As Theodore slid to cover the pass, Alfredsson skated past him in front and easily found the open net with the backhand.
"Tonight, I was able to get in the right place at the right time," Alfredsson said.
At the 5:32 mark of the third period, Spezza scored his 22nd goal of the year to make it a 4-0 tilt. Coming down the left side of the ice on a 2-on-1 with Shaun Van Allen, Spezza beat Theodore to the glove side for the tally.
Montreal outshot Ottawa 11-9 in the final stanza, but to no avail.
This was Lalime's 32nd career shutout...Montreal's All-Star defenseman, Sheldon Souray, did not dress for the contest after leaving the team's previous game after the first period with an upper-body injury...The Canadiens fell to 11-3-1-1 in their last 16 contests overall...Ottawa moved to 4-2 against the Canadiens this season...Spezza has a six-game point streak (3 goals, 3 assists)...Boston has 97 points, Toronto has 96 and Ottawa is third in the Northeast with 95.
03/26 01:34:03 ET