NHL Game Summary - Ottawa at Montreal
(Thursday, March 13th)
Final Score: Ottawa 3, Montreal 0
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Jason Spezza scored twice, and Martin Gerber made 28 saves to post his second shutout of the season and ninth of his career as Ottawa topped Montreal, 3-0, at Bell Centre.
With 87 points, the teams are now tied at the top of the Northeast Division and a point behind New Jersey in the Eastern Conference. With just 10 games left in the regular season, the Sens and Canadiens will meet two more times.
Antoine Vermette also tallied for Ottawa, which has won three straight overall, while posting its eighth win in 10 games against Montreal. Gerber also made his seventh-straight start -- a season high for a Senators goaltender during a campaign in which both he and Ray Emery have come under fire for their performances.
"It's all about getting the comfort zone that we were in earlier in the season, said Gerber. "It's because of hard work and excellent execution. There was discipline out there tonight. I think tonight we stayed calm, played aggressive and stayed out of the box. The chances we got, we put in their net."
Carey Price turned aside 21-of-24 shots for Montreal, which had won six of its previous eight games, but remains in a battle to secure its first division title since 1991-92.
"You can create your own chances," said Montreal's Saku Koivu. "You create your own breaks, and I don't think that we didn't work hard tonight, but we weren't as hungry as we should have been on one-on-one battles and on loose pucks."
Ottawa tallied the lone goal of the first period, and it came on the power play, as Spezza deflected Cory Stillman's shot from the point at 8:21. Montreal had killed off 11 straight power plays to that point, but Spezza was left alone in front of the crease and managed to tip home the puck.
The Sens made it 2-0 early in the second while once again on the man- advantage, as Spezza tracked down the puck as it ricocheted off the end boards and knocked it under the glove of Price just 27 seconds into the frame.
A rebound goal for Vermette extended the lead to 3-0 with 1:59 remaining in the stanza.
Gerber did the job the rest of the way, stopping 11 shots in the third period.
Stillman had two assists...Gerber improved to 8-2-0 lifetime versus the Canadiens...Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley have combined for 14 goals and 34 points against Montreal this season...Alfredsson returned after missing four straight games with back spasms...The Canadiens have been outscored 37-17 in dropping eight of the last nine games to Ottawa.
03/13 23:02:08 ET