Habs nip Senators
MONTREAL—It was Lars Eller’s turn to shine for the Montreal Canadiens.
The Danish centre scored in the first period, then added the decisive goal in a shootout as the Canadiens stretched their winning run to four games with a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators last night.
“You want that chance to win it for your team, you want that responsibility, so it feels good right now,” said Eller, who had seven of Montreal’s 45 shots on Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner in regulation and overtime.
“It’s good for this team that we can win all types of games,” he added. “We can defend leads, we can catch up if we’re behind.
“We won in a shootout this time. It’s good for the team’s confidence.”
Brendan Gallagher and P.K. Subban had power play-goals in the second period for Montreal (18-5-4), which retained first place in the Eastern Conference despite some loose play in its first game at home following a five-game road trip.
Mika Zibanejad and Daniel Alfredsson had power-play goals for Ottawa (13-8-6) while Patrick Wiercioch also scored for the Senators, who are 1-2-4 in their last seven.
In the shootout, Eller used a drag move and lifted the puck over Lehner to put Montreal ahead. Carey Price then stopped Kyle Turris to end the game.
It was the third time in Ottawa’s last five games that Lehner was on the wrong end of a shootout decision.
“I can’t seem to find a way in the shootout and I’m a little tired of the one-point games,” said the 21-year-old Swede.
“Our guys are playing their hearts out and they deserve the two points.
“It feels good in the regular game and the overtime, but when it comes to the shootout, right now I’m not there,” he admitted.
“It’s another speed. It’s not the AHL any more,” Lehner added.
“It’s something I’ve got to work on because it’s not working now. It sucks.”
There was disappointment that Senators’ forward Kaspars Daugavins wasn’t picked as one of Ottawa’s three shooters.
The Latvian was the talk of the NHL for his failed shootout attempt in a 3-2 loss to Boston on Monday in which he skated in with the puck pinned on the end of his stick and then made a turn-around move.
Coach Paul MacLean said Daugavins would have been his fourth shooter if one was needed, and that the player “had something special again” in mind for his attempt.
But he never got the chance to use it.
Elsewhere in the NHL, Calgary beat 5-2 Detroit and New Jersey dumped Philadelphia 5-2.