Alfredsson's first goal of the season helps Senators beat Canadiens 5-1
Ottawa Senators' Chris Neil (25) celebrates his goal with teammates Colin Greening (14) and Andre Benoit (61) as Montreal Canadiens' Francois Bouillon (55) David Deshamais (51) Andrei Markov (79) Travis Moen (32) and Colby Armstrong (20) look on as goaltender Peter Budaj (30) lies in the net during third period NHL hockey action in Ottawa Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013. Ottawa beat Montreal 5-1. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
THE CANADIAN PRESS, CTV Ottawa
Published Thursday, January 31, 2013 12:41PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 31, 2013 12:58PM EST
OTTAWA -- Daniel Alfredsson's first goal of the season proved to be the winner as the Ottawa Senators routed the Montreal Canadiens 5-1 on Wednesday night.
Jim O'Brien, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Phillips and Chris Neil also scored for the Senators (5-1-1), who got 31 saves from Craig Anderson, playing his 300th career game.
Tomas Plekanec scored for Montreal (4-2-0), which saw its four-game winning streak come to an end. Peter Budaj faced 27 shots in his season debut.
Down 4-1 in the third, the Canadiens made a desperate push to get back in the game, but Anderson made numerous point blank saves, including two on Brandon Prust, to preserve the lead.
With just over five minutes remaining Neil made it 5-1 with a wraparound goal.
The difference in this one was a three-goal outburst by the Senators in the second period.
Ottawa found itself with a four-minute man advantage after Ryan White took a roughing penalty and was given an extra two minutes for arguing the initial call.
Alfredsson broke a 1-1 tie scoring off the faceoff and just over two minutes later Zibanejad scored his first NHL goal after beating Budaj high stick side. Zibanejad blew a kiss to the sky as part of his goal celebration.
Phillips picked up his second of the season as Zack Smith grabbed a bouncing puck and left it for Phillips who jumped into the play and fired a wrist shot past Budaj. The Senators would love to see Phillips score more as they have a 48-11-4 record when he scores.
The second was in stark contrast to the first that featured two fights and eight minor penalties which left both teams struggling to create any momentum.
The Canadiens did take advantage of one of their early power play's as Plekanec managed to jump on a rebound and slide it past Anderson. The Canadiens were 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
O'Brien tied the game at the eight-minute mark with his second in as many nights. Budaj took a shot off the helmet, which appeared to stun him for a moment, and O'Brien jumped on the rebound.
The Senators injury list continues to grow as Sergei Gonchar was a late scratch after being sidelined with what was described as a lower body injury. Ottawa was also without Jason Spezza, who missed his second straight game with what is believed to be a back injury.
Montreal Canadiens' Brandon Proust (8)lands a punch on Ottawa Senators' Chris Neil (25) during first period NHL hockey action in Ottawa Wednesday January 30, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Peter Budaj looks on as the puck bounces of his chest during second period NHL hockey against the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa on Wednesday, Jan.30, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Montreal Canadiens' Tomas Plekanec, left, celebrates his goal as Ottawa Senators goltender Craig Anderson stretches for the puck and Senators' Daniel Alfredsson (11) and Kyle Turris (7) and Marc Methot (3)look on during first period NHL hockey action in Ottawa Wednewsday January 30, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand