Norris and Stutzle score in shootout to help Senators to 5-4 victory over Canadiens
Ottawa Senators centre Josh Norris (9) celebrates his game winning shoot-out goal against the Montreal Canadiens with teammates during NHL action in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
OTTAWA -- A couple chipped teeth, two goals, a fight, four shots, and 18-plus minutes of quality ice time.
Brady Tkachuk did everything he could to lock down two points for Ottawa on Tuesday night. When he shot wide in the shootout, Tim Stützle and Josh Norris made sure to back him up for the victory.
Ottawa goalie Matt Murray did his part with two shootout saves and Norris beat Carey Price to seal a wild 5-4 win in a rollicking affair at the Canadian Tire Centre.
"It's got to be one of the crazier games to have been a part of," Tkachuk said."It was just a lot going on. I'm excited about how I'm going to feel tomorrow morning."
Stützle showed off his slick hands before snapping the puck past Price. Norris came in from a different angle and found the top corner to end the game.
Murray had stopped Corey Perry and Jonathan Drouin at the other end as Ottawa (6-14-1) won for the fourth time in six games.
The shootout capped an entertaining game that featured plenty of back-and-forth action, particularly in the overtime session. Stützle had two glorious opportunities but couldn't convert and Montreal's Tyler Toffoli was stoned on a breakaway with about a minute to go.
It looked like Montreal's Brendan Gallagher had scored the game-winner with 2.1 seconds left in regulation. However, the goal was waved off after a review found Murray didn't have time to reset after contact was made in the crease.
Drake Batherson and Erik Brannstrom had the other Ottawa goals. Shea Weber scored twice for Montreal while Drouin and Toffoli had a goal apiece.
After a slow start to the season, the last-place Senators have picked up their play. Ottawa was coming off a 3-2 overtime victory over the Canadiens last Sunday.
Senators head coach D.J. Smith said his team was"dangerous" in both games.
"We've got a different hunger and a different attack mentality," he said."When you get a couple on the power play and your penalty kill is good, you usually get points in the NHL."
The Senators were 2-for-4 with the man advantage while the Canadiens were 0-for-3. Ottawa outshot Montreal 39-36.
The 9-5-4 Canadiens were 5-1-2 last month but have just one win in their last six games, dropping them into fourth place in the North Division.
"It's steps at this point," Weber said."We're trying to get out of this and we're going to get out of it together."
The Senators needed just 96 seconds to open the scoring.
Derek Stepan delivered a low saucer pass to Batherson, who extended his goal streak to three games by beating Price with a high backhand.
Ottawa was rewarded for its steady power-play pressure at 9:57 when Tkachuk flipped the puck under Price's arm.
"He's so tough and just wants to make a difference in the biggest moments," Norris said of his teammate."I'm really happy for him."
With Tkachuk and Montreal's Ben Chiarot off for fighting, the Canadiens caught a break to halve the lead at 16:03. Weber fired the puck toward the net from the boards and it deflected off Nikita Zaitsev's skate and past Murray.
Tkachuk was in on the action again early in the second period, catching a high stick to the face that resulted in Weber being sent off on a double-minor.
Ottawa restored its two-goal cushion as Brannstrom's low shot from the high slot went through a maze of players and between Price's legs at 3:41. It was his first career NHL goal.
The Canadiens quickly answered as Thomas Chabot mishandled the puck and Drouin swooped in to collect it before beating Murray at 4:52. Weber then tied it at 10:06 with a trademark rocket from the point.
Toffoli gave Montreal its first lead of the game at 8:06 of the third period. He fooled Brannstrom on his way in before snapping the puck past Murray on the short side for his team-leading 12th goal of the year.
Tkachuk pulled Ottawa even with a softie less than two minutes later. He steered the puck towards the net and it fooled Price at 10:11.
Chabot returned after missing two games with an upper-body injury. Defenceman Brett Kulak drew into the Montreal lineup with Victor Mete sitting out as a healthy scratch.
Ottawa will continue its five-game homestand on Thursday against Calgary. It will be the first of three straight games against the Flames.
Montreal visits Winnipeg on Thursday. The Jets will also host the Canadiens on Saturday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2021.