The Canadiens scored two goals in the opening 3:45 of the game, survived, thanks to Carey Price, a solid final twelve minutes of the first period and then completely took over the game en route to a 7-1 win over the slumping Ottawa Senators.

Benoit Pouliot’s breakaway goal opened the scoring on the Canadiens second shot of the game. Plekanec made it 2-0 on the Habs third shot.

But from the eight minute mark to the end of the period the Senators outshot the Canadiens 9-1 and cut the lead in half on a goal by Chris Campoli. The one shot for the Canadiens came at 19.59.

It was clear from the beginning of the second period that this was going to be the Canadiens night. Brian Gionta scored at 1:12, Max Pacioretty at 5:33 and Plekanec with his second goal on a breakaway at 11.27. At that point the Canadiens were outshooting the Senators 10-2 in the period. Andrei Kostitsyn and P.K. Subban scored in the third period to round it out. James Wisniewski added another two points to his glittering total with the Canadiens. He now has two goals and ten assists in the eleven games since he joined the team.

The Canadiens have now 7-1-1 over their last nine games. Ottawa has now dropped eleven of it’s last twelve.

The point-getters – Plekanec 2 goals – plus-3; Andrei Kostitsyn 1g 1ass plus-3; Max Pacioretty 1g 1ass; Scott Gomez – 2 assists; James Wisniewski 2 assists, both on the power play.

Saturday night it’s Saku Koivu and the Anaheim Ducks at the Bell Centre.

Summing It Up – This was almost unfair. The Senators are in an awful slump; they played a tough grinding, fight filled game the night before in Philadelphia while the Canadiens came in rested. Still, that stuff goes on all the time in the 82 game NHL schedule and you have to fight through it. There didn’t seem to be much fight left in the Senators after the first period.

It’s about the first period. The Canadiens took advantage of the Senators sloppiness in their own end to get the 2-0 lead. Darche with a great pass to send Pouliot away on the breakaway and then Kostitsyn stealing the puck and setting up Plekanec. But around the eight minute mark of the period the Canadiens seemed to decide they could successfully protect a 2-0 lead with fifty-two minutes yet to play. Carey Price may have been out-of-sorts in December but in December he’s back in the zone. He gave up one goal, but took care of five other A-One scoring chances through the final 12 minutes of the period and the Canadiens had the 2-1 lead going to the dressing room. From that point it was lights out. Tomas Plekanec, who had none in the first period, had six shots on goal in the second. Three goals and the game was over.

Everybody played well and it showed by the way Jacques Martin rolled his lines. The rookies Andreas Engqvist and Ryan White playing together on the fourth line with Travis Moen, each logged close to 12 minutes. Both the Gomez and Plekanec lines were going.

The Plekanec line was on the ice for three Canadiens’ goals, Gomez for two. Plekanec was first star, linemate Kostitsyn was second followed by Price, although Price’s main body of work came in those final twelve minutes of that opening period. I probably would have put Gomez in there somewhere. Gionta was good. Pouliot is playing outstanding hockey right now.Max Pacioretty looked on death’s door as he was wheeled out on a stretcher Tuesday night. One goal-one assist against the Senators.

Hard to find fault with anybody in this game from the defense-out. There is no minimizing the effect that the veteran defensemen, Spacek and Gill, are having on the rookies Weber and Subban. And two more power play points for Wisniewski, who led all players with 23:45 ice time.

The Goalscorers – Canadiens – Pouliot (10th) (Darche-Weber); Plekanec (15th) (Kostitsyn); Gionta (16th) (Gomez-Pacioretty); Pacioretty (4th) PPG (Gomez-Wisniewski); Plekanec (16th) (unassisted); Kostitsyn (13th) (unassisted); Subban (5th) PPG (Wisniewski-Desharnais). Ottawa – Kelly (10th) (Campoli-Smith)

Shots on Goal – Montreal – 7-15-13 = 36 Ottawa 12-10-12 = 34

The Three Stars – First – Tomas Plekanec (2 goals – plus 3); Second – Andrei Kostitsyn (1 goal 1 assist – plus 3) Third – Carey Price (stopped 33 of 34 shots)

The Fenwick/Corsi Numbers

Game Number Team Player Goals Saved shots Missed Shots Fenwick+/- Blocked Shots Corsi+/-
20709 MTL 6 – D – SPACEK, JAROSLAV 2 0 6 10 2 2 -2 4 4 -2
20709 MTL 11 – C – GOMEZ, SCOTT 1 1 9 3 1 2 5 3 3 5
20709 MTL 14 – C – PLEKANEC, TOMAS 3 0 8 9 3 5 0 2 2 0
20709 MTL 20 – D – WISNIEWSKI, JAMES 1 0 9 11 2 2 -1 3 3 -1
20709 MTL 21 – R – GIONTA, BRIAN 1 1 8 3 1 2 4 2 3 3
20709 MTL 31 – G – PRICE, CAREY 5 1 23 28 6 8 -3 8 9 -4
20709 MTL 32 – L – MOEN, TRAVIS 0 0 2 5 0 0 -3 1 2 -4
20709 MTL 44 – D – HAMRLIK, ROMAN 1 0 7 10 2 2 -2 3 3 -2
20709 MTL 46 – L – KOSTITSYN, ANDREI 3 0 9 6 3 4 5 3 2 6
20709 MTL 52 – L – DARCHE, MATHIEU 1 0 4 13 2 1 -7 2 1 -6
20709 MTL 53 – C – WHITE, RYAN 1 0 2 5 0 1 -3 1 2 -4
20709 MTL 57 – L – POULIOT, BENOIT 1 0 4 12 2 1 -6 2 2 -6
20709 MTL 58 – C – DESHARNAIS, DAVID 1 0 3 9 2 1 -4 2 2 -4
20709 MTL 63 – C – ENGQVIST, ANDREAS 0 0 3 6 0 0 -3 1 2 -4
20709 MTL 67 – L – PACIORETTY, MAX 1 1 8 3 1 3 3 2 3 2
20709 MTL 68 – D – WEBER, YANNICK 2 0 6 10 2 2 -2 4 4 -2
20709 MTL 75 – D – GILL, HAL 2 1 8 8 2 4 -1 1 2 -2
20709 MTL 76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K. 2 1 10 8 2 4 1 1 2 0
20709 MTL 81 – C – ELLER, LARS 2 0 9 8 3 4 2 3 3 2