MONTREAL - Dany Heatley scored two goals 38 seconds apart to put Ottawa ahead with 7:59 remaining in the third period and the Senators dealt a big blow to the Montreal Canadiens' playoff chances with a 3-2 win on Monday night.
Heatley lifted Ottawa into a 2-2 tie at 11:23 of the third and then netted his 37th of the season at 12:01 when he beat Jaroslav Halak on a shot from the slot that silenced the sold-out Bell Centre crowd.
Chris Campoli also scored for the Senators, who will miss the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons.
Alex Kovalev netted his 25th goal and Roman Hamrlik scored with 3.2 seconds remaining in the second period for the Canadiens, who are seventh in the Eastern Conference but only three points above the playoff cutoff with three games left.
Halak stopped 20 shots in his third straight start for Montreal, which lost top defencemen Andrei Markov and Mathieu Schneider to injuries in Saturday night's 6-2 in Toronto.
Heatley tied it when he got his stick down amid three Canadiens - right wing Tom Kostopoulos and defencemen Josh Gorges and Mike Komisarek - to redirect Mike Fisher's centring feed past Halak.
Kovalev extended his point streak to seven games when he made it 1-1 at 12:46 of the second. He put a wrist shot from the right side past Auld and into the top left corner, giving him eight goals during his scoring spurt.
Hamrlik gave Montreal its only lead when he put a slap shot past Auld with only seconds remaining in the middle period.
Kovalev has 16 points in his streak since teaming up with Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay to form the Canadiens' top line. Koivu and Tanguay each have 10 points, and the trio has combined for 36 since the line was formed during a 6-3 win over Atlanta on March 24.
Campoli gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead with his 11th goal on a power play 10:56 into the second. The defenceman took Nick Foligno's centering pass and put a low shot through Halak's pads from the left edge of the crease as the Canadiens goalie slid to his right.
Montreal was awarded a penalty shot for a third straight game after Chris Higgins was hauled down while trying to put a backhander into a wide-open net with 51.2 seconds remaining in the first.
Auld stopped a shot by Higgins, who was given the free attempt after he outraced the Ottawa goalie for a loose puck, only to be hauled down by Ryan Shannon and Foligno as he put a backhand wide on a shot at an open net.
Notes: Ottawa allowed a penalty shot for a second straight game. Philadelphia's Darroll Powe scored on Auld in the Senators' 4-3 overtime win Saturday ... Montreal's Patrice Brisebois received a silver stick from Hall of Famer Henri Richard in a pre-game ceremony honoring the veteran defenceman's 1,000th regular-season game ... The Senators return home to face the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night (7:30 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200) at Scotiabank Place. Fewer than 1,250 tickets remain for the game.