MONTREAL — Max Pacioretty keyed the comeback and Erik Cole scored the shootout winner to give the Montreal Canadiens a 4-3 preseason victory over the Ottawa Senators on Friday night.
Pacioretty converted Montreal's first attempt in the shootout after scoring a pair of power-play goals in the second to help the Canadiens rally from a 3-0 deficit. The left wing had nine shots and hit the post twice in his second game since returning from a broken vertebra, the result of a controversial hit by Boston's Zdeno Chara on March 8.
Scott Gomez drew Montreal even at 3-3 with 36.5 seconds left in the third when the puck went in off Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson. Playing his first pre-season game, Gomez centered Pacioretty and prospect Brendan Gallagher on a line that combined for 19 shots.
"It doesn't matter if it's pre-season or regular season, blowing a three-goal lead isn't good by any means," Smith said. "It's kind of embarrassing, but we did things that put us in the situation for them to come back. They got a couple of power-play goals and that hurt us."
Nathan Lawson stopped all 11 shots he faced after taking over for Montreal starter Carey Price following Michalek's goal. Lawson got an assist with a long pass up the middle that set up Pacioretty's breakaway goal that drew the Canadiens within 3-2 at 17:06 of the second.
Price, who made 15 saves, has allowed seven goals in just over 60 minutes through two starts.
Craig Anderson played the entire game for Ottawa, stopping 29 shots.
The teams meet again Saturday at the Bell Centre in Montreal (7 p.m., RDS, Team 1200).