OTTAWA – Ben Bishop was a savior for the Ottawa Senators on Monday night.
The backup goaltender made 44 saves as the Senators (12-6-2) beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in a shootout at Scotiabank Place. Peter Regin scored in the fifth round of the shootout, going high on Carey Price and giving the Senators their fifth straight victory. Jakob Silfverberg and David Desharnais also scored in the shootout.
"Bishop to King-3, Checkmate," coach Paul MacLean said with a smile. "It was all [Bishop] tonight."
Bishop remained focused in goal throughout the night, but he also received some assistance from the iron, as the Canadiens hit three posts in the game.
"Sometimes they're your friend, and sometimes they're your worst enemy," Bishop said. "Thankfully, tonight, they were good to me.
"I felt extremely comfortable out there. After a couple of games in row, you start to get into a good rhythm. [Montreal] got a lot of shots, but I was able to stay in the game fairly easily. It's great [to win] for our fans, too. We don't play another home game until Mar. 11 [against Boston], and they're so great to us … it's nice to reward them."
Dave Dziurzynski scored for the Senators in regulation, while Andrei Markov had the lone goal for the Canadiens (12-4-3), who had their three-game road streak snapped.
Despite the loss, Montreal coach Michel Therrien accepted his team's effort.
"The result was not in our sight," Therrien said. "Bishop was outstanding. I liked the way we played. We competed, we played hard. We were aggressive on the puck. We had traffic; we hit [three] posts. For me, it always about how we're going to play, and I believe we played a good hockey game."
Montreal's best chance in the first came halfway through the period. Brandon Prust shot the puck from behind the Ottawa net to Tomas Plekanec, who was parked in front of Bishop. Plekanec made a point-blank shot on Bishop, but the Senators' goaltender made the pad save.
Ottawa missed a quality opportunity of its own two minutes later. Kyle Turris was going to the net when he was hauled down. Plekanec gained control of the puck and tried to make a drop pass, but it landed on Silfverberg's stick. The Swede took a wrist shot, but it was stopped by Price.
Ottawa struck first in the second period, when Chris Neil's long cross-ice pass found Dziurzynski. The left winger sent a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle, and the puck flew past Price's glove at 6:49, making the score 1-0. It was Dziurzynski's second goal of the season.
Montreal would get a tremendous chance at the eight minute mark, off a 3-on-2 play from Prust, Plekanec and Brian Gionta. The trio pulled off a tic-tac-toe pass in the Senators' zone, but Bishop stood tall against Gionta's shot, making the pad save.
The Canadiens finally capitalized on a late power play, after Neil was called for roughing at 18:32. Markov capitalized as he fired a rocket shot from the blue line, beating Bishop at 19:56. Max Pacioretty had an assist on the goal, giving the winger four goals and four assists in the past six games, and he leads the Canadiens with 14 points this season.
After both teams went scoreless in the third period, overtime was required. Bishop was called upon again, after Turris was called for hooking 52 seconds into the extra session. Pacioretty, Markov and Desharnais peppered Bishop with shots, but the Ottawa goaltender stymied the trio.
In the dying seconds, Regin flew into the Canadiens' zone and fired a shot on Price, only to hit the post.
Regin was a last-minute addition to the Ottawa lineup Monday night. MacLean did not intend to play him – the Denmark native had missed the past seven games with a chest injury.
"I said there were no changes to the lineup [Monday morning]," MacLean said. "Peter marched into my office and announced he wanted to play and he was ready. He's a veteran player and if he comes in and tells you that, you have to respect it."
After regaining his rhythm in the game, Regin sensed that he was going to be called upon in the shootout.
"I felt I played decent," Regin said. "I had some chances, and [MacLean] likes to pick guys who are going."
"Last week, we went on the opportunity for young players to shoot," MacLean said. "[Tonight] we were basing it on experience."