|OTT||1||2||1||(0 - 0)||4|
|MTL||1||1||0||(0 - 0)||2|
MONTREAL - Daniel Alfredsson's leadership was on full display in his first game back with the Ottawa Senators after a shoulder injury sidelined him for three weeks.
The Ottawa captain had a goal and two assists in his return to the lineup, and Zack Smith scored his first NHL goal in the Senators' 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Alfredsson, who missed 11 games because of a separated left shoulder, and Chris Phillips scored 1:22 apart to give Ottawa a 3-2 lead - its second of the game - 5:07 into the second.
"It's a great boost for us, not only his skill but that's what his leadership is, by going out there and leading by example, working hard every time he's on the ice and being reliable," Phillips said. "That's what he's all about and it's a big mental boost for everyone to see him back in there."
Mike Brodeur stopped 30 shots in his third career start and second in a row, including a 2-0 win in New York against the Rangers on Thursday night for his first NHL shutout.
Brodeur, who improved to 3-0, was called up from Binghamton of the AHL and pressed into action two nights earlier when both Ottawa goalies were unable to start in New York. The Senators lost No. 1 goalie Pascal Leclaire for a week with a concussion after he was struck by Mike Fisher's slap shot in practice Thursday. Backup Brian Elliott was ill.
"I'm floating right now, that's for sure," said Brodeur, who got the win in his NHL debut Dec. 19 in a 4-1 victory over Minnesota.
Alfredsson got his third point with his second assist as Mike Fisher scored into an empty net with 25.2 seconds remaining.
"It was a lot of fun to be back playing, obviously, and in a building like this as well," said Alfredsson, who set up Smith's short-handed goal in the first. "Our penalty killing and goaltending were really solid and some timely goals for us as well. We scored at the right time and then I thought we weathered the storm really well."
Ottawa's back-to-back wins follow a five-game losing streak.
"It's so important to try and win in regulation and not make it just a one-point game on the other team," Alfredsson said. "We're very happy and hopefully we can keep this little streak going."
Benoit Pouliot and Tomas Plekanec scored for Montreal, which has lost three of four against Ottawa this season.
Carey Price made 24 saves for Montreal. His record fell to 11-16-3.
Price had little chance on Phillips' goal 5:07 into the second. Phillips was credited with his fifth of the season after his slap shot struck Plekanec's stick on its way past Price.
"I'll take it," Phillips said. "You know, you've got to be lucky to be good."
Alfredsson had tied it at 2-2 moments earlier with his first goal since Nov. 28. The Ottawa captain, who had not scored in his previous 13 games when he was injured in an 8-2 loss in Pittsburgh on Dec. 23, got his 10th goal at 3:45 when he backhanded a rebound of Matt Carkner's shot past Price.
"It felt great," Alfredsson said. "I was able to get a rebound and move a little bit laterally and slide it 5-hole. It was a great feeling and a little bit timely for us as well."
Smith opened the scoring with a short-handed effort 11:26 in for his first goal in five games, including four this season. Recalled from Binghamton of the AHL on Jan. 8, Smith took Alfredsson's pass after the Canadiens turned over the puck on the power play and drove in to fire a wrist shot past Price into the top left corner from the top of the right faceoff circle.
"It's unreal, especially to score here in Montreal in front of all these fans," Smith said. "It's a pretty special building."
Pouliot scored for the second straight game at 12:49 to tie it at 1.
Plekanec gave Montreal a short-lived 2-1 lead with his 11th goal 2:05 into the second. The Czech center's sharp-angle shot from the right corner caught Brodeur by surprise and went in off the goalie's legs.
"It came off the wall real quick - I didn't get to my post quick enough, you know, I was kind of looking through skates," Brodeur said. "It did catch me by surprise. I don't want to give that one up any other time, that's for sure."
NOTES: Smith, who appeared in one game for the Senators last season, was selected 79th overall by Ottawa in the third round of the 2008 draft ... According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became only the third Ottawa player to score his first NHL goal on a shorthanded effort ... The Senators wrap up their road trip Monday in Boston ( p.m., Sens TV, Team 1200) before returning home to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night (7:30 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200).
|SHG - Zack Smith (1) ASST: Daniel Alfredsson (23)|
1 - 0 OTT
|Benoit Pouliot (8) ASST: Scott Gomez (26), Brian Gionta (9)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Tomas Plekanec (11) ASST: Roman Hamrlik (13), Jaroslav Spacek (10)|
2 - 1 MTL
|Daniel Alfredsson (10) ASST: Matt Carkner (6), Mike Fisher (19)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Chris Phillips (5) ASST: Alex Kovalev (20)|
3 - 2 OTT
|EN - Mike Fisher (16) ASST: Chris Kelly (15), Daniel Alfredsson (24)|
4 - 2 OTT
|Mike Fisher Hooking against Michael Cammalleri|
|Jarkko Ruutu Hooking against Glen Metropolit|
|Mike Fisher Roughing against Tomas Plekanec|
|Anton Volchenkov Tripping against Brian Gionta|
|Alex Kovalev Hooking against Max Pacioretty|
|Matt D'Agostini Tripping against Shean Donovan|
|Benoit Pouliot Hi-sticking against Alexandre Picard|
|Erik Karlsson Tripping against Max Pacioretty|
|SA: 32||TOI: 59:53|
|Saves: 30||EV: 18 - 20|
|PIM: 0||PP: 12 - 12|
|SV%: .938||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 27||TOI: 59:22|
|Saves: 24||EV: 20 - 22|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 4|
|SV%: .889||SH: 0 - 1|