The Canadian hoped to bounce back after two poor performances. He won’t be able to say mission accomplished.
Ridly Greig and Jake Sanderson scored in the first period and the Ottawa Senators defeated the Montreal team 4-1 on Tuesday evening at the Bell Centre.
The Canadian had lost his last two games by a combined score of 15-6, including a 6-2 loss to the Senators last Thursday in Ottawa.
The club from the national capital continued to have the Canadian’s number. The Senators won an eighth straight duel between the two teams.
The Habs lacked too much execution at the start of the game, then were not able to generate enough offense to recover afterwards.
Defenseman Johnathan Kovacevic scored, while Jake Allen made 24 saves in front of the Canadian net (19-21-7).
Shane Pinto and Mathieu Joseph also scored for the Senators (18-24-1), while Joonas Korpisalo stopped 24 shots.
Forward Tanner Pearson and defenseman Arber Xhekaj were back in action for the Canadian.
Pearson missed 19 games with an upper-body injury. To make a place for him in the lineup, Mitchell Stephens was transferred to the Laval Rocket after being ignored on waivers.
Xhekaj was recalled Monday after playing 17 games with the Rocket. He had not played for the Habs since November 16.
Kovacevic had also been inserted into the lineup, to the detriment of Jordan Harris.
Forward Josh Anderson played his 500th career NHL game.
The Canadian will play their next game on Thursday, when they host the New York Islanders and their head coach Patrick Roy.
The Senators threatened early, but Claude Giroux missed the target during a two-on-one attack, then Allen frustrated Greig with his glove moments later.
Greig got his revenge when he opened the scoring shorthanded at 7:45 of the first period. Josh Norris won a faceoff against Nick Suzuki to Allen’s right. The Habs goalie stopped a heavy shot from Erik Brannstrom, but he quickly compromised when Greig recovered the return and the Senators forward was able to slip the puck into the opening.
Sanderson returned to the charge 41 seconds later. Tim Stützle missed the target, then the puck went along the boards to the blue line, where Artem Zub recovered it. Zub made a pass in the slot to Sanderson, who beat Allen on the shield side.
Allen made a great save with just over five minutes left in the first period. He caught a powerful slap shot from Stützle with his mitt.
The Canadian took a few good shots in the second period, but he was unable to escape Korpisalo’s vigilance. He also wasted four opportunities on the power play.
The Senators goalie notably frustrated Cole Caufield twice.
Meanwhile, the Senators widened the lead to 3-0 at 6:22 of the middle period, with the teams playing four-on-four. Giroux made a long pass against the boards to Pinto, who escaped behind the Canadiens players. Pinto beat Allen on the glove side.
Head coach Martin St-Louis shuffled the cards in the third period and made excessive use of Suzuki and Caufield.
The two accomplices generated great scoring opportunities. Korpisalo, however, stood up to Caufield early in the engagement. Then Caufield missed an open net around mid-period.
Caufield finally became an accomplice to Kovacevic, who surprised Korpisalo with a long shot with 7:29 left in the game.
St. Louis replaced Allen with an extra attacker with 3:59 left. This only allowed Joseph to score into an empty net with 2:27 left on the clock.