MONTREAL (AP) - The Montreal Canadiens showed right away how determined they were to stop a four-game losing streak.
Brian Flynn and Max Pacioretty scored in the first period, and the Canadiens beat the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
Jeff Petry also scored for Montreal (20-8-3), which scored more than two goals in a game for the first time in six contests. Dustin Tokarski made 25 saves.
The Canadiens matched a team record with 27 shots on Craig Anderson in the first period.
“The young guys were playing with energy, but it seemed that the older guys like myself weren’t pulling their weight,” Pacioretty said of the losing run. “Tonight, when it’s a rivalry game against Ottawa, and we always know it’s a man’s game when we play them, it was time to step up.
“We learned a lot from the last four games. This one wasn’t perfect. We got hemmed in a couple of times in the second period, but we came out on top.”
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for Ottawa (15-10-5), which went 1-3-0 on a four-game road trip.
The Canadiens got off to a strong start in the opening 20 minutes, but it looked as if they would be limited to Flynn’s early goal until Tomas Plekanec jumped on a turnover at the Ottawa blue line and Pacioretty put a wrist shot under the crossbar with 33 seconds left in the period.
“It was big,” Plekanec said. “That’s what we needed, to get the two-goal lead and get more breathing room.
“The games we lost, we just weren’t able to finish them off. We wanted to get a lot of shots. We weren’t scoring many goals so you start by shooting and having guys go to the net. We did a better job of that.”
Petry got a feed from Dale Weise and scored from the slot 5:39 into the second frame.
After a second-period goal was disallowed because Pacioretty batted the puck in with his hand, coach Dave Cameron pulled a frustrated Anderson for Chris Driedger, who is fourth on the Senators’ goaltending depth chart but was called up due to injuries to Andrew Hammond and Matt O’Connor.
Driedger had only 22:52 of previous NHL experience in a game last season in New York.
The move woke up the Senators and Pageau won a race for a big rebound off Alex Chiasson’s shot on a counterattack at 11:24. It was his third goal in three games this season against Montreal.
“I wouldn’t say I elevate my game (against Montreal),” Pageau said. “It was a good shot from Chiasson on net and it was just there.
“It could have been anybody.”
Anderson allowed three goals on 31 shots, while Driedger stopped all 11 he faced. He has yet to allow a goal in the NHL.
“The team was ready, it’s just that the execution wasn’t there,” Pageau said. “We were waiting too long to make a play.”
NOTES: Montreal last had 27 shots in one period in 1973 and 1977. The league record is 33 by Boston against Chicago in 1941. … The Canadiens are 3-4-1 since Carey Price suffered a lower-body injury Nov. 25. … Beaulieu returned to the Montreal lineup after sitting out a game. … Anderson made a 14th straight start for Ottawa.
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