Jake Allen holds off Sens with 34 saves, Habs edge Senators 2-1 in Ottawa


OTTAWA — The Canadiens continue to get victories from their backup goaltender.

Canadiens goalie Jake Allen made 34 saves, while Josh Anderson and Jeff Petry each scored a goal in a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon.

Allen allowed one goal on 35 shots, improving his record to 4-1-0. The backup goaltender got the start in favour of Canadiens starter Carey Price and got the better of Senators starter Matt Murray, who made 30 saves in a losing effort.

“That’s why I’ve been brought in here, to give Carey (Price) some rest,” Allen said. “He’s played the most minutes in the league the last five, six years.”

Allen was acquired by the Canadiens this past off-season via trade, in exchange for a third and seventh round draft choice from the 2020 draft and a seventh in 2022.

Senators forward Colin White scored his team’s lone goal.

The Canadiens (8-2-2) victory avenged a 3-2 loss to the basement-dwelling Senators (2-9-1) Thursday night at the Bell Centre.

The Sens were hoping to win back-to-back games for the first time all season. Ottawa won its first game of the season back on Jan. 15, only to be winless in their next nine games prior to Thursday.

Senators forward Derek Stepan seemed pleased with how his team played over their last two games.

“I think our last six periods, we’re starting to trend to the direction of the way we want to play,” Stepan said. “It’s a good hockey club over there (in Montreal). I felt like we did some very good things for six periods.”

Petry opened the scoring at 6:10 of the first period with a power play goal. He fired the puck from the blueline, with the puck deflecting off an Ottawa player’s stick before beating Murray. The Canadiens had been unsuccessful in their last eight power-play opportunities prior to the goal.

A little under six minutes later, White equalized for the Senators with his second goal of the season with a power-play goal of his own. White poked the puck past Allen while he was posted in front of the netminder. Stepan and Josh Norris each picked up an assist on the play.

Following a scoreless second period, the Canadiens scored the go-ahead goal 95 seconds into the final frame.

Anderson scored his eighth of the season after following up on shots from fellow linemates Jonathan Drouin and Nick Suzuki. Murray saved shots from both players before Anderson put the puck past him with a shot from the slot. It was Anderson’s fourth goal in three games.

Later in the third period, Canadiens forward Jake Evans momentarily left the game after taking a hit from Senators defenceman Erik Gudbranson. The defenceman’s shoulder caught the head of Evans before the Canadiens forward fell to the ice. No penalty was called.

“It was a shoulder to the head,” Canadiens centre Phillip Danault said.

But once the final horn sounded, it was the Canadiens who skated away with the win.

Montreal returns to action Wednesday where they’ll play the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Centre. Ottawa will play the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2021.

The Canadian Press