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Ottawa Senators outlast Canadiens 5-4 in shootout

Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk tries to put the puck past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Cayden Primeau during second period NHL action in Ottawa, Saturday, April 13, 2024. (Adrian Wyld, The Canadian Press) Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk tries to put the puck past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Cayden Primeau during second period NHL action in Ottawa, Saturday, April 13, 2024. (Adrian Wyld, The Canadian Press)
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After failing to meet expectations this season, the Ottawa Senators wanted to at least send fans home on a positive note.

Thanks to Drake Batherson's shootout winner on Saturday night they were able to do just that.

Batherson was the game hero in a 5-4 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens beating netminder Cayden Primeau low blocker.

"Me and Alfie actually did a video about that a few weeks back kind of, about that move," said Batherson. "I figured I would try it. My first chance doing it and, you know, it worked out and he kind of gave me a wink there after, so it was funny."

Senators captain Brady Tkachuk had a pair of goals and an assist, while Shane Pinto and Thomas Chabot also scored for Ottawa (36-40-4). Joonas Korpisalo made 21 saves.

Tkachuk, who set a career high in goals (37) had himself an impressive night with 12 shots on goal and eight hits in addition to his three points.

"I mean, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really mean much," said Tkachuk. "Like I said this morning, it wasn't about individual goals this year it was more team goals and unfortunately we didn't hit them and I think there's a lot of lessons to be learned this year."

It was somewhat bittersweet for Senators interim head coach Jacques Martin, who coached his final game at Canadian Tire Centre as he will not be returning behind the Ottawa bench next season.

"It's been great," said Martin. "I enjoyed the opportunity to come back and hopefully help the team understand what it takes to be in the playoffs, how you need to play on a nightly basis, help the players grow and maybe get better.

"As an organization I think we have some work to do, but I think we're headed in the right direction."

Cole Caufield led the way for Montreal with a pair of goals. Mike Matheson and Alex Newhook also scored for Montreal (30-36-14). Primeau stopped 39 shots.

The Senators swept the season series 3-0 and with nine wins against Montreal, tied their longest winning streak against one opponent. Ottawa also won nine in a row against Buffalo.

"For whatever reason they've had our number for a bit," said Newhook. "They play a fast game. They play a skilled game. I thought we did a pretty good job of limiting their chances tonight for a pretty dangerous offensive team, and unlucky to not come away with a win."

With a divided sellout crowd there was plenty for all the fans to cheer about with end-to-end action in the overtime period, but things remained unresolved.

Chabot forced the extra period scoring with 1:05 remaining in regulation tipping a Batherson point shot with Korpisalo on the bench.

"The fact that we've been in so many (close games) this year, those are reps you can't buy," said Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis. "They're real reps. Sometimes you're up protecting a lead, you're trying to crawl back, you're trying to get back in the game. Obviously, the overtimes and the shootouts, they are what they are, but I think as we keep progressing, we'll find ourselves on the other side of them."

The Canadiens had taken a 4-3 lead with 4:11 left in the third when a centring pass went in off Ottawa's Jakob Chychrun skate.

Tkachuk tied the game, 3-3, with his second power-play goal of the game 47 seconds into the third period.

Montreal took a 2-1 lead just 97 seconds into the second when Caufield slid the puck under a sprawled out Korpisalo.

Ottawa cut the lead back to one with a power-play goal at 8:36. Claude Giroux dropped a pass back to Pinto who snapped a shot from the slot, but Montreal replied with a power-play goal of its own with Caufield finding the top corner.

Montreal opened the scoring with a short-handed goal after Jake Sanderson had a rare turnover at the blue line allowing Matheson to break in alone and beat Korpisalo stick side.

Tkachuk tied the game with a power-play goal at 13:08 when he grabbed his own rebound out front and backhanded a shot past Primeau.

Notes

Ottawa C Tim Stutzle missed his fifth straight game with an upper-body injury. … Montreal is without Kaiden Guhle (upper body), Joshua Roy (upper body). … Referee Riley Brace, a native of Fitzroy Harbour -- which is just west of downtown Ottawa -- made his NHL debut Saturday.

Up next

Ottawa: Visits the New York Rangers on Monday.

Montreal: Visits the Detroit Red Wings on Montreal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2024.

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