EditorsNote: adds Drouin info to first note
Canadiens hand Senators seventh straight loss
MONTREAL — Jonathan Drouin is getting his first up-close chance to watch goaltender Carey Price.
Drouin, who joined the Montreal Canadiens in a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the offseason, almost can’t believe what he is seeing.
Price made 27 saves, and Drouin scored on a penalty shot in the second period as Montreal beat the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Wednesday.
“You come in the room and you see how focused he is and you know he’s going to have a good night,” Drouin said. “He’s so composed out there. It’s actually kind of crazy to look at. He comes to the bench and he’s not sweating almost. He’s so relaxed. It’s a first for me to see that. He’s so composed, and he gives us so much confidence.”
Price has stopped 100 of 102 shots three games into his return from a 10-game absence caused by a lower-body injury.
Montreal is 3-0 since Price returned after Drouin and Phillip Danault scored in a span of 2:18 in the second period.
“I see our team playing a more sound hockey game,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. “It’s helping us a lot. Yeah, we’re getting great goaltending, but I think we can also give credit to the defensemen. They’re better defensively, and we’re starting to get the puck out of our own end better.
Mark Stone scored a short-handed goal for the Senators (8-9-6), and Mike Condon made 29 saves. Ottawa started a seven-game, 14-day road trip by losing its seventh straight. The Senators have scored just nine goals in their slide.
Drouin was awarded the penalty shot when he got behind Ottawa defenseman Cody Ceci, who hooked him. On the penalty shot, Drouin skated in on Condon and scored on a precise shot off the left post at 2:56.
“It was actually pretty nerve-wracking,” Drouin said. “It’s different than shootouts or any other stuff like that. I was just coming in and I had two moves in my head and decided to shoot at the last second and make it a quick shot. It’s definitely a cool moment.”
Danault gave the Canadiens the lead at 5:14 of the second period after some soft defensive coverage down low by the Senators. Ceci and forward Derick Brassard lost a battle for the puck behind the net, and Montreal forward Andrew Shaw passed the puck out to Danault, who was charging to the net and one-timed the pass for his fourth goal of the season.
Stone said the game was typical of what is happening to the Senators lately. They were in control, and couple of mistakes completely changed the course of the contest.
“You can’t let players of that caliber get behind you,” Stone said of Drouin’s breakaway that led to the penalty shot. “They’ve got some guys that can make some plays. The penalty-shot goal, you’re always thinking the worst, expecting him to score. We regrouped pretty well from that. It was the next goal that kind of killed us, took the life out of us.
“When they are that quick back-to-back and you go from 1-0 to 2-1 that quick, it can take a little life out of you.”
Stone gave the Senators a 1-0 lead with a short-handed goal at 4:36 of the first period.
Stone, tied for fourth in the NHL in takeaways with 27 entering the game, knocked down a pass by Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk inside the Ottawa blue line. Stone beat defenseman Jeff Petry to the other end of the ice, protecting the puck and beating Price with a move to the backhand.
“The effort was there,” Stone said. “The execution maybe not as much as we’d like. I think the guys pushed hard to try and limit our mistakes. Those (Montreal) goals are untimely, I guess you could say. You can’t give up those types of plays in the second period when we have all the momentum.”
The Senators’ power play was 0-for-3 and is 1-for-26 during the losing streak. The Canadiens didn’t covert either of their two man-advantage situations.
NOTES: The Canadiens called up LW Daniel Carr from Laval of the AHL after the game. Sportsnet reported that Montreal LW Jonathan Drouin didn’t travel with the team to Detroit postgame, but no other details were available. ... D David Schlemko made his Canadiens debut after missing the first 25 games of the season following hand surgery. He played 15:54. Schlemko was acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights in June for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. ... Montreal D Shea Weber missed his fifth game with a lower-body injury. ... Rookie D Victor Mete and D Brandon Davidson were scratches for the Canadiens. It was the second time in four games the 19-year-old Mete was scratched. He played a season-low 6:02 on Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. ... The Senators scratched rookie D Thomas Chabot. ... Ottawa D Chris Wideman is expected to meet with doctors to see if his injured hamstring will require surgery, according to Sportsnet. He missed his sixth game Wednesday.