OTTAWA, Ontario (AP)Mark Kastelic scored his first NHL goal and his second ended up being the game-winner for the Ottawa Senators, who beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-4 on Saturday night.
”That was so much fun,” Kastelic said. ”Probably the most memorable game of my career and super exciting to do it with the guys in that room. They’re so supportive and just a fun atmosphere to be in.”
Kastelic won’t soon forget his first goal – he ended up fighting Michael Pezzetta immediately after.
”I have not done that before, so that’s a first, but in my defense, I did not know I scored,” he said. ”So that’s just kind of a funny situation.
Austin Watson, Josh Norris, Parker Kelly and Alex Formenton also scored for the Senators, while Anton Forsberg made 44 saves.
Rem Pitlick had a pair of goals and Cole Caufield and Joel Edmundson also scored for Montreal, which has lost eight straight. Carey Price, making his third consecutive start, stopped 20 shots.
The Canadiens had No. 10 patches on their jerseys in honor of Guy Lafleur, who died Friday at age 70. Prior to puck drop, the Senators showed video highlights of Lafleur, which led to a chant of ”Guy, Guy,” as many got to their feet. The Senators also held a moment of silence for Lafleur, who was from Thurso, Quebec, just east of Ottawa.
It was the first meeting of the teams since Brendan Gallagher criticized Ottawa’s Tim Stutzle of feigning injury. While Stutzle was scoreless, he drew three penalties and there was a fight in the opening minutes of the game.
”I guess it added a little bit of intensity for the game,” Gallagher said. ”Honestly, there wasn’t much happening. Both teams were trying to win a hockey game. Both teams were playing. I’ve said this before – he’s a really good player. We’ve got to be aware of him and try to play hard on him and do all that. But he’s a really good player.”
Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot, who returned to the lineup after missing 19 games due to a hand fracture, defended Stutzle.
”We practice every day. We’re around him every day. He’s a competitor. He’s getting back up every time and when you’re a talented player in this league, unfortunately, you get targeted a lot and a lot of guys are going to go after you,” he said. ”But I think it’s all part of the learning curve and to see him the way he showed up tonight and battle all night I think it just shows a lot about his personality and him as a player.”
The Senators jumped out to a 6-3 lead in the second period thanks to a trio of goals scored in a span of 67 seconds. Watson opened the scoring in the first minute, followed by Kelly beating Price stick side at 6:43 of the period. Just 32 seconds later, Norris beat Price from in close, and 35 seconds after that, Kastelic scored his second of the night.
Montreal called a timeout and rebounded, scoring twice to make it 5-3 as Caufield took a great pass from Mike Hoffman to beat Forsberg stick side.
The Senators were able to regain their three-goal cushion as Formenton beat Jeff Petry in a foot race for his fifth shorthanded goal of the season.
Trailing 6-3 to start the third, Pitlick scored his second of the game midway through the period. The Canadiens kept pressing, but Forsberg was solid.
”It sucks to lose,” Pitlick said. ”I think that as a team, and as an athlete, there is that fire and frustration when you lose. Like, we’re (ticked) off, but we’re just going to keep working. There’s nothing you can do other than trying to keep getting better and hopefully it bounces in your favor.”
Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot returned to the lineup after missing the last 19 games with a fractured hand. Connor Brown and Nikita Zaitsev were both unable to play and Scott Sabourin was recalled from AHL Belleville . Montreal’s Pezzetta returned to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension, while Jordan Harris took Kale Clague’s spot on the blue line.
Canadiens: Host Boston on Sunday night.
Senators: Host New Jersey on Tuesday night.
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