OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Jake Allen is adapting well to his role as Carey Price’s backup with the Montreal Canadiens.
Allen made 34 saves in winning for the fourth time in five starts and Josh Anderson broke a tie early in the third period to lead the Canadiens to a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
“That’s why I’ve been brought in here, to give Carey some rest,” Allen said. “He’s played the most minutes in the league the last five, six years.”
Allen was acquired from St. Louis this past offseason in exchange for third- and seventh-round draft choices in the 2020 draft and a seventh in 2022.
Jeff Petry also scored as Montreal gave coach Claude Julien his 200th win with the franchise.
Colin White scored for Ottawa, which was playing its first home game since Jan. 21. Matt Murray had 30 saves for the Senators, who beat the Canadiens 3-2 in Montreal on Thursday for their only win on a seven-game road trip (1-6-0).
Despite the loss, forward Derek Stepan was pleased with the Senators’ play of late.
“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. I felt like we did some very good things for six periods.”
The Senators were hoping to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. Ottawa won its first game of the season back on Jan. 15, only to go winless in their next nine games prior to Thursday.
Anderson scored the game-winner 1:35 into the final period, knocking in a rebound for his fourth goal in three games and eighth of the season. Murray made saves on shots by Jonathan Drouin and Nick Suzuki before Anderson tallied.
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 tied it with his second goal of the season. It also was on a power play and was set up by Stepan and Josh Norris.
Petry has four goals in the last three games.
The Canadiens improved to 8-2-2, while the basement-dwelling Senators fell to 2-9-1.
Montreal returns to action Wednesday at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ottawa will continue a three-game homestand on Monday, facing the Edmonton Oilers.
NOTES: Canadiens forward Jake Evans momentarily left the game in the third period after taking a hit from Senators defenseman Erik Gudbranson. No penalty was called. … The Senators were 1 of 6 on the power play. … Montreal outshot Ottawa 19-8 in the first periods. The Senators outshot the Canadiens 27-13 over the final 40 minutes.
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