OTTAWA – Marc Methot may have scored the game winner for the Ottawa Senators, but he was much more excited about Mark Borowiecki’s goal.
Borowiecki scored his first NHL goal and considering the two are defence partners and both Ottawa natives Methot felt it was a pretty special night with their 4-1 victory Thursday over the Montreal Canadiens.
“It was awesome,” said Methot. “It doesn’t happen very often for myself or for (Borowiecki). We’re more defensive minded guys and any time you have two hometown guys score in the same game, and it’s a pretty important game for our fans, I couldn’t be happier.”
Borowiecki celebrated with his teammates, but strangely enough not a single family member was on hand for the game. His parents were in Las Vegas and his girlfriend, a teacher, was unable to attend due to parent-teacher interviews.
“It’s just weird how it worked out,” said the 24-year-old. “I can’t describe the feeling; it’s pretty cool. I had a big smile on my face.”
In addition to timely scoring, Robin Lehner was solid in goal stopping 33 shots.
Lehner was making his second straight start as Craig Anderson recovers from a stiff neck.
“I think the “D” is helping me a lot to see pucks and boxing out,” said Lehner. “I think we’re getting a little better chemistry and it feels good.”
Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris, with an empty netter, also scored for the Senators (6-6-4), who posted back-to-back wins for just the second time this season.
Andrei Markov scored the lone goal for the Canadiens (8-8-1) as Carey Price faced 24 shots. Montreal is winless in its last four games.
“It’s normal for everyone to be disappointed as we all want to win,” said Montreal coach Michel Therrien. “Especially after playing a solid road game, but we’ll concentrate on the good things we saw.”
Despite giving up four goals Therrien had no complaints as to how his team performed.
“I thought we deserved a better fate. I thought we were the team that dictated the game and we had some great scoring chances, but we couldn’t capitalize on them so that was a big difference.”
The game opened a five-game homestand for the Senators, who have struggled at home as of late with a 2-3-2 record.
With Ottawa holding a two-goal lead Lehner was instrumental holding off the Canadiens in the third, stopping all 11 shots he faced.
“I thought Robin gave us a lot of confidence,” said Senators coach Paul MacLean. “He’s been very consistent, very solid.”
Despite being outshot 14-6 in the second the Senators, with 19,292 on hand marking their first sellout of the season, managed to take a 3-1 lead on goals by two Ottawa natives.
Methot made it 2-1 midway through the period as he picked up Markov’s clearing attempt and beat Price high. Just 37 seconds later Borowiecki scored his first NHL goal as his shot from just inside the blue-line made it through traffic.
Borowiecki was recalled from the AHL less than a week ago, but MacLean believes he’s had an immediate impact.
“I think he’s given some life to some of us that were maybe sagging a little bit,” admitted MacLean. “That’s a great credit to him and his leadership abilities that he’s able to come in and have an influence on the team.”
The Senators didn’t get off to a great start in their own end, forcing Lehner to make a number of big saves.
The Canadiens opened the scoring with Markov’s power-play goal midway through the first period, but the lead was short-lived as the Senators tied it less than 30 seconds later. Ryan, with his team-leading ninth of the season, beat Price with Turris creating a screen.
This was the first of five games between the two teams this season. Thursday’s game also marked the first meeting between the teams since Ottawa eliminated Montreal in five games during last spring’s Eastern Conference quarter-finals.
Notes: There was a scary moment for the Senators after RW Chris Neil took a puck to the face early in the third period. He did return to the game, but was already bruised. … D Patrick Wiercioch and D Joe Corvo were a healthy scratch for the Senators. RW Erik Condra missed the game with a sprained muscle in his right leg and G Craig Anderson is day-to-day with a stiff neck. … The Canadiens were without Daniel Briere (concussion), Brandon Prust (shoulder), Alexei Emelin (knee) and Davis Drewiske (shoulder). D Greg Pateryn was a healthy scratch.