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Senators hot top line strikes again in 5-2 win over Canadiens

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

While Andrej Meszaros led the Ottawa Senators with a pair of goals in a 5-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night, it was the newly formed trio of Fisher, Alfredsson and Peter Schaefer that continued its excellent play for the second straight night.

"He's easy to play with, you know what you're going to get each game," Alfredsson said of Fisher, who was moved to the line in this pre-season after Russian prospect Alexei Kaigorodov stumbled in the role of Ottawa's No. 2 centre.

The unit combined for three of the Senators' five goals in a win over Toronto on Wednesday and Thursday, Fisher had a goal and an assist, Schaefer had a goal and Alfredsson recorded three assists before a crowd of 18,081 at Scotiabank Place.

"We've been together two games now and it's been great," Fisher said. "For me, Alfie on the right side, he's one of the top players in the league. It's been fun to play with him. He creates a lot and makes it easier for guys to play with him and I played with Schaefer a lot last year.

"We seem to be clicking so far and we just want to keep getting better toward the regular season."

Chris Neil also scored for Ottawa (5-3-0) and Martin Gerber went the distance in the Senators' net, making 31 saves.

While things were clicking for the Senators, they weren't so rosy for Montreal (2-5-0), which received goals from Alex Kovalev and Tomas Plekanec.

David Aebischer played the entire game in the Canadiens' net and stopped 19 shots.

Prospects Guillaume Latendresse, who was back after a suspension for a hit on Tampa Bay's Rob DiMaio, and Andrei Kostsitsyn, expected to be battling for the same roster spot, each helped their cause with an assist.

They're expected to find out Friday whether they'll be sticking around when the regular season kicks off next week.

"They did what they had to do," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "They've played well right from the start of training camp. We'll sit down tomorrow to make the decision. Some people are going to be happy, some are going to be sad."

The teams played Monday night at Truro, N.S., and Montreal won that game 7-3.

On Thursday, Aebischer's first real action of the night was to scoop the puck out of his net when Schaefer scored on the Senators' first chance of the game following a pass from Fisher almost nine minutes in.

Kovalev tied it for the Canadiens before Fisher made it 2-1 on the power play.

Meszaros notched his first goal before the end of the period and scored again on the power play early in the second to make it 4-1.

Plekanec and Neil then traded rebound goals and Ottawa led 5-2 after two periods.

The Senators finished 2-for-5 with the man advantage. The Canadiens went 0-for-6.

The teams meet again Saturday night at Montreal's Bell Centre to conclude their pre-season schedules.


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