Series (Game 3 of 5)

Ottawa leads 3-2

Game 1: Saturday, October 26th
Game 2: Thursday, November 21st
Game 3: Monday, December 16th
Game 4: Friday, December 27th
Game 5: Saturday, March 29th

Canadiens 3

(14-11-2, 34 pts)

Senators 2

(17-8-0, 38 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 16, 2002

Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

1 2 3 T
MTL 0 2 13
OTT 0 0 22

J. Theodore (Canadiens - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .938

D. Alfredsson (Senators - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

A. Markov (Canadiens - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Montreal ends Ottawa's eight-game streak

OTTAWA (AP) -- The Montreal Canadiens salvaged a victory while denying division rival Ottawa a valuable Eastern Conference point.

Yanic Perreault scored with 17.8 seconds left as Montreal allowed two third-period, power-play goals before beating the Senators 3-2 on Monday night.

"The standings are so close right now, and sometimes you win two or three games and you're in fifth or sixth position, and you lose two or three and you're back in ninth or 10th position,'' Canadiens defenseman Patrice Brisebois said. "Every point is very important. It's a huge two points tonight.''

Ottawa is second in the Northeast Division with 38 points, just four ahead of third-place Montreal.

Trailing 2-0, Ottawa got a goal from Daniel Alfredsson with 6:21 left, and Shaun Van Allen tied it with 1:15 to go.

Perreault's 14th goal of the season ended Ottawa's eight-game home winning streak.

"I don't think we played that well,'' Van Allen said. "Basically, we were stealing a game by playing 20 minutes hard. It's nice when you can do that, but in this league you can't afford to just play 20 minutes hard and get away with two points, and tonight was a prime example.''

Montreal, which won for the fourth time in five games, also got goals from Oleg Petrov and Doug Gilmour, who assisted on Perreault's winner.

With his goal, Gilmour became the 14th player in NHL history to reach 1,400 career points.

"I think I'll reflect more on that when I'm done,'' Gilmour said. "It was a big win for us, and I'll look back when it's all over.''

With Brisebois in the penalty box for cross-checking, Jose Theodore lost his shutout bid when Alfredsson scored with 6:21 left.

The Senators took advantage of another late Montreal penalty when Van Allen jumped on a loose puck behind Theodore and put it into a wide-open net with 1:15 left, after Todd White's shot hit the left post.

Ottawa had won four straight and was unbeaten in its last five. The Senators came in with just one loss in their previous 16 games (12-1-3).

"It felt like we gave away the game,'' Alfredsson said. "Sometimes you don't play your best -- and that was the case tonight -- but you give yourself a chance to win. We've been finding ways to get ourselves points. Sometimes you get good breaks, and sometimes you get bad breaks.''

Theodore made 30 saves and won his second straight start.

Petrov opened the scoring with his sixth goal of the season midway through the second, and Gilmour got his fifth with 4:30 left in the period.

Gilmour banked a shot off Ottawa defenseman Karel Rachunek's leg and under goalie Patrick Lalime, but it appeared that Lalime had stopped the shot from a severe angle.

Referee Paul Stewart pointed at the back of the net to indicate a goal, and a video review confirmed his call as television replays showed that Gilmour's shot struck Rachunek's right leg before sliding under Lalime and over the goal line.

Game notes

Alfredsson played his 500th career regular-season game. ... Ottawa hadn't been defeated at home since a 3-2 loss to Los Angeles on Nov. 3. The Senators are 11-4-0-0 at the Corel Centre this season. ... Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov was struck in the face by Ottawa defenseman Zdeno Chara's stick in the first. Markov missed the last eight minutes of the period but returned at the beginning of the second period.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press