Series (Game 3 of 3)

Montreal leads 2-1

Game 1: Monday, September 25th
Game 2: Thursday, September 28th
Game 3: Saturday, September 30th

Senators 5

(5-4-0, 10 pts)

Canadiens 6

(3-5-0, 6 pts)

7:00 PM ET, September 30, 2006

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 T
OTT 2 3 05
MTL 2 1 36

Top Skaters

Montreal 6, Ottawa 5

MONTREAL (AP) -- Alex Kovalev scored his second goal of the third period with 1:52 remaining to give the Montreal Canadiens a 6-5 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night in the final preseason game for both teams.

Inserted between Kovalev and Sergei Samsonov in the wake of center Mike Ribeiro's trade to Dallas prior to the game, Tomas Plekanec set up the tying goal by Samsonov with 4:44 remaining in regulation before making a centering pass from behind the net to set up Kovalev's backhand winner from the slot.

Samsonov, who also assisted on the winner, had three points in the third, including an assist on Kovalev's first goal 3:51 into the third for his first point in five preseason games. He then brought the sellout crowd of 21,273 to its feet when he was left unmarked to receive Andrei Markov's pass to fire a shot beyond Martin Gerber into an open right side at 15:16.

Mike Johnson, Michael Ryder and Sheldon Souray also scored for Montreal. Chris Higgins had two assists.

Christoph Schubert and Chris Neil scored 55 seconds apart in the second period to give Ottawa 5-3 lead. Jason Spezza had two assists and Dany Heatley, Andrej Meszaros and Peter Schaefer also scored for the Senators (5-4), who open the season Wednesday night in Toronto before hosting the Maple Leafs the following night.

The Canadiens will begin the season with three straight road games, including their 97th opener Friday night in Buffalo.

With the teams tied at 2 after combining for four goals in the first 7:52 of the first period, Schaefer beat Cristobal Huet 1:07 into the second.

Souray, who missed two games because of a shoulder injury, tied it at 3 with a power-play goal at 3:30.

Spezza picked up his second point -- his 10th in seven preseason games -- when he set up Schubert's power-play goal at 5:27. Neil made it a 5-3 lead with his fourth goal in six preseason games, an unassisted effort at 6:22.

Kovalev drew Montreal to within one 3:51 into the third when he drove a slap shot past Gerber from the top of the left faceoff circle.

The Canadiens acquired defenseman Janne Niinimaa from Dallas prior to the game in the trade that sent Ribeiro to the Stars. The 31-year-old Finn bolsters Montreal's defense, which has lost Francis Bouillon and Jean-Philippe Cote to injury.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press