"The biggest thing is trying to get out there and feel comfortable," said Gionta, who played on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty. "There are so many new guys, guys that I've never played with, it's just a matter of time to feel comfortable. The first period was a little slow, but I thought the second and third period our line really had some good chances, some good jump, and it felt pretty good."
"They're unbelievable players," said Michalek, who was acquired along with Jonathon Cheechoo from San Jose on Saturday in a trade for Dany Heatley. "We had good chances but we had some breakdowns in the defensive zone and we have to get better there."
Maxwell, who was stopped by Leclaire on a breakaway late in the first, drew the Canadiens even with a power-play goal 15:15 into the second.
Montreal's Eric Neilson got three fighting majors in the game and had a game misconduct added to his last bout with Ottawa's Cody Bass, who was also ejected following their fight midway through the third.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Bell Centre Location: Montreal, Quebec
Attendance: 21,273 (100.0% full)
Milan Michalek Assist: Jason Spezza, Alexandre Picard
Benjamin Maxwell (power play) Assist: Glen Metropolit, Paul Mara
Brian Gionta Assist: Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty