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Ottawa Senators slow the Montreal Canadiens’ push toward playoffs

May 5, 2021; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Corey Perry (94) falls and loses control of the puck in front of Ottawa Senators goalie Anton Forsberg (31) in the first period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Shane Pinto scored his first NHL goal, Nick Paul collected one goal and one assist and Erik Brannstrom notched a career-best three assists to lead the host Ottawa Senators to a 5-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.

Brady Tkachuk, Connor Brown and Alex Formenton also scored in the win, and Artem Zub had two assists. Goaltender Anton Forsberg made 30 saves for the Senators (21-27-5, 47 points), who have been long eliminated from the playoffs but have posted a 7-1-1 mark in the past nine games.

Joel Edmundson scored the lone goal for the Canadiens (24-19-9, 57 points), who sit fourth in the North Division and are still in the driver’s seat to clinch a playoff spot. Goalie Jake Allen stopped 29 shots for Montreal, which saw its three-game winning streak end.

Ottawa won six of 10 games this season against the Canadiens.

Pinto, a 2019 second-round draft pick playing his ninth NHL game, opened the scoring at 11:35 of the first period when he was on the spot for the rebound.

Edmundson tied the game with 32 seconds remaining in the opening frame. While on a rush, Edmundson ripped a top-corner, short side from left circle to make it a 1-1 affair.

However, it was all Ottawa from there. Tkachuk scored the eventual game-winner early in the second period when he went to the net and made quick work of a perfect pass from Josh Norris to net his 17th goal of the season at the 3:44 mark of the middle frame.

Paul’s tally with 7.5 seconds remaining in the second period made it a 3-1 game. Paul was set up in the high slot and deflected Brannstrom’s point shot for his fifth goal of the campaign.

The Canadiens won each of their previous three games in comeback style, but it wasn’t happening this time. Brown extended Ottawa’s lead with a one-timer for his 19th goal of the campaign at 4:40 of the third period, and Formenton rounded out the scoring with his fourth goal of the year midway at 10:19.

–Field Level Media