Goal Caufield! Rookie's first NHL goal seals Hab's 3-2 OT win
Cole Caufield's first career NHL goal was a big one as he scored in overtime to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Petry each scored and added an assist in the second comeback victory in as many nights for Montreal (23-18-9).
Tim Stutzle and Thomas Chabot scored for Ottawa (19-28-4).
The game was a quick turnaround for the Canadiens after Friday's thrilling come-from-behind 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets. That win gave Montreal a six-point lead over Calgary, who played Edmonton later Saturday, for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division. The Canadiens were keen to build on that gap.
The Senators arrived rested and on a roll. They'd won six of their previous eight games, and climbed out of the North Division basement with Wednesday's 6-3 victory against the Vancouver Canucks.
After a scoreless first period, Stutzle finally got the Senators on the scoreboard at 14:52 of the second period when he snapped a wrist shot from outside the top of the circle over the glove of Cayden Primeau. The goal was the rookie winger's ninth of the season and second this year against Montreal. He also has five assists on the season versus the Habs.
Chabot doubled Ottawa's lead at 5:51 of the third period off a beautiful backhand pass from Evgenii Dadonov.
Petry sliced the difference in half with his first goal in 23 games at 8:12 of the third. Sens defenceman Erik Brannstrom bit on a fake by Petry leaving him open to fire a wrist shot past Filip Gustavsson.
Nick Suzuki, who'd scored twice in Montreal's win Friday over the Jets, appeared to tie the game at 10:37 of the third, but after a video review, the goal was called off for goaltender interference, leaving Habs coach Dominique Ducharme shaking his head in frustration.
The Canadiens, with all the momentum, tied it up for real four minutes later. Toffoli took a beautiful pass from Suzuki to connect at 14:25, his 27th goal of the season. Montreal outshot the Senators 18-3 in the third.
Caufield got the winner at 2:25 of the extra period off a feed from Petry.
Primeau made just his second start in net for Montreal in place of Jake Allen, who had played 12 of the previous 14 games. Primeau also started in a 5-2 loss to Calgary a week ago. His lone career NHL win came against the Senators on Dec. 11, 2019.
The Senators had Gustavsson in net in the latest of their revolving door of goaltenders. Ottawa has used five goalies this season, and recently lost Matt Murray to a lower-body injury.
Montreal captain Shea Weber was out with an upper-body injury, along with goaltender Carey Price (concussion) and forwards Brendan Gallagher (broken thumb). Jonathan Drouin (leave of absence), Paul Byron and Tomas Tatar (lower body) remained out of the lineup with each missing multiple games.
Among the Senators missing were Anton Forsberg (lower body) and Matt Murray (lower body), Joey Daccord (ankle), Micheal Haley (groin), and Austin Watson (wrist).
The game was the ninth of 10 meetings between the two teams this season, with the Canadiens now holding a 4-3-2 record. Montreal lost the previous two games 6-3 and 4-0.
Montreal hosts the division-leading Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday. The Senators are at home to the Jets on Monday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 1, 2021.