Senators Trip Struggling Habs

Traffic on a Chicago highway, 5-6-05

Ottawa Senators goaltender Ron Tugnutt can feel Jeff Hackett's pain.

"Hackett has been playing really well," Tugnutt said of the Montreal goalie after the Senators slipped past the struggling Canadiens 2-1 on Saturday night. "He has been their best player in their past (eight) games."

Marian Hossa and 19-year-old rookie Mike Fisher scored for Ottawa to extend Montreal's winless streak to eight games.

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  • The Candiens (3-11-1) entered the contest last in the NHL in winning percentage. It has been 64 years (1935-36) since the Canadiens were in last place this late in the season.

    Martin Rucinsky scored for Montreal, which saw its winless streak reach eight games. The Canadiens have scored just 11 goals over the winless streak.

    Canadiens head coach Alain Vigneault was clearly frustrated.

    "The goal Ottawa got in the third period went in off a stick and it was the only chance they had. We're going to keep working hard and turn this thing around."

    The Senators (10-4-1) improved to 7-1-1 at home and have outscored their opponents 30-15 in that span.

    Hossa opened the scoring for Ottawa with 4:21 remaining in the first period after Radek Bonk threw the puck out from the corner and Hossa one-timed it past goaltender Jeff Hackett.

    Senators goalkeeper Ron Tugnutt stopped Canadiens center Scot Thornton, who worked his way in alone earlier in the period.

    Fisher drove to the net to give Ottawa a 2-0 lead with his second goal of the season 1:14 into the third period.

    "Mike has been on the puck and created some very good chances for himself and his linemates," said Ottawa head coach Jacques Martin. "He is probably one of our most physical forwards."

    Then Rucinsky countered with his fourth goal of the season less than two minutes later. Rucinsky tapped in a perfect pass from Trevor Linden on a two-on-one rush at 3:02.

    Ottawa is undefeated in 104 of its past 108 games when leading after the second period (91-4-13).

    "It was a little sloppy, they outplayed us at a lot of points," said Senators left-winger Shawn McEachern. He assisted on Fisher's goal and has nine points in eight games (4-5-9) after a slow start.

    Montreal has endured injuries to 13 players this year and seven of its past eight losses have been by one goal.

    After right wing Brian Savage, who has scored 10 goals and has six assists so far this season, Canadiens forwards have managed just 12 goals in 15 games.

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