MONTREAL -- Jake Allen made 29 saves for his first victory since late November, helping the Montreal Canadiens beat the Ottawa Senators 5-1 on Saturday night.
Jake Evans had a goal and an assist for Montreal, and Paul Byron, Cole Caufield, Joel Armia and Brett Kulak also scored.
“The NHL is a very tough league to play in and if you don’t have swagger it’s really tough to win and to be productive,” interim coach Martin St. Louis said. “That’s something you need to try to have every day and if you focus only on the results, it becomes easy to lose it. You need to assess your own performance before focusing on the results and you’ll be able to keep your swagger a little longer.”
Allen recently returned from an injury sustained in January. He last won Nov. 27 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Canadiens, last in the Eastern Conference at 17-36-9, are 9-6-2 since St. Louis took over as interim coach after Dominique Ducharme was fired.
“Pretty much ever since Marty came in, we’ve just been paying attention to detail, watching a lot of video and learning a lot too,” right wing Josh Anderson said. “He’s brought a lot to the table and I think everyone’s just playing with that swagger and confidence. I love how we just go into every game right now expecting to win. It’s a good mindset from everybody.”
Josh Norris scored for Ottawa, and Filip Gustavsson made 22 saves.
“We made a couple of major mistakes that ended up in the net,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said. “We had lots of chances, grade-A chances, and Allen made a lot of saves. He’s probably the difference.”
Tied at 1 after a period, Montreal broke it open with a three-goal second.
Michael Pezzetta combined with Byron following a deep stretch pass from Evans to make it 2-1 at 2:42. Caufield followed at 4:23, scoring in his fourth straight game. Armia added a power-play goal with 32 seconds left in the period, redirecting Corey Schueneman’s slap shot from the point.
Kulak scored midway through the third period.
Senators: At New York Islanders on Tuesday night.
Canadiens: Host Boston on Monday night.
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