Nick Suzuki Scores OT Winner as Canadiens Top Senators

Montreal Canadiens, Nick Suzuki, Ottawa Senators

MONTREAL — Prospect Nick Suzuki scored in overtime to give the Montreal Canadiens a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators in the final preseason game for both teams.

Phillip Danault, Tomas Tatar and Brendan Gallagher scored in regulation for the Canadiens (5-2-0). Back after missing two games with a bruised left hand, Carey Price stopped 35-of-37 shots.

Bobby Ryan, Anthony Duclair and Filip Chlapik scored for the Senators (3-3-0). Backup Anders Nilsson made 31 saves.

With the score tied 2-2 late in the third, Chlapik gave Ottawa the lead by easily intercepting an errant pass from Price with 2:17 left in the game.

The Canadiens then pulled Price and scored with the extra attacker when Gallagher deflected Jeff Petry’s point shot between Nilsson’s pads and in with 58 seconds on the clock.

Suzuki scored the winner with 56 seconds left in OT on a wraparound, his first of the pre-season.

Nick Suzuki Guelph Storm
Nick Suzuki (Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

While the final pre-season game is usually a good indication of a team’s opening-day roster, both Claude Julien and D.J. Smith gave a handful of prospects some additional ice time.

Instead of playing forwards Jonathan Drouin and Nate Thompson, the Canadiens gave another look to fan-favourite centremen Ryan Poehling and Suzuki. Poehling missed the last four games with a concussion.

For the Senators, it meant giving Logan Brown, Vitaly Abramov and defenceman Erik Brannstrom one final exhibition start.

All teams need to submit their 23-man roster by Tuesday.

It was a first-period mistake by Brannstrom that led to the game’s first goal when Joel Armia stripped him of the puck in the neutral zone. Danault scooped it, crossed the blue-line and beat Nilsson at 16:16 while playing shorthanded.

The Canadiens doubled their lead at 5:57 of the second period when Tatar cashed in a cross-crease pass from Gallagher.

Ottawa made it 2-1 through Ryan’s second of the pre-season at 9:06. Ryan was gifted the goal when Dylan DeMelo’s shot rang off the crossbar and the puck landed right in the crease.

Dylan Demelo Ottawa Senators
Dylan Demelo, Ottawa Senators (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Duclair equalized for the visitors on a short-handed breakaway two minutes later. The Sens winger stole the puck from former Coyotes teammate Max Domi at the blue line, skated the length of the ice and beat Price with a pretty move.

Montreal blanked Ottawa 4-0 earlier this pre-season on a 27-save effort by backup goaltender Keith Kinkaid.

The Sens opens their regular season on the road against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday while Montreal’s first game is Thursday at the Carolina Hurricanes.

Notes: Both teams went 0 for 5 with the man advantage. … Prior to puck drop, Shea Weber was awarded the Jean Beliveau Trophy for his charity work.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2019.

Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press

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