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Karlsson scores 2, Senators beat Canadiens 5-2

MONTREAL (AP) — Erik Karlsson scored twice, and goalie Andrew Hammond remained unbeaten in regulation time as the Ottawa Senators beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-2 on Thursday night.

Eric Condra, Mark Stone and Marc Methot also scored for Ottawa, which has won nine of 11 as it chases a playoff spot. Hammond made 27 saves to improve to 8-0-1 during that stretch.

Max Pacioretty scored twice for Montreal (42-19-7), which has only one win in four games. The Canadiens, who have yielded the fewest goals in the NHL, allowed five for the first time since Nov. 23.

Montreal outshot Ottawa 29-28, but the Senators improved to 3-1 against the Canadiens this season.

A double high-sticking call on Alex Chiasson for clipping Tomas Plekanec had nearly ended when Pacioretty tipped in P.K. Subban’s blast from the point at 6:43 of the first period.

Pacioretty then scored a short-handed goal as he deked Hammond on a breakaway 2:11 later.

Karlsson took a cross-ice feed from David Legwand on a 3-on-2 break and beat Carey Price for his 17th goal of the season at 2:50 of the second.

Ottawa tied it at 18:21 when Jean-Gabriel Pageau held onto the puck until Price went down, and his pass into the crease found the net after hitting a skate. Condra was credited with the goal although it might have gone in off Plekanec.

Stone deflected a low pass under Price’s arm on a power play 1:23 into the third. Karlsson sealed the win when, 1 second after Ottawa killed a four-minute penalty, he tipped Milan Michalek’s pass under the crossbar at 9:43.

Methot’s changeup shot from the left circle went in over Price’s shoulder at 12:36.

NOTES: P.A. Parenteau returned to the Montreal lineup after sitting out four games. Brian Flynn was scratched. … Canadiens D Sergei Gonchar played in his 1,300th NHL game. … Colin Greening and Eric Gryba sat out for Ottawa.

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