Andrew Hammond’s parents were too nervous to attend his first NHL start. The Ottawa Senators goalie showed no signs of anxiety.
Hammond made 42 saves and led the Senators to a 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.
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"They’re in Phoenix right now, so the flights were a little difficult," Hammond said of his parents. "I know they were watching intently.
"To be honest, there were a little bit of nerves but nothing unusual. When the puck dropped, I felt really comfortable. Every shot that came my way I seemed to settle in a little more."
Milan Michalek, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mark Stone and Kyle Turris, scored for the Senators (23-23-10).
Dustin Tokarski made 35 saves, and Max Pacioretty and Nathan Beaulieu had goals for the Canadiens (37-16-4).
Hammond was called into action Monday to replace starter Robin Lehner, who was hurt in the second period against Carolina. Lehner was unable to play Wednesday. With Craig Anderson already out with a hand injury, Hammond got the start.
"He made some really key saves, especially on a Pacioretty breakaway, and overall I think he was really solid," Senators captain Erik Karlsson said. "He played the pucks and helped out in the defensive zone. I don’t think we could have asked for anything more from him."
The Senators opened the third period with a 2-1 lead before Stone gave them some insurance with a power-play goal at 9:27.
Karlsson’s shot hit the post and Tokarski’s pads before coming to a rest 6 inches from the goal line. Stone was first to the puck, and he was awarded the goal after video review confirmed it wasn’t kicked in.
Beaulieu got the Canadiens back within a goal when he scored at 14:25 to make it 3-2.
Turris sealed the Senators’ win by scoring an empty-net goal with 1:31 left.
"We played a game that we can’t play," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "It was good to get 44 shots, but we gave up too much to our opponents."
There was no scoring in the first period but there were several offensive opportunities. The teams combined for 27 shots and struck a goal post three times on other drives — including one by Canadiens forward Brandon Prust, who fired a puck while alone at the top edge of the crease with a wide-open net in front of him.
"The first period alone we had 11 chances against and that’s way too many," Pacioretty said. "It’s not our style of play and it’s not the way we’ve had success."
The furious pace continued into the second period. Montreal had most of the early momentum, with 11 shots in the opening seven minutes.
The Senators took a 1-0 lead, though, as Michalek won a goal-mouth battle and jammed a puck past Tokarski at 11:26.
It didn’t take long for the Canadiens to respond as Pacioretty scored on a breakaway by beating Hammomd with a wrist shot through the legs. Hammond stopped the first 26 shots he had faced.
The Senators took the lead again at 18:13 when Pageau scored from the top of the crease when he tipped in a slap pass from Karlsson, who had two assists for the fourth straight game.
NOTES: Clarke MacArthur, Patrick Wiercioch and Robin Lehner were scratched by the Senators. Manny Malholtra, Mike Weaver and Sergei Gonchar sat out for the Canadiens. … Therrien coached his 649th game, moving him ahead of John Muckler for 46th on the NHL career list.