Plekanec scores twice, Canadiens beat Senators 3-1
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Mike Condon got all the help he needed in his NHL debut for the Montreal Canadiens.
Condon made 20 saves, and Tomas Plekanec scored twice in the first period in the Canadiens’ 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night.
The 25-year-old Condon allowed only Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s short-handed goal midway through the second period in the Senators’ home opener.
”It was exciting and I thought the guys played an awesome game,” Condon said. ”I think we only had 15 shots against going into the third period and then only maybe five or six scoring chances, so it made my workload very light.”
The former Princeton star spent the last three seasons in the minors.
”I felt better as the game went on, but obviously I wanted to win,” said O’Connor, from Needham, Massachusetts. ”It was a bit of a goalie duel with Condon getting his first NHL game as well. There’s some stuff to work on, but overall felt pretty comfortable and felt like I made a good effort.”
Montreal improved to 3-0-0, with star goalie Carey Price in goal for the first two games.
”(Condon) made some key saves at the right time,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. ”This is just something that he did through the course of the training camp and he played really well for us to get the first win is always something special for any player.”
Torrey Mitchell added a goal for Montreal in the third period.
Matt O’Connor made 31 saves for Ottawa in his NHL debut. The Senators are 2-1-0.
”I think after the first goal I thought Matt was good,” Ottawa coach Dave Cameron said. ”He certainly wasn’t our issue.”
Plekanec opened the scoring at 9:41 of, beating O’Connor with a sharp angle shot. Plekanec added his third the season with 1:26 left, breaking in alone and beat O’Connor through the legs.
Pageau pulled Ottawa with one in a 2-one-1 break with Curtis Lazar.
Mitchell redirected P.K. Subban’s shot from just inside the blue line at 5:41 of the third, leaving O’Connor with little chance.
Notes: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk took part in a ceremonial opening faceoff with his two daughters. He had a liver transplant this year. … Condon and O’Connor are the first goalies to make their first NHL starts in the same game since Oct. 14, 1967.