Alfredsson returns, leads Sens past Habs

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MONTREAL (AP) — Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and two assists in his return to Ottawa’s lineup, and Zach Smith scored his first NHL goal in the Senators’ 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

Alfredsson, who missed 11 games because of a separated left shoulder, and Chris Phillips scored 1:22 apart to give Ottawa its second lead 5:07 into the second.

Mike Brodeur stopped 30 shots in his third career start and second in a row, including a 2-0 win in New York against the Rangers on Thursday night for his first shutout.

Alfredsson got his third point with his second assist as Mike Fisher scored into an empty net with 25.2 seconds remaining.

Ottawa’s consecutive wins follow a five-game losing streak.

Benoit Pouliot and Tomas Plekanec scored for Montreal, which has lost three of four against Ottawa this season.

Carey Price made 24 saves for Montreal. His record fell to 11-16-3.

Price had little chance on Phillips’ goal 5:07 into the second. Phillips was credited with his fifth of the season after his slap shot struck Plekanec’s stick on its way past Price.

Alfredsson had tied it at 2 moments earlier with his first goal since Nov. 28. The Ottawa captain, who had not scored in his previous 13 games when he was injured in an 8-2 loss in Pittsburgh on Dec. 23, got his 10th goal at 3:45 when he backhanded a rebound of Matt Carkner’s shot past Price.

Smith opened the scoring with a short-handed effort 11:26 in for his first goal in five games, including four this season. Recalled from Binghamtom of the AHL on Jan. 8, Smith took Alfredsson’s pass after the Canadiens turned over the puck on the power play and drove in to fire a wrist shot past Price into the top left corner from the top of the right faceoff circle.

Pouliot scored for the second straight game at 12:49 to tie it at 1.

Plekanec gave Montreal a short-lived 2-1 lead with his 11th goal 2:05 into the second. The Czech center’s sharp-angle shot from the right corner caught Brodeur by surprise and went in off the goalie’s legs.

Brodeur was called up from Binghamton of the AHL and pressed into action two nights earlier when both Ottawa goalies were unable to start in New York. The Senators lost No. 1 goalie Pascal Leclaire for a week with a concussion after he was struck by Mike Fisher;s slap shot in practice Thursday. Backup Brian Elliott was ill.

NOTES: Smith, who appeared in one game for the Senators last season, was selected 79th overall by Ottawa in the third round of the 2008 draft. … Pouliot has six goals in his last nine games. … Plekanec, who leads the Canadiens with 46 points, had gone five games without a point.