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02/03/2013 6:31 PM EST
Desharnais, Cole lead Canadiens over Senators 2-1
MONTREAL 2, OTTAWA 1

MONTREAL (AP) -- It took Max Pacioretty one shift to show he has
completely recovered from an appendectomy.



Only eight days after undergoing the emergency procedure, the
left wing found the puck in the slot and slid it to the net for
David Desharnais to tip in for a goal that helped the Montreal
Canadiens to a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday.



Pacioretty, who was expected to be out for three to four weeks,
looked as strong as ever as he skated a regular shift on the top
line with Desharnais and Erik Cole, picking up his fifth point
in four games he's played this season.



"I just trusted that those two battling would make the right
play and it ended up right on my stick," he said of the goal
that tied the game 1-1 at only 2:13 of the period after Jakob
Silfverberg opened the scoring for Ottawa.



"That's what I mean about them doing the heavy lifting early
on."



Pacioretty's ability to bounce back from injuries causes fans
and even his teammates to shake their heads in wonder.



In the 2010-11 season, he was carried off the Bell Centre ice on
a stretcher with a concussion and a broken vertebrae in his neck
after crashing headfirst into a stanchion. But he was back on
his feet within days.



He missed the last 15 games of the regular season and the first
round of the playoffs, but might have been back if the Canadiens
had advanced further. He responded with a breakout, 33-goal
season in 2011-12 and was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy for
persistence and dedication.



Pacioretty said resilience is something he has learned.



"I look at adversity as a good thing," he said. "I've had to
deal with a lot in my career, whether it be injuries or getting
sent down.



"I've had a bumpy road here in Montreal and I wouldn't change
any of it for a second. It's made me the player and the person I
am and I'm thankful to have got all these opportunities."



Cole had the winner later in the first period for the Canadiens
(6-2-0), who swept home games on consecutive afternoons after a
6-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.



The Senators (5-3-1) were coming off a 1-0 loss in Carolina on
Friday night and are struggling to score with top center Jason
Spezza out with a sore back.



Goaltenders Carey Price and Craig Anderson were both at the top
of their games as Ottawa outshot Montreal 33-32.



Price may have caught a break as a goalie interference call
nullified a goal by defenseman Andre Benoit 1:26 into the third
frame. Price was outside the crease when Silfverberg learned
into him as Benoit shot.



Price made no comment. When asked if he thought it was the right
call, Montreal coach Michel Therrien smiled but also said
nothing.



"We thought we had tied the game and they waived it off," said
Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson. "We didn't think it should
have been waived off but that's the way it goes.



"We still had some good chances after that. It wasn't to be."



Price is on a roll, having won six starts in a row since
dropping a 2-1 decision to Toronto on opening night Jan. 19.



The Canadiens opened last season 1-5-2 and ended up last in the
Eastern Conference. They have won five in a row at home, while
last season playing at the Bell Centre was a chore as the team
went a tepid 16-15-10.



"You never know what to expect when you have a new coach, new
system and everything," said defenseman Josh Gorges. "We have a
group here that wants to get it done. They want to pay the
price, win the battles."



Pacioretty's return gave Montreal an almost completely healthy
lineup and dropped Lars Eller from the first to the fourth line
a day after he had three points against the Sabres.



The game was only 36 seconds old when Tomas Plekanec was sent
off for goalie interference and Ottawa used the man advantage to
take the lead at 1:38. Patrick Wiercioch found Silfverberg at
the far blue-line with a stretch pass during a Montreal line
change and the rookie went in alone to beat Price on the glove
side.



Pacioretty slid a puck to the net that Desharnais tipped past
Anderson to tie it at 2:12.



A Montreal power play had just ended when Cole lifted a feed
from Francis Bouillon over Anderson at 11:29.



P.K. Subban picked up a point in a second straight game since he
returned after a contract dispute. He also had to leave the ice
for a second day in a row to have a skate repaired, missing the
opening 10 minutes of the third period.



Notes: With Pacioretty's return, reserve C Petteri Nokelainen
(back) is Montreal's only injured player. ... Ryan White was
scratched for a second game, joining Tomas Kaberle and Yannick
Weber. ... Sergei Gonchar and Guillaume Latendresse sat for the
Senators, who are also without Jason Spezza (back) and Jared
Cowen (hip).

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