Dany Heatley scored twice in 38 seconds to rally the Ottawa Senators to a 3-2 road victory over the depleted Montreal Canadiens on Monday.
The loss left the Canadiens (41-28-10), who were playing without injured key defensemen Andrei Markov and Mathieu Schneider, in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They are a point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins (42-28-9) with three games left to play in the regular season.
The Canadiens could earn a playoff spot with a win at the New York Rangers (40-30-9) yesterday.
Chris Campoli opened the scoring for Ottawa on a second-period power play before Alexei Kovalev and Mathieu Dandenault gave Montreal a 2-1 lead.
Heatley leveled the score at 11:23 into the third period, then delivered the game-winner seconds later with his 37th goal of the season.
“I think we showed a lot coming back,” Heatley told reporters. “We had some chances all through the game and capitalized on a couple.”
Heatley’s first goal came on a scramble around the Montreal goal. He fired the second past Canadiens netminder Jaroslav Halak after a turnover.
“I’d like to see that one come back and I’m sure Halak feels the same way,” Montreal coach and general manager Bob Gainey said. “It went in under [Halak’s] arm but Heatley’s a guy who scores 40 goals every year.”
■WILSON TO LEAD US
AP, NEW YORK
Ron Wilson was chosen on Monday to lead the US men’s hockey team at the 2010 Vancouver Games, the second time the Toronto Maple Leafs coach has been given the Olympic job.
Wilson, a USA Hockey fixture as a player and coach for over 30 years, guided the US to the quarterfinals at the 1998 Nagano Games. He will also serve as the coach of the US team later this month at the world hockey championship in Switzerland.
His greatest accomplishment on the international stage came when he coached the US to the gold medal at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
Some players who starred on that club, such as Mike Modano, Bill Guerin, and Keith Tkachuk, are still active in the NHL and will merit consideration when the Olympic roster is formed, but general manager Brian Burke made it clear that next year’s club will be much younger.
“We’re going to have a young team, we’re going to have an aggressive team. We want to play an attacking style,” Wilson said. “That’s what I’ve tried to kind of incorporate here in Toronto with a very young team and an inexperienced team. We’ve had a little bit of success playing that way and I’d like to continue that.”
“We intend to field a competitive team. We’re going there to win. I’ve made no bones about that,” Burke said. “We understand the odds. We understand that we’ll probably be the youngest team in the field. We understand that there won’t be a whole lot of people pulling for us in that marketplace and there won’t be a lot of people that think we can do this, but we think we can.”
Wilson is in his first year as Maple Leafs coach after stints with the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Washington Capitals and guided the US to an upset win over Canada in the three-game final at the 1996 World Cup.