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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Montreal Canadiens scored on two of their first three shots and continued to lay it on the slumping Ottawa Senators for a lopsided 7-1 win on Friday.
The Northeast Division rivals continue to head in different directions in the standings as the second-place Canadiens have won seven of their last 10 games, while the last-place Senators have lost five straight.
Tomas Plekanec scored twice and Max Pacioretty and Andrei Kostitsyn each had a goal and an assist while Scott Gomez had two assists to lead the Canadiens.
Following goals by Benoit Pouliot and Plekanec, Chris Kelly briefly interrupted the Canadiens' early momentum with a score near the mid-point of the first period to draw the Senators to within one goal at 2-1.
Brian Gionta and Pacioretty scored early in the second period ending Ottawa's starting goalie Mike Brodeur's night.
Plekanec scored his second of the game on Brian Elliott in the second period and Kostitsyn and P.K. Subban added two more in the third period.
Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; editing by Rex Gowar