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Montreal Canadiens defenceman Shea Weber and Ottawa Senators centre Derick Brassard battle for the puck during the third period at Bell Centre in Montreal on March 25, 2017. (Jean-Yves Ahern/USA Today Sports)
Montreal Canadiens defenceman Shea Weber and Ottawa Senators centre Derick Brassard battle for the puck during the third period at Bell Centre in Montreal on March 25, 2017. (Jean-Yves Ahern/USA Today Sports)

Markov scores twice, sets up Weber as Canadiens top Senators 3-1 Add to ...

Andrei Markov scored two goals and set up another as the Montreal Canadiens downed the Ottawa Senators 3-1 on Saturday night to retain first place in the NHL Atlantic Division.

Shea Weber also scored for Montreal (42-24-9), which leads Ottawa by three points although the Senators hold one game in hand.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for Ottawa (41-25-8), who ended a two-game winning run.

Montreal swept three games in an eight-day span from the Senators and were 3-1-1 against their closest rival geographically this season.

Shots were 32-24 in Ottawa’s favour.

The Senators controlled most of the play and outshot Montreal 11-6 in the first period but the Canadiens emerged with the lead when Weber blasted in his 17th of the season from the left point during a power play at 9:28 after Erik Karlsson was sent off for holding.

Montreal turned the tables in the second and Markov walked in from the left point and drilled a shot past Craig Anderson at 1:13.

Karlsson’s pass into the middle of Ottawa’s zone was picked off by Markov for a blast from the slot on a power play at 5:55. It was the 38-year-old Markov’s first two-goal game since Jan. 11, 2014.

Mike Hoffman made a clever move at the Montreal blue-line and fed Pageau for an off-speed shot that fooled Carey Price at 12:11. It was Pageau’s seventh goal in 15 career games against the Canadiens.

Anderson played his 500th regular season game (235-181-55). 7-1-1 in last nine.

With Marc Methot (finger) and Viktor Stralberg (upper body) out, Fredrik Claesson moved in as Karlsson’s defence partner. Mark Stone returned after seven games with a lower body injury.

Nathan Beaulieu and Dwight King returned to the Montreal lineup replacing Brandon Davidson and Andreas Martinsen.

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