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

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

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.

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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.

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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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