MONTREAL -- Alexei Kovalev didn't want to say much about what closing in on the 1,000-point milestone means to him. Ultimately, he said it all.
Kovalev, who played for Montreal from 2003-09, opened the scoring late in the first period. He added his second goal of the game on a power play 6:42 into the third, a slap shot through traffic past Carey Price that restored Ottawa's two-goal lead at 3-1.
"Let me close on it first -- we'll talk about it after," Kovalev said. "It's a great achievement, that's all I can say. You know, you look back and you get to the NHL at 19 years old and now you're over 1,000 games and getting to 1,000 points. I mean, it's a long journey and a big achievement. I'm definitely proud of myself."
Ottawa enjoyed a 31-23 advantage in shots, including 17-6 in the second period.
"We did a good job right off the bat," Elliott said. "We quieted them down and scored a couple of goals. We didn't really give them much, especially in the second period. It was definitely good as a confidence builder. We just have to keep going."
"We had some flashes of good stuff but there were too many odd-man rushes and with guys like that, they're going to make you pay," Gionta said.
Kovalev got credit for his fourth goal of the season when he gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead 17:50 in. Karlsson's point shot through traffic struck the Russian veteran on its way past Price.
Smith, recalled from Binghamton of the AHL earlier in the day, put Ottawa up 2-0 in the second. He got his second of the season with a third effort on a loose puck Price was unable to cover up 12:15 into the middle period.
Spacek drew the Canadiens within 2-1 with 1:21 left in second. A video review confirmed that the Montreal defenseman's shot from the right point deflected off Sergei Gonchar's stick on its way past Elliott.
Montreal's Andrei Markov tipped a puck into the net 11:07 in. Referee Mike Leggo immediately waved off the goal because the Canadiens defenseman had made contact above the level of the crossbar.
Kovalev has 417 goals and 580 assists in 1,242 games with the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, Montreal and Ottawa. ... Elliott made his 10th straight start. ... Ds Alexandre Picard and Ryan O'Byrne and C Lars Eller did not dress for Montreal.