MONTREAL -- The Ottawa Senators are playing at such a high level that they have to set ambitious targets to keep up their prodigious early-season pace.
"Whether we play well or don't play well, we're going to lose a few games this year," Heatley said. "A goal of ours is not to lose two in a row."
Martin Gerber stopped 36 shots for his league-leading 13th victory in 15 starts.
"I think you concentrate on trying to win every game," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "It's a nice thing to say that we don't want to lose two in a row. I remember Buffalo did the same thing last year. I personally don't take too much out of it. I think you've just got to go out and give it everything you have every night."
Guillaume Latendresse and Chris Higgins scored for Montreal, which has lost three of five.
"It may look like we had chances there, but if you want to win against those guys, we have to play a lot tighter defensively," Canadiens captain Saku Koivu said.
Heatley assisted on Neil's goal in the first. He scored his ninth of the season to put Ottawa up 3-1 in the second and assisted on Kelly's goal 1:16 into the third to increase the lead to 4-1.
Spezza had his first points in three games since returning to the lineup after missing six games because of a groin injury.
"Tonight was the night I thought I skated the best and didn't have to think about my groin," Spezza said. "The first two nights I felt like my groin was hindering me still a little bit."
The Canadiens honored Hall of Fame defenseman Larry Robinson before the game. Robinson became the 13th Montreal player to have his number retired by the team when his No. 19 was hoisted to the rafters.
Eaves opened the scoring with a power-play goal 3:47 in, and Neil combined with high-scoring linemates Spezza and Heatley to put Ottawa up 2-0 with his third goal at 8:57.
Latendresse cut the lead to 2-1 midway through the second with a power-play goal. The 20-year-old left wing fought off Senators defenseman Christoph Schubert's attempt to stick-check him enough to get off a backhand, which went in off Gerber's pad.
Heatley restored Ottawa's two-goal lead when he beat Cristobal Huet between the pads after receiving Neil's centering pass from the left side of the net.
After Kelly got his fourth goal early in the third to make it 4-1, Higgins got Montreal back within two at 4:31 when he beat Gerber with a wrist shot inside the left post from the right side for his seventh goal.
- Robinson's No. 19 was painted onto the ice behind both goals. All of the Canadiens players wore "Robinson" No. 19 jerseys during the pre-game ceremony and warmups.
- The Senators watched the entire ceremony on their bench even though it began one hour before the game was scheduled to begin.
- Canadiens RW Tom Kostopoulos served his automatic one-game suspension for instigating a fight late in a 7-4 victory against Boston on Saturday.