MONTREAL - Jakob Silfverberg and Marc Methot scored early in the third period as the Ottawa Senators rode brilliant goaltending from Craig Anderson to a 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
The win gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final series, with Game 2 set for Friday night at the Bell Centre.
Erik Karlsson and Guillaume Latendresse also scored for the Senators, who were outshot 50-31 but had Anderson easily win the goaltending dual with Carey Price, who was beaten twice through the five-hole.
The first playoff series between the Northeast Division rivals didn't take long to get nasty.
Montreal centre Lars Eller was wheeled off on a stretcher bleeding heavily from the nose and was taken to hospital with what the team said was head and facial injuries after he was caught with a shoulder to the face on an open-ice hit from Senators' defenceman Eric Gryba.
Gryba was given an interference major and a game misconduct and could face further discipline from the NHL.
Anderson was sharp as the Senators weathered a fierce Canadiens push in the first 10 minutes before Karlsson put on a show for the opening goal at 17:25.
The 2012 Norris Trophy winner skated through the neutral zone into Montreal territory and worked a give and go with Kyle Turris, redirecting the return pass along the ice between Price's pads.
Montreal fired 27 shots in the middle period, a team playoff record, and tied the game when Bourque came out from behind the net and beat Anderson with a backhand under the crossbar on Montreal's 34th shot of the game at 13:09.
The after the Gryba hit and Ottawa down a man, Gallagher banged in a Tomas Plekanec pass at 14:08 to put Montreal in the lead.
But the Senators weathered the rest of the penalty and trailed just 2-1 after two.
Silfverberg tied the game with a shot from the top of the right circle than went straight through Price's pads 3:27 into the third.
Less than two minutes later, Methot swept a shot from the point through traffic that caught the top corner for the game-winner.
Latendresse, a former Canadiens player who was booed by the Bell Centre crowd, went to the net and saw Silfverberg's shot go in off his body at 13:55 to ice the victory.
Notes: The Canadiens are now 50-28-2 all-time in playoff Game 1s. Ottawa is 11-11. ... Montreal sat out Jeff Halpern, Colby Armstrong, Davis Drewiske and Yannick Weber. ... Peter Regin, Matt Kassian, Patrick Wiercioch and Andre Benoit were among Ottawa's scratches. ... The game was the first between Canadian teams in the playoffs since 2004.
|Back to top|