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Senators try to take two-game lead vs. Canadiens

by John Kreiser


(Ottawa leads best-of-7 series 1-0)


Big story: One night after the Ottawa Senators rode a 48-save performance by Craig Anderson to a Game 1 victory against the Montreal Canadiens, the teams are back on the ice at Bell Centre with the Canadiens desperately needing a win to even the series.

Team Scope:

Senators: Anderson led the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage during the regular season. He showed the full house in Montreal why in Game 1, keeping his team in the game until the offense heated up in the third period. Anderson stopped the first 33 shots he faced, and his 48 saves were one shy of the franchise playoff record. He has allowed just five goals on 114 shots in three games against the Canadiens this season.

"What can you say? Andy's our MVP," said defenseman Marc Methot, who scored the winning goal. "He's a machine back there. He just keeps going and going. We're lucky to have him in the net."

Canadiens: Coach Michel Therrien couldn't find much wrong with his team's performance in Game 1, except for the result. The Canadiens outshot Ottawa 50-31, including 27-7 in the second period, and dominated play for most of the game. But Anderson's brilliance and a so-so night by his Montreal counterpart, Carey Price, turned Friday's game into a must-win contest.

"I would say Anderson was better than him," was all Therrien would say when asked to assess Price's performance.

The Canadiens will try to get even without one of their hottest scorers. Center Lars Eller was leveled by a second-period check from Ottawa defenseman Eric Gryba that left him in a pool of blood. Eller was removed from the ice on a stretcher and taken to a hospital with a concussion, facial fractures and lost teeth.

"I can't comment," was all Therrien said about the hit, which earned Gryba a two-game suspension from the NHL on Friday.

Who's hot: Erik Karlsson, who returned last week after missing nearly 10 weeks with an Achilles tendon injury, had a goal, two assists and was plus-3 while devouring 29:11 of ice time. … Montreal rookie Brendan Gallagher had his first career playoff goal in the second period.

Injury report: Ottawa is still without No. 1 center Jason Spezza (back surgery). … In addition to Eller, Montreal is playing without defenseman Alexei Emelin (knee surgery). Brian Gionta and Max Pacioretty will also miss the game with upper-body injuries.

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