Senators Win 4-2 Over Canadiens

The highly anticipated Game 1 of the “highway series” between the Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens finally was upon us Thursday night after a long 3 day stretch.  With the Senators having played on Sunday, fans in Eastern Ontario & most of Quebec had to wait to see the matchup most had hoped to see in the playoffs since Ottawa came back to the NHL.

It didn’t take long for the Habs to feed off their home crowd.  Montreal came out on fire, peppering Craig Anderson with shot after shot, only to be denied time after time.  Anderson would make 14 saves after 1 period and had a 1-0 lead after Erik Karlsson went end-to-end and re-directed Kyle Turris’ shot past Carey Price.

But the second period was a different story.  Craig Anderson continued to keep Ottawa ahead until he could no longer.  Mere seconds after an Ottawa power-play that NEVER was able to establish itself in the Montreal zone, let along get out of their own, Rene Bourque roofed a shot underneath the crossbar that Anderson had no chance on and the game was tied.

Then, this.

Gryba would get 5 minutes and a game for his hit on Lars Eller, giving the Canadiens an elongated power-play.  They wasted no time capitalizing as just 40 seconds in, Brendan Gallagher took a cross-crease pass and snuck it by Craig Anderson. But that was all they could get despite having the reminder of the major and a rather lengthy 5 on 3.

That late second period effort would pay off.  At the 3:27 mark of the third, Jakob Silfverberg let go a slapshot from just inside the blue line that Carey Price allowed to go through him to tie the game once again.  Then, while Daniel Alfredsson controlled play within the Habs zone, he dropped the puck off to Marc Methot, who beat Price under the crossbar and all of sudden, the Sens were back up by 1.  Finally, Silfverberg went back to the well, winding up on Price, only to have his rebound bank in off Guillaume Latendresse and in to increase the lead to 2 with just over 6 minutes to play.

Ottawa would fight off the Habs the rest of the way and secure the 4-2 victory.  An absolutely gritty performance lead by their goaltender Craig Anderson who made 48 saves.

Game 2 is tomorrow night!

Craig Anderson, Daniel Alfredsson, Erik Karlsson, Jakob Silfverberg & Coach MacLean (video – Senstv)

http://video.senators.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=244589

Notes:

Montreal set a new playoff record with 27 shots in the second frame.

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