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OT goal gives Senators a 3-1 series lead

The SportsXchange

OTTAWA -- Kyle Turris spun his Game 4 magic at Scotiabank Place for the second consecutive spring Tuesday night.

As he did in Game 4 against the New York Rangers in the first round of the 2012 playoffs, the Senators center scored in overtime Tuesday, helping Ottawa complete a stunning comeback that resulted in a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

The win, in front of 20,500 witnesses, presented the Senators a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Cory Conacher scored with 25.5 seconds remaining, the Senators' second goal in last half of the third period, forcing OT.

Turris' goal was off a shot from the left wing circle that appeared to go off the hand of Montreal defenseman Raphael Diaz -- who has gained attention in this series as "player 61" -- before slipping past goalie Peter Budaj on the short side at 2:32 of overtime.

Budaj came off the bench for overtime after Montreal's starting goalie, Carey Price, suffered a lower-body injury late in regulation.

"I was just trying to throw something on the net. Luckily, it went in," Turris said. "We know Game 5 is going to be a lot tougher. We've got to play a full 60 minutes instead just the last 20."

The Senators' first chance to finish off the Habs will be Thursday, when the teams meet in Montreal.

Like Price, Montreal spark plug Brandon Prust was injured in the third and is questionable for Game 5.

"We've got to fight for our lives," Montreal defenseman Josh Gorges said. "We're facing elimination now, and none of us want to go home, none of us are done playing.

"We've got a lot of pride in this room ... there's no tomorrow for us anymore, so we've got to play that way."

Goals 62 seconds apart early in the second by P.K. Subban and Alex Galchenyuk had the Habs on their way to evening the series before the Senators finally hit the board with 8:05 to go on a goal by rookie Mika Zibanejad. Fellow rookie Conacher tied things up off a goal-mouth scramble -- with goalie Craig Anderson on the bench for an extra attacker in the last minute.

While Conacher said the goal was "probably" the biggest of his career, Zibanejad's was not without a two-fold controversy. Replays were needed to determine that he had not intentionally kicked the puck into the net, but Montreal coach Michel Therrien complained afterward about the location of the crucial draw Montreal lost just before the goal.

"I don't understand why they decided to put the faceoff on the right side when the puck was shot from the left side," said Therrien. "We sent our left (shooting) centerman. ... Every detail counts. We would have sent different guys on the ice.

"It's not supposed to happen ... not at that level."

Said Zibanejad: "I was just hoping for the goal. I was pretty sure (it was a goal) when it happened. It took a weird bounce off my stick or skate ... whatever. They allowed it, so it's a good goal."

Therrien had no qualms with the effort of his players.

"We came to play," he said. "We certainly deserved a better fate. It's tough to explain."

The Canadiens, who were 0-3 at Scotiabank Place during the season and are now winless in two playoff games there, will do what they can to get back to Ottawa for a Game 6. A better third period would help. So far this series, they have been outscored 9-0 in the final 20 minutes of the four games.

"Usually, when you're up 3-1 you're in the driver's seat, but we don't really ever feel comfortable," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "But what a game. I thought it was a heckuva game."

NOTES: Senators defenseman Eric Gryba returned from the two-game suspension he received for his hit on Lars Eller in the series opener. Prust, who had ominously wished Gryba wasn't penalized by the league, sought his own justice in the first period when he took two minutes for a hit to Gryba's head. ... Gryba replaced injured rookie defenseman Patrick Wiercioch ... For the second time in the series, Montreal captain Brian Gionta was scratched from the lineup with an uppe- body injury. Gionta, who played Games 1 and 3, has 31 career playoff goals, by far the most of any Canadien. ... Also out of the Habs lineup was Ryan White, while Jeff Halpern and Gabriel Dumont were back in. ... Two Canadiens were nominated for NHL awards earlier in the day -- Subban for the Norris Trophy, given to the league's best defenseman, and Brendan Gallagher for the Calder Trophy, which goes to the top rookie. Before the game, Gorges called Subban "definitely one of the dominant players in the game." Of Gallagher, Gorges said: "His attitude speaks volumes of what kind of a player he is. He's just a guy that loves hockey and he plays that way." ... After becoming the only the second Senator to record a playoff hat trick, 20-year old center Jean-Gabriel Pageau lead the team with two shots and its best scoring chance in the first period Tuesday.
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