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Senators mount third period comeback to take Game 1

The SportsXchange

MONTREAL -- The Ottawa Senators have Craig Anderson to thank for keeping them in their first playoff game ever in Montreal and giving them a chance to win.

Anderson made 48 saves and Jakob Silfverberg and Marc Methot scored goals 1:53 apart early in the third period to lead Ottawa to a come-from-behind 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night in their playoff opener.

Silfverberg drove a slap shot past Carey Price 3:27 into the third to draw the Senators even at 2. Methot scored at 5:20 to restore Ottawa's one-goal lead at 3-2.

Guillaume Latendresse scored at 13:55 to give the Senators a two-goal margin in a game where they were outshot 50-31 overall.

"My job is to stop the next shot and not worry about what the shot clock is or what the score is but just give the team an opportunity to be in the hockey game," said Anderson, who lost a tooth when he was struck on his mask by a shot.

Canadiens center Lars Eller was taken to a hospital after he was injured and bloodied on an open-ice hit by Ottawa defenseman Eric Gryba 13:28 into the middle period.

"My elbow was down and there was no intent to hurt him, whatsoever, and I hope he's O.K.," said Gryba, who got a major for interference and a game misconduct.

A Canadiens spokesman said after the game that Eller "suffered facial fractures and dental fractures" and would remain in hospital overnight for observation.

"We all saw the hit and I'm sure the league is going to review it and I'm not allowed to make any comment," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said.

Erik Karlsson scored late in the first for the Senators. Anderson stopped 25 shots in the second when Montreal scored twice during a playoff team-record shots barrage.

Rene Bourque and Brendan Gallagher scored goals 59 seconds apart in the second to give the Canadiens a 2-1 lead as Montreal broke its team playoff record for shots in a period with 27 on Anderson in the middle period.

"(Friday) if he stops 50 shots again, what are you going to do?" Therrien said. "We're not going to ask to get 100 shots. That doesn't happen. We knew we were facing a good goalie. We asked to get traffic, we had traffic, he was just good. And those things happen in the playoffs. You're facing a goalie that could make the difference and definitely tonight he did make the difference."

Price stopped 27 shots in the first playoff meeting between the teams.

Game 2 is Friday night in Montreal.

Karlsson opened the scoring 17:25 into the game when he drove to the net and redirected Kyle Turris' return pass between Price's pads 17:25 into the first.

Bourque drew Montreal even at 1 when came out from behind the net and beat Craig Anderson with a backhand 13:09 into the second.

The sold-out Bell Centre crowd of 21,273 was hushed moments later when Eller was injured and bloodied on Gryba's open-ice hit.

Eller left the ice on a stretcher with blood soaked into the ice and was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

Gryba was given a major for interference and a game misconduct.

Senators coach Paul MacLean blamed Montreal defenseman Raphael Diaz's pass for putting Eller in a vulnerable position. He evoked the names of several hard-hitting defensemen from hockey's past in defending Gryba.

"I think it's a hockey play that ended up going bad for Lars Eller," MacLean said. "Scott Stevens, Doug Harvey, Barclay Plager, Gord Kluzak, I mean that play has been there since this game has been around and I remember guys telling me, 'Don't go through there if you're not looking.'"

Gallagher was left alone at the left side of the net on the ensuing five-minute power play to put home Tomas Plekanec's pass through the crease from the right side.

The Canadiens had a goal disallowed 11:54 into the third. Referee Mike Leggo immediately waved it off and ruled that Montreal forward Brandon Prust had interfered with Anderson.

NOTES: The Senators and Canadiens split their four-game season series, with both posting a 2-1-1 mark. Each team won in regulation and in a shootout. ... It was the first time NHL teams from Ottawa and Montreal had met in the Stanley Cup playoffs since 1928. The original Ottawa Senators lost both games of their total-goals playoff against the Montreal Maroons in a quarterfinal series between the defunct teams, which both folded in the 1930s. ... The Canadiens played the original Senators four times in the playoffs during the NHL's first decade. The Canadiens won in 1919 and 1924, and the Senators won in 1923 and 1927. ... Defensemen Patrick Wierchioch, Andre Benoit and Mike Lundin, and forwards Peter Regin, Jim O'Brien, Matt Kassian and Mike Hoffman did not dress for Ottawa. ... Defensemen Davis Drewiske, Yannick Weber and Tomas Kaberle, and forwards Colby Armstrong and Jeff Halpern did not dress for Montreal.
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