OTTAWA -- The rivalry between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens reached new nasty levels at Scotiabank Place Sunday night.
When the dust had settled, the Senators had themselves a 6-1 victory and a 2-1 series lead in the opening round, best-of-seven playoff series.
The Senators scored four goals during a fight-filled third period in front of 20,249 excited fans to keep the home-ice advantage they stole from the Habs in Montreal.
Leading the way was Ottawa native Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who recorded his first NHL playoff goal, then followed up with two more to complete the hat trick.
Pageau's first of the night, at 4:40 of the second period, broke a 1-1 tie and was scored while he was taking a stick in the mouth from Montreal's P.K. Subban.
Pageau increased the Senators' lead to 3-1 with a second high wrist shot past Carey Price at 1:18 of the third.
Following a goal by Kyle Turris that gave the Senators a three-goal cushion less than six minutes later, things got ugly. Off the next faceoff, a full-scale brawl ensued that resulted in multiple player ejections.
More fisticuffs would follow after Jakob Silfverberg made it 5-1. Subban was given a game misconduct for jumping Turris and pummeling him while he tried to fight back from his back.
Pageau added his third of the night on a power play, with 1:58 remaining.
The game finished with five players on the Senators bench and just six left sitting in front of Habs coach Michel Therrien.
Rene Bourque erased a 1-0 Ottawa lead when his fended off a stick check from Zack Smith to score his second of the playoffs at 14:34 of the first with the Habs on a power play.
The Senators made good with a 5-on-3 advantage in the first period -- but they could have done better. When Daniel Alfredsson pounded home his own rebound after taking a pass from Sergei Gonchar, there was still 1:41 left on the second penalty. Yet during the remaining time, Ottawa never really tested Price.
NOTES: The Canadiens were bolstered by the return of top forwards Brian Gionta and Max Pacioretty, both of whom missed Game 2 and were listed as "game time decisions" for Sunday by coach Michel Therrien. ...Before leaving Montreal Saturday, the team visited with Lars Eller, who suffered a concussion and multiple facial wounds on the controversial Game 1 hit by Senators rookie Eric Gryba. "Lars looks good," said Therrien, before adding with a chuckle: "He looked better before." ... Even though he scored one of the three goals by Ottawa forwards in the first two games, Guillaume Latendresse was a healthy scratch for Game 3. Coach Paul MacLean said Latendresse needed to raise his competitiveness level and his physical play, while many understood that to mean MacLean was not happy that he didn't fight back when Ryan White pushed him around at the buzzer to end Game 2. Taking Latendresse's spot was Cory Conacher, who was a healthy scratch in Game 2. The only other Ottawa change was on defense, where rookie Patrick Wiercioch replaced Andre Benoit ... Interesting numbers heading into Sunday: The Senators had won only one of their previous nine home playoff games, while the Canadiens had won only one of their previous nine Game 3s.