Brendan Gallagher has a shot stopped by Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson… (Graham Hughes / Associated…)
Craig Anderson made 48 saves in a spectacular performance as the visiting Ottawa Senators beat the Montreal Canadiens, 4-2, Thursday night in Game 1 of their playoff series.
Jakob Silfverberg and Marc Methot scored early in the third period to give Ottawa a 3-2 lead. Erik Karlsson and Guillaume Latendresse also scored for the Senators, who were outshot, 50-31, but saw Anderson easily win the goaltending duel with Carey Price, who was beaten twice through the pads.
Rene Bourque and Brendan Gallagher scored for Montreal, which set a team record for shots in a regulation-time playoff game.
The first playoff series between the Northeast Division rivals didn't take long to get nasty.
Montreal center Lars Eller was wheeled off on a stretcher bleeding heavily from the nose and was taken to a hospital because of what the team said were head and facial injuries after he was caught with a shoulder to the face on an open-ice hit from Senators defenseman Eric Gryba.
Gryba was given an interference major and a game misconduct and could face further discipline from the NHL.
Anderson was especially sharp as the Senators weathered a fierce Canadiens push in the first 10 minutes before Karlsson put on a show for the opening goal at 17:25.
The 2012 Norris Trophy winner skated through the neutral zone and worked a give-and-go with Kyle Turris, redirecting the return pass along the ice between Price's pads.
Montreal fired 27 shots in the middle period, a team playoff record, and tied the score. Bourque came out from behind the net and beat Anderson with a backhander under the crossbar on Montreal's 34th shot.
After Gryba's hit and with Ottawa down a man, Gallagher banged in Tomas Plekanec's pass to put Montreal in the lead.
But the Senators killed off the rest of the penalty and trailed just 2-1 after two period as Anderson kept it close.
at Washington 3, New York Rangers 1: Alex Ovechkin's franchise-record 31st playoff goal got the Capitals started before less-heralded teammates Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera scored 46 seconds apart, and Washington beat the Rangers in Game 1.
Ovechkin, a two-time most valuable player who led the NHL with 32 goals this season, crashed the net to score on a power play about seven minutes into the second period to tie the score.
Carl Hagelin put New York ahead 1-0 in the first period — the only puck that made it past Braden Holtby, who finished with 35 saves.