Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price makes a save against Ottawa Senators' Sergei Gonchar (not shown) as Senators forward Milan Michalek (9) looks for the rebound during second period of game two first round NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey action in Montreal

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price makes a save against Ottawa Senators' Sergei Gonchar (not shown) as Senators forward Milan Michalek (9) looks for the rebound during second period of game two first round NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey action in Montreal

Habs event the series with Senators

MONTREAL — After watching centre Lars Eller stretchered off the Bell Centre ice after a horrific open ice hit in the series opener, the Montreal Canadiens and goaltender Carey Price knew they had to answer with a big Game 2. Price came through with a 29-save effort as the Canadiens pulled out a hard-hitting but mostly cleanly played 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Friday night.

MONTREAL — After watching centre Lars Eller stretchered off the Bell Centre ice after a horrific open ice hit in the series opener, the Montreal Canadiens and goaltender Carey Price knew they had to answer with a big Game 2.

Price came through with a 29-save effort as the Canadiens pulled out a hard-hitting but mostly cleanly played 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Friday night.

The win left their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final tied at 1-1 heading into Game 3 on Sunday in Ottawa.

“It’s the playoffs — you can’t dwell on the last game,” said Price, who took heat for two goals that beat him between the pads in a 4-2 loss to Ottawa in the series opener only 24 hours earlier. “You’ve got to get refocused and get ready for the next one.”

Fourth-line grinder Ryan White, rookie Brendan Gallagher and veteran sniper Michael Ryder scored in the middle period and the Canadiens held on to beat the flat-looking Senators, who were let down by a power play that went 0-for-4.

Milan Michalek scored for Ottawa.

Missing not only Eller, but captain Brian Gionta and big winger Max Pacioretty who emerged from Game 1 with upper-body injuries, the Canadiens stuck to basics. They outshot Ottawa 34-30 and outhit them 37-26.

There was anticipation of rough play after Eric Gryba’s hit that left Eller bleeding profusely on the ice and saw him spend a night in hospital with a concussion, smashed up nose and some missing teeth.

Passions were further inflamed Friday morning as Montreal coach Michel Therrien blasted his Ottawa counterpart Paul MacLean for what he felt were disrespectful comments. MacLean had suggested Eller should have kept his head up and that rearguard Raphael Diaz had left him open to a hit with a “suicide” pass.

But the teams stuck to hockey in an uneventful game.

“When I read his comments this morning, I was pretty upset,” said Therrien.

MacLean just stared off into space without answering when asked about the two-game suspension Gryba got from the NHL.

But he was clear on what caused his team to lose the game.

“They played harder than we did for most of the game,” MacLean said. “We turned over pucks that ended up in our net.

“We need a lot of rest and on Sunday, we need to come out and play. We got a split here and now we have home ice advantage. Now we have to respond to that.”

The spotlight was on Price, who was porous down the stretch in the regular season and was thoroughly outplayed in Game 1 by Craig Anderson. He took more criticism for failing to speak to the media after the game.

But he was solid only 24 hours later, and got help from teammates who blocked 34 shots, including five each by Josh Gorges and P.K. Subban

“The guys were letting me see the puck,” said Price. “They did an excellent job of getting to the trash I left out. We’re going to need the same type of effort in Game 3.”

Subban was not surprised.

“When he wants to shut the door, he shuts it and he locks it,” the flashy defenceman said.

The win cost Price the bottom of his two front teeth thanks to a collision in the crease with teammate Jarred Tinordi. He calmly skated to the team bench to hand over the broken choppers.

Curiously, Anderson had lost a tooth while winning Game 1 from being hit in the mask by a Rene Bourque shot.

Montreal broke the ice with two quick goals early in the second frame.

White skated hard into the Ottawa zone and was there to bat Erik Karlsson’s backhand pass out of the air and between Anderson’s pads at 3:20.

Only 53 seconds later, Alex Galchenyuk took the rebound of a Francis Bouillon shot and slipped it across to Gallagher for the rookie’s second goal of the series.

Ottawa had an extra man on for a delayed penalty call when Michalek tipped in a Chris Phillips shot at 8:16.

A sliding pad save by Price during an Ottawa power play proved to be big, as Montreal killed it off and then scored as Bourque slid the puck through a scramble to Ryder for a shot into an open side at 18:57.

The Canadiens backed Therrien’s rebuttal to MacLean’s comments.

“We saw our teammate, our friend, get hurt,” said Gallagher. “You have to understand how emotional that is for us.

“When we hear stuff like that we’re pretty sensitive about it. We didn’t like it, but that’s all I’ll say about it.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

If you're heading out to the West Country have a plan in case things go wrong, says Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services fire chief Steve Debienne.
(Photo from CRFRS Facebook)
West Country visitors should have an emergency plan: regional fire chief

Cellphones can’t be relied on in many back country areas

Rode
Sarcevic leads an impressive list of additions to RDC Kings soccer

In 2019 the RDC Kings soccer program took a major step forward… Continue reading

The Red Deer PCN Women's Fun Run will take on a different look this weekend with rising COVID-19 numbers.
Women’s Fun Run goes ahead this weekend in Red Deer

With new public health measures in place because of rising COVID-19 case… Continue reading

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw asked Albertans to limit travel throughout the province as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears 900 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports additional 2,211 COVID-19 cases

David Eggen, the NDP’s advanced education critic, said the UCP government has been focused on cutting funding to post-secondary institutions across Alberta. (Contributed photo)
NDP worry new status for Red Deer College doesn’t mean more funding

This week the province announced that RDC will become a polytechnic institute

Alberta Health Services locked the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror on Wednesday morning after owner Christopher Scott refused to comply with health orders. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)
UPDATED: AHS shuts down Whistle Stop Cafe for defying health orders

Justice minister promises to get tough with those ignoring public health orders

Wizards beat Raptors in OT, Toronto playoff bid nearly over

Wizards beat Raptors in OT, Toronto playoff bid nearly over

Toronto Blue Jays' Teoscar Hernandez (37) hits a single to drive in two runs against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Grichuk drives in 5, Jays beat A’s 10-4 for series split

Grichuk drives in 5, Jays beat A’s 10-4 for series split

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame 2019 inductee Jayna Hefford speaks in Toronto on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Three Canadian teams to play in women’s hockey Dream Gap Tour in Calgary

Three Canadian teams to play in women’s hockey Dream Gap Tour in Calgary

Rugby Canada says some members of women’s sevens team have tested positive for COVID

Rugby Canada says some members of women’s sevens team have tested positive for COVID

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson, centre, makes a shot as lead Briane Meilleur, left, and second Shannon Birchard sweep against Denmark at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, May 6, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Einarson’s five-game win streak ends with loss to Japan at world curling playdowns

Einarson’s five-game win streak ends with loss to Japan at world curling playdowns

FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2020, photo, the Olympics rings are reflected on the window of a hotel restaurant as a server with a mask sets up a table, in the Odaiba section of Tokyo. The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with less than 1% vaccinated. This of course is spilling over to concerns about the postponed Tokyo Olympics that open in just over three months.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Canadian athletes, coaches applaud news of vaccine doses ahead of Tokyo

Canadian athletes, coaches applaud news of vaccine doses ahead of Tokyo

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals pressed to ease access to EI parental leave to help unemployed moms

Liberals pressed to ease access to EI parental leave to help unemployed moms

Katie Telford, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, appears as a witness via videoconference during a House of Commons finance committee in Ottawa, Thursday, July 30, 2020. The Canadian Press has learned that Katie Telford has written members of the defence committee inquiry into allegations of sexual misconduct against Canada's former top military commander, offering to testify at their meeting Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
PM’s chief of staff offers to testify on Vance sexual misconduct allegations

PM’s chief of staff offers to testify on Vance sexual misconduct allegations

Most Read