WATCH: The Canadiens said after their 5-1 loss to Ottawa that the Senators did a good job of diverting goaltender Carey Price’s attention.
MONTREAL – Bobby Ryan and Patrick Wiercioch scored in the first period and Craig Anderson made 45 saves as the Ottawa Senators downed the Montreal Canadiens 5-1 on Friday night to surge back into their first-round NHL playoff series.
Montreal still leads the best-of-seven series 3-2 but the Senators can tie it up on home ice on Sunday night. Coming off a 1-0 win on Wednesday, Ottawa is hoping to become only the fifth team ever to win a series after trailing 3-0.
“When you’re facing elimination the pressure’s on you and with each game you win, the pressure’s on them,” said Senators head coach Dave Cameron.
Erik Karlsson, Erik Condra and Mike Hoffman also scored for Ottawa, which fired 25 shots at Carey Price.
Tom Gilbert scored for Montreal.
Anderson has been a wall in goal since he replaced Andrew Hammond for Game 3 – allowing only three goals on 123 shots in three starts. Among his best saves was a stop on a Tomas Plekanec short-handed breakaway in the second period and a point blank stop on Alex Galchenyuk.
The veteran goaltender’s play has been reminiscent of 2013 when he backstopped the Senators to an upset of Montreal in the opening round.
“He has a history of being a real good goalie in crucial games in the playoffs,” said Cameron. “I don’t know why anyone’s surprised.”
Montreal’s anaemic power play went 0 for 3 and is now 1 for 19 for the series.
The Canadiens stormed out and had six early shots, while the Senators didn’t get a shot on Price until the 8:42 mark. But Ottawa scored on its second attempt, when Ryan fired one through a Mika Zibanejad screen at 9:29.
Wiercioch had time to wait for a screen to form and then picked the top of the net with a shot Price has no way of seeing at 15:39, giving Ottawa the first two-goal lead by any team in the series.
Karlsson scored on a blast from the point on a power play 14:29 into the second frame to make it 3-0.
The Bell Centre crowd sprang back to life when Gilbert’s shot from against the left boards at the point got through with Dale Weise parked in front of Anderson 1:44 into the third period.
Condra sealed the win, however, when he caused a turnover and went in alone to deke out Price at 14:02.
There was a late skirmish when Anderson poked Brandon Prust near the crease and he was speared in return. P.K. Subban and Eric Gryba got 10-minute misconducts for an entertaining wrestling match on the same stoppage of play.
Hoffman scored on the ensuing power play at 19:10.
Notes – Ottawa’s Clarke MacArthur left after the second period with a lower-body injury. . . The Senators put fourth liner Alex Chiasson back in after sitting out two games in favour of Chris Neil, who was a healthy scratch. . . Montreal went with the same lineup as Game 4, so P.A. Parenteau was scratched and Greg Pateryn played in place of injured rearguard Nathan Beaulieu.