Canadiens edge Senators in shootout to take first half of home-and-home series
Montreal Canadiens centre Alex Galchenyuk (27) puts the puck wide past Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, March 18, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, March 18, 2017 11:10PM EDT
OTTAWA -- Paul Byron and Alexander Radulov scored in the shootout as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-3 Saturday night in the first half of a home-and-home series.
The two teams will have little time to regroup as they faceoff Sunday night in Montreal.
With the win, the Canadiens (40-23-8) take a two-point lead over the Senators (39-23-8) for first in the Atlantic Division.
Andrew Shaw, Philip Danault and Brendan Gallagher scored for Montreal in regulation as Carey Price made 28 saves.
Derick Brassard, Ryan Dzingel and Erik Karlsson scored for the Senators as Craig Anderson, who had missed the past two games with a lower-body injury, made 29 saves.
There had been some debate Saturday morning as to who would start for the Senators, as it remained questionable whether Anderson was fit to play.
The sellout crowd of 19,531 at Canadian Tire Centre was treated to action from start to finish as the two teams battled fiercely.
The Senators had a chance to win the game in overtime when Max Pacioretty took a penalty, but were unable to capitalize.
Trailing 2-1 to start the third, the Canadiens took full momentum by scoring twice within 31 seconds.
Danault tied the game as he was able to beat Anderson through the legs at the 6:15 mark -- it was Montreal's first shot of the period despite having just come off a power play. Then Gallagher gave the Canadiens the lead, beating Anderson over the shoulder from a sharp angle.
With just under five minutes remaining Karlsson tied the game with a shot from the point.
After 40 minutes the Senators held a 2-1 lead after scoring twice in a span of 76 seconds.
Montreal opened the scoring at the two-minute mark of the period after a defensive breakdown by Ottawa that allowed Danault to find Shaw all alone at the side of the net.
The Canadiens took advantage of the momentum and held the edge in play until the Senators tied things with a power-play goal at 12:36 as Kyle Turris found Brassard streaking through the slot and was able to beat Price stick side.
Just over a minute later Dzingel gave the Senators the lead as he battled for the puck at the side of the net and was able to squeeze it behind Price.
Things were scoreless after the first period, but not for a lack of action as both goalies made a number of big saves.
Notes: Ottawa D Mark Borowiecki was back in the lineup after missing the last four games with a lower-body injury. RW Mark Stone remains sidelined with a lower-body injury, missing his fourth straight game. Montreal D Alexei Emelin, LW Andreas Martinsen and RW Michael McCarron were healthy scratches.