Canadiens vs. Senators Game 2: Montreal ties series in physical battle

USA TODAY Sports

Angered by the hit that knocked out Lars Eller in Game 1, the Habs came out hitting and scoring and never looked back.

The Montreal Canadiens won one for their fallen teammate Lars Eller, hitting and outplaying the Ottawa Senators in a 3-1 win that evened their first-round series at one game apiece.

Still bitter after Eric Gryba took out Eller in a Game 1 hit that earned Gryba a two-game suspension, the Canadiens came out hard, logging 18 hits to the Senators' seven in the first period. Rene Bourque memorably leveled Kyle Turris as the Canadiens tried to set a physical tone.

All of the goals in this one came in the second period though, the first two from Montreal in the first 4:13 of that frame. Ryan White, Brendan Gallagher and Michael Ryder scored for the Habs. Milan Michalek had the lone Senators goal to briefly make it a one-goal game.

Carey Price was much better than his Game 1 performance. He even survived a kick to the head, which he calmly dealt with by skating his now-absent tooth to the bench:

Priceteef_medium

Before the game we considered three questions. Now we have answers:

1. Will anything occur in Game 2 as a result of the Gryba hit?

Yes, but thankfully it was mostly lots of hitting, clean hitting. The Canadiens might have gone overboard in committing three physical penalties in the first, but they survived them. White and the Senators' Guillaume Latendresse each roughed each other up for two minors each at the end of the game.

2. Will Ottawa improve their face-off winning percentage?

Nope. They won just 42 percent, though Zack Smith was again their best, winning eight of his 14 draws.

3. Will Craig Anderson carry over his performance from Game 1?

Also no. This time, Anderson was not the hero, and the Canadiens got to him twice early in the second period. Those two goals were enough.

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