Senators see off Canadiens in NHL play-offs

Ottawa goaltender Anderson makes the difference as they complete 4-1 series triumph

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 May, 2013, 5:14am

Cory Conacher scored twice and Craig Anderson stopped 33 shots as the Ottawa Senators beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-1 to reach the second round of the NHL play-offs.

The victory gave the Senators a 4-1 triumph in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series.

Erik Condra notched a goal and two assists for Ottawa. Kyle Turris, Zack Smith and Daniel Alfredsson also scored for the Senators.

P.K. Subban scored the lone goal for the Canadiens, who had to make do without captain Brian Gionta (bicep surgery), forwards Lars Eller (concussion, broken nose), Brandon Prust and Ryan White (upper-body injuries) and starting goaltender Carey Price - who sustained an unspecified lower-body injury late in game four.

Anderson's rock-solid play and some shaky moments for Montreal back-up Peter Budaj put the Senators through. Budaj was in for injured regular goalie Carey Price, who wasn't a standout when he played either.

Ottawa move on for the first time since 2007, when they lost in the Stanley Cup finals to the Anaheim Ducks.

"Finding a way to win two games in this building feels great and so was being able to finish it off on our first chance," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "Andy made some great saves and we took over more and more as the game went on."

In the Western Conference, the Chicago Blackhawks reached the second round with a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

Corey Crawford made 21 saves and Marian Hossa delivered two goals and an assist to help Chicago polish off a 4-1 series victory.

Marcus Kruger had a goal and an assist, Andrew Shaw and Patrick Sharp scored a goal apiece and Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews notched two assists each for the Blackhawks - who avoided a third straight first-round exit after winning the Stanley Cup in 2010.

Torrey Mitchell scored the Wild's only goal. Minnesota were in the play-offs for the first time since the 2007-09 season.

"We knew we hadn't done it in two years," Hossa said. "Minnesota, they still have a great team and are missing some players. We found a way. Now we get ready for the next round."

Agence France-Presse, Associated Press