Senators eliminate Montreal
MONTREAL — Craig Anderson made 33 saves, and Cory Conacher scored twice on a shaky Peter Budaj as the Senators advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Thursday night with a 6-1 rout of the Canadiens.
Ottawa took the best-of-seven series, 4-1, and put a punctuation mark on its dominance in moving on for the first time since 2007, when the Senators lost in the Stanley Cup Final to Anaheim.
The victory gives Ottawa time to rest and heal bruises from the physical series before the conference semifinals.
Zack Smith, Kyle Turris, Daniel Alfredsson and Erik Condra also scored for Ottawa, underdogs as the seventh seed in the East but bolstered down the stretch by the return of top players on defense Erik Karlsson and Jared Cowan.
P.K. Subban scored for injury-struck Montreal, which failed to solve Anderson. The Canadiens scored only nine goals in the series, while their own spotty goaltending allowed 20.
Budaj made 23 saves in place of the injured Carey Price.
Desperate to stay alive, Montreal came out quickly, and Anderson robbed Rene Bourque with the glove on a one-timer in the opening moments.
At the other end, Budaj was on the hot seat and the nerves showed early as the Senators scored on their third shot. A generous rebound was left in front for Smith to backhand into an open net only 2:17 in.
Blackhawks 5, Wild 1 — In Chicago, Marian Hossa scored twice to back a strong effort by goalie Corey Crawford, and Chicago beat Minnesota to win its first-round playoff series 4-1.
Chicago is moving on in the postseason for the first time since the championship run in 2010, and will face either San Jose or Detroit if the Red Wings get past Anaheim.