Monday, December 11, 2017

Senators push on, Habs on brink

OTTAWA — Kyle Turris scored 2:32 into overtime, lifting the Senators past the Canadiens 3-2 Tuesday night to grab a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference playoff series.

Turris' shot from the sideboards sneaked past Montreal backup goalie Peter Budaj, who came on for the injured Carey Price at the start of overtime.

Cory Conacher, acquired in midseason from the Lightning in the trade that brought goalie Ben Bishop to Tampa Bay, scored with 22.6 seconds to go in regulation. Mika Zibanejad had the other goal for Ottawa, which got 26 saves from Craig Anderson.

P.K. Subban and Alex Galchenyuk scored 62 seconds apart in the second period for Montreal. Price had 30 saves and was injured on Conacher's tying goal late in the third.

Game 5 goes Thursday in Montreal in a series that has seen a little bit of everything.

Down 2-0 in the third and with little going their way, the Senators finally beat Price when Zibanejad's goal at 11:55 off a pass from Chris Neil. The puck went in off Zibanejad's skate, but was confirmed after video review.

Ottawa continued to push and tied it in a wild scramble with Anderson on the bench, sending the crowd of 20,500 at Scotiabank Place into a frenzy.

After carrying the play for long stretches of the first period, the Canadiens were finally rewarded in the second. Subban, who took 25 minutes in penalties in Sunday's fight-filled Game 3 and was booed every time he touched the puck, opened the scoring. He took a feed from Tomas Plekanec off the rush and roofed a shot past Anderson.

The defenseman celebrated by mimicking a high-five to a Canadiens fan by the glass before being mobbed by teammates.

Senators defenseman Eric Gryba was back after serving a two-game suspension for his hit on Montreal center Lars Eller in Game 1. Gryba had two shots and seven hits in 14:34 of ice time.

Islanders tie top seed

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Leads aren't safe in the wild first-round playoff matchup between the Islanders and Penguins. Suddenly, neither is East top seed Pittsburgh.

The latest big momentum shift swung sharply in the direction of the No. 8 seed Islanders.

John Tavares scored with 9:49 left, and the Islanders beat the Penguins 6-4 to tie the series at 2.

"We found a way today. Another roller coaster ride," Tavares said. "We learned from those games when we gave up leads — a lot of us said that one bounce can change a season."

Or end one.

Tavares slammed in his own rebound in front after Brad Boyes fed him following a turnover by Penguins star Evgeni Malkin. It was the Islanders' third one-goal advantage. Pittsburgh also led twice, each time by one goal.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped only 18 shots; Penguins coach Dan Bylsma was noncommittal on whether Fleury would start Game 5.

Blackhawks in command: The Blackhawks took a 3-1 series lead against the Wild in their West series, winning 3-0 in Minnesota as Patrick Sharp scored twice.

Corey Crawford had 25 saves for his second career playoff shutout. Chicago can clinch the series Thursday night in Game 5 at home.

Minnesota goalie Josh Harding left after the first period because of a left leg injury. Harding was hurt with about four minutes to play in the first on a collision with Chicago's Jonathan Toews.

Harding finished the period but backup Darcy Kuemper came out to start the second.

Also, Wild right wing Jason Pominville returned after missing about two weeks since taking an elbow to the chin from Kings captain Dustin Brown.

Sabres turn to Rolston: After the Sabres fired Lindy Ruff in February, they planned on an extensive offseason coaching search. Once they saw Ron Rolston in charge, those plans quickly changed. Rolston was hired as coach, dropping the interim title he was given on Feb. 20. He becomes the 16th head coach in Sabres history. Rolston was the only candidate considered for the job. He led Buffalo to a 15-11-5 record after being promoted from Buffalo's AHL affiliate in Rochester, N.Y. The team began 6-10-1, leading to Ruff's firing.

Norris finalists: Montreal's Subban, Pittsburgh's Kris Letang and Minnesota's Ryan Suter are finalists for the Norris Trophy for the top defenseman. Each is a finalist for the first time. The winner will be announced during the Stanley Cup final.

at Senators00213

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesDesharnais, Mon (hooking), 4:20; Prust, Mon (roughing), 16:53.

Second Period1, Montreal, Subban 1 (Plekanec, Ryder), 2:52. 2, Montreal, Galchenyuk 1 (Halpern, Tinordi), 3:54. PenaltiesMichalek, Ott (roughing), 17:43; Subban, Mon (interference), 19:26.

Third Period3, Ottawa, Zibanejad 1 (Neil, Gonchar), 11:55. 4, Ottawa, Conacher 1 (Alfredsson, Turris), 19:37. PenaltiesNone. First Overtime5, Ottawa, Turris 2 (Methot, Karlsson), 2:32. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalMontreal 9-14-4-1—28. Ottawa 9-10-13-2—34. Power-play opportunitiesMontreal 0 of 1; Ottawa 0 of 3. GoaliesMontreal, Price (32 shots-30 saves), Budaj 0-1-0 (0:00 first, 2-1). Ottawa, Anderson 3-1-0 (28-26). A20,500 (19,153). T2:58. Referees—Brad Meier, Tim Peel. LinesmenDavid Brisebois, Jonny Murray.

at Islanders1236

First Period1, N.Y. Islanders, Strait 1 (Visnovsky, Cizikas), 14:05. 2, Pittsburgh, Neal 1 (Malkin, Iginla), 14:50. PenaltiesMalkin, Pit (hooking), 1:26; Orpik, Pit (roughing), 7:01; Cooke, Pit (interference), 19:34.

Second Period3, N.Y. Islanders, Streit 1 (Hamonic, Boyes), 6:19 (pp). 4, Pittsburgh, Malkin 2 (Iginla, Fleury), 7:17. 5, Pittsburgh, Sutter 1 (Morrow, Cooke), 11:03. 6, N.Y. Islanders, Okposo 3 (Hamonic, Streit), 18:36. PenaltiesStrait, NYI (high-sticking), 3:26; Cooke, Pit (goaltender interference), 5:48; MacDonald, NYI (holding), 13:06.

Third Period7, Pittsburgh, Pa.Dupuis 4 (Kunitz, Crosby), :41. 8, N.Y. Islanders, Streit 2 (Cizikas, Boyes), 4:30. 9, N.Y. Islanders, Tavares 2 (Boyes), 10:11. 10, N.Y. Islanders, Cizikas 2 (Grabner, McDonald), 18:44. PenaltiesMalkin, Pit (holding), 1:53; McDonald, NYI (diving), 1:53; Malkin, Pit, major (fighting), 20:00; Hamonic, NYI, major (fighting), 20:00. Shots on GoalPittsburgh 7-12-12—31. N.Y. Islanders 10-7-7—24. Power-play opportunitiesPittsburgh 0 of 2; N.Y. Islanders 1 of 4. GoaliesPittsburgh, Fleury 2-2-0 (24 shots-18 saves). N.Y. Islanders, Nabokov 2-2-0 (31-27). A16,170 (16,234). T2:32. Referees—Dan O'Halloran, Paul Devorski. LinesmenLonnie Cameron, Jay Sharrers.

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