On some nights, nothing can go wrong. The Ottawa Senators and Jean-Gabriel Pageau experienced that Sunday.
For complete coverage of the Ottawa Senators playoff run, visit the Sens feature page.
The Montreal Canadiens, meanwhile, seemed to unravel.
Pageau, a Gatineau, Que., native, scored a hat trick, including the game-winning goal to lead the Senators to a 6-1 blowout win over the Canadiens. Ottawa now leads the best-of-seven series two games to one.
The 20-year-old Pageau also lost a tooth Sunday from a P.K. Subban high-stick while scoring his first goal, making it the third game in a row a player lost a tooth on the way to becoming the game's first star.
The Senators played their most complete game of the series against the rival Canadiens thanks to more offensive pressure, a physical forecheck and key saves from goaltender Craig Anderson.
The home team also seemed to be energized by a crowd that found a way to drown out the chants from Habs fans, which normally take over games at Scotiabank Place. The visitors, who were only down one goal through 40 minutes, gave up four goals in the third period and lost their cool.
A slash after Ottawa’s fourth goal sparked a line brawl where 10 players received five-minute fighting majors and nine of them were given game misconducts.
Subban was also penalized four times in the game, including an instigator penalty in third when he dropped the gloves with Senators' centre Kyle Turris.
MacLean aimed to 'protect' players with timeout
The Canadiens' coach, Michel Therrien, showed his displeasure after the game, calling Senators' coach Paul MacLean "classless" for taking a timeout with 17 seconds left in regulation.
MacLean was surprised by the comments when asked about them minutes later.
He pointed to several incidents in the third period where Canadiens' players started fights and took undisciplined penalties. He also said the timeout was taken to "protect my players" when the Sens were down to only three defencemen.
Pageau's hat trick was also the talk of his coach and teammates, post-game.
"He's going to have a tough time getting across the bridge (to Gatineau) tonight," MacLean said.
Action started early
Unlike the first two games in Montreal, there was action early and often. The Senators scored just before the six-minute mark with a morale-boosting goal on a two-man advantage.
Daniel Alfredsson poked in a rebound by Carey Price to end his team’s power-play scoring drought.
After a Rene Bourque goal later in the first, Pageau scored the game-winning goal in the second period and two more in the third. Turris and Jakob Silfverberg also added goals for Ottawa.
There was little even strength play early on, but as the referees kept their arms down the Sens increased their physical forecheck and made quicker decisions in all areas.
The line brawl in the third left Ottawa with only three defencemen. Chris Phillips was kicked out and Jared Cowen was given 15 minutes in penalties. Patrick Wiercioch had left early in the game with a lower-body injury.
When all was said and done, there were 236 total penalty minutes in Game 3.
Visit the Canadiens-Senators series page for complete statistics and information.
Montreal's lineup was boosted Sunday with the return of captain Brian Gionta and leading scorer Max Pacioretty, who each missed Game 2 with an upper-body injury.
Sens' defenceman Eric Gryba missed the second of his two-game suspension. The Habs' Lars Eller, who Gryba knocked out in Game 1, also missed the game with a concussion and facial fractures.
The Canadiens will look to bounce back in Game 4 on Tuesday in Ottawa, where the sparks could fly again with Gryba's likely return.