Canadiens goalie Carey Price, right, gets hugs from teammates Brandon Prust (8) and Andrei Markov (79) after Montreal evened its best-of-seven series Friday night against the Ottawa Senators. Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)
The Montreal Canadiens are back in the game. The Habs sent a message to the Ottawa Senators Friday night at the Bell Centre that a victory in this first-round playoff series won't be a walk in the park after Montreal scored a 3-1 win in Game 2 to tie it up 1-1 as the team's shift to Scotiabank Place.
MONTREAL - The chants of Ole, Ole, Ole started midway through the third period.
The Montreal Canadiens are back in the game.
The Habs sent a message to the Ottawa Senators Friday night at the Bell Centre that a victory in this first-round playoff series won't be a walk in the park after Montreal scored a 3-1 win in Game 2 to tie it up 1-1 as the team's shift to Scotiabank Place.
Playing without the injured Lars Eller, along with late scratches Max Pacioretty and Brian Gionta, who were both out with upper body injuries, the Habs got up off the mat.
"Ottawa has had to deal with a lot of guys out of the lineup. This is the first time we've ever had that many guys out and this was a character win for us," said defenceman P.K. Subban.
"This was a big win. Our coach sent the message, no matter who is out it's about our attitude and I think we had a great attitude today. We executed, we went out and did what we had to do."
Subban said the club had to be more physical.
"This is the playoffs. Your season is on the line," said Subban. "Everyone plays with emotion and physicality. If you have to be told that, there's something wrong."
Coach Michel Therrien was proud.
"It's character, that's what we showed," said Therrien.
Winger Ryan White said Eller sent a text to the team.
"It was nice to hear from him," said White. "We wanted to make [sure] he was doing okay. We're a family in here and we like to take care of each other."
First, it was Craig Anderson who lost a tooth in Game 1.
Then, Carey Price chipped two teeth during a stoppage in play during the second period after getting crashed into by Jarred Tinordi while making a save. He could smile about it because the club won.
He handed the cracked part of the teeth to the trainer.
"A couple of guys went hard to the net, I don't even know what hit me," said Price. "It kind of stunned me for a second. I felt two teeth in my mouth, that wasn't very good."
Asked if he hoped the tooth fairy would come, Price said: "I'm hoping to see a dentist."
That's okay, Price took a bite out of the Senators with 29 stops.
Getting the split
The Senators were happy to go home with the series tied 1-1.
They knew this task wasn't going to be easy from the start, but they were hoping to take control by going ahead 2-0. Instead, they had to settle for the fact they're still in a good position as they make the trek back to Ottawa Friday night.
Defenceman Marc Methot said a 2-0 lead would have been nice.
"We're the underdogs, we've got to win on the road, it would have been nice to get two [wins]," said Methot. "I thought we played pretty well, especially in the first, we came out pretty strong, and we eliminated a lot less shots."
Gryba starts serving suspension
The Senators were without defenceman Eric Gryba.
He received a two-game suspension from NHL VP Brendan Shanahan Friday afternoon before Game 2 for the devastating hit he put on Eller in the second period of Game 1 Thursday night. Shanahan said Gryba was reckless.
"Gryba makes Eller's head the principle point of contact causing injury. We don't see malicious intent," said Shanahan. "The route was not correct."
The Senators were taken aback that he got the ban.
"Surprised is a good word," said defenceman Chris Phillips. "Everybody feels terrible for Eller and hope he makes a speedy recovery, but when you look at the hit, and compare it to a lot of other hits, we didn't think it warranted that."
Gryba's teammates said he wasn't trying to hurt Eller.
"He stepped up thinking he was just going to hit the guy. You never want to see that happen," said Ottawa defenceman Erik Karlsson. "That's not fun for anyone. I feel bad for both the guys, especially [Eller].
"To get hit like that, I don't know how he's feeling right now, hopefully he feels great. Gryba doesn't feel good about it, either."