EditorsNote: adds “at” in lede
Anderson, Senators keep Canadiens out in cold
OTTAWA — In an outdoor game with temperatures dipping past the freezing point, being hit by a puck was never less fun.
Yet Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson made sure to get in front of all 28 shots in a 3-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL100 Classic at TD Place.
Earning a huge assist in the shutout was Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson, who blocked eight shots and was a plus-3 in 32:55 of ice time.
“It wasn’t very comfortable,” Karlsson, who also had seven shots on goal, admitted of his puck stopping after the Senators (11-13-7) won their second in a row. “Everybody in here did what needed to be done today, whether it was blocking shots, forechecking hard, backchecking hard.
“Everybody really wanted to win.”
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Bobby Ryan and Nate Thompson scored for the Senators in front of 33,959 fans.
It was the second shutout of the season for Anderson.
“Obviously it was a lot different than a regular game, but the cold wasn’t too bad,” Anderson said. “I think the head sock worked out great, and just tried to keep as much bare skin to the elements as minimal as possible. I just tried to stay moving, and threw the gloves on the heater in between TV (timeouts). Able to keep my fingers pretty warm when you put them into a nice warm glove.”
Montreal goalie Carey Price kept his team in the game with 35 saves.
The Canadiens (14-15-4) lost for the fourth time in their last five (1-3-1) as their lead over Ottawa for fourth place in the Atlantic Division standings shrunk to three points.
“We need more, and we need to create more from the inside,” said Montreal coach Claude Julien. “You see it, some nights we have that. Tonight we didn’t. And until we figure that out and we become more consistent in that area, that’s what you’re going to see.
“We have the ability, but consistency is a big part of our game right now we’ve got to find. When we do those things well we’re a good hockey club, and when we don’t we see opportunities like tonight fade away.”
Breaking a scoreless tie at 14:55 of the second was Pageau, who usually saves his best performances for the Canadiens. From the slot, he deflected a point shot by Karlsson over Price’s shoulder, then followed with a expressive celebration that emphasized the importance of his fourth of the season.
“To score that goal was pretty special,” said Pageau. “When I scored that one and your goaltender doesn’t give up one, it makes it easy. We played a really solid game and when the atmosphere is that high, the energy is up.”
Ryan, who scored for the second game in a row, admitted conditions were difficult. The temperature at the start of the game was 12 degrees Fahrenheit
“It was cold,” he said. “It was cold. It was cold. Yeah, every period, it got colder. But it was worth every second. Coldest I’ve ever been. Not even close.”
With that, he acknowledged the gritty contributions of the crowd.
“The fans came out and made it a heck of a night by being loud and engaged,” said Ryan. “And when the home team gets two points and the city can rally around a great event, makes it all the better. It was well done by the NHL and the city and something I will look back on, absolutely.”
The Canadiens were limited to one power-play opportunity and were unable to do anything with it. They only had 16 shots in the first two periods, over which time the Senators had 29.
Montreal captain Max Pacioretty said frigid temperatures were no excuse for his team’s shooters going cold.
“They found ways to create chances,” he said. “We can’t use that.
“We know where we are in the standings, we know it’s a division game. It doesn’t matter the hype, it doesn’t matter the outside noise. We didn’t play a strong game and that never feels good.”
Price, however, said he enjoyed the experience.
“I felt pretty good actually, I dressed appropriately,” said Price, who made the save of the game when he dove across the crease to get a piece of a shot by Matt Duchene. “It hit my stick, actually. Just tried to make a strong push and it was just desperation. I got lucky.”
Asked if he wanted to talk about the game, Price shrugged.
“I like to talk about the experience. The experience was a lot of fun.”
NOTES: Senators LW Alex Burrows returned to the lineup after missing one game as a healthy scratch. Moving to the press box was F Nick Paul. ... Montreal’s Karl Alzner played his 573rd consecutive game, the second-longest current streak among defensemen to Florida’s Keith Yandle (665). ... The game was the first of a seven-stop road trip for the Canadiens, who next play Monday in Vancouver ... The Senators host the Minnesota Wild on Monday.