Fifty shots is usually enough to win a hockey game. Not when Craig Anderson is guarding the goal. Anderson made 48 saves, many of them spectacular, and the Ottawa Senators staged a third-period comeback to beat the Canadiens, 4-2, Thursday night in Montreal in the opening game of the first playoff series between the geographic rivals.
The Canadiens set team playoff records with 27 shots in the second period and 50 overall. Wasn’t enough: Anderson outplayed Montreal goalie Carey Price, who stopped 27 shots at the other end.
‘‘What can you say? Andy’s our MVP,’’ said defenseman Marc Methot, who scored the winning goal. ‘‘He’s a machine back there. He just keeps going and going. We’re lucky to have him in the net.’’
The Canadiens will try to solve Anderson and the Senators in Game 2 Friday night at the Bell Centre. But the hosts will be without one of their hottest forwards, center Lars Eller, who was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher bleeding heavily from the face and taken to a hospital. He suffered a concussion, as well as fractures to his face and teeth, after an open-ice hit from Ottawa defenseman Eric Gryba.
Eller had taken an ill-considered pass up the middle from Raphael Diaz when he was flattened by Gryba with a hit the NHL is likely to review for further discipline. Gryba was given a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct.
‘‘It was a hockey play,’’ said Ottawa coach Paul MacLean. ‘‘Our guy hit him, but player 61 [Diaz] is the guy to blame.’’
‘‘I can’t comment,’’ was all Montreal coach Michel Therrien said about the hit.
Brendan Gallagher scored during the resulting power play to put Montreal up, 2-1. But the Senators’ league-best penalty killers then shut the door during a full two-minute, two-man advantage.
Jakob Silfverberg tied it with a shot that sailed between Price’s legs from the right circle 3:27 into the third period. Mathot swept a shot from the point into the top corner to put Ottawa ahead less than two minutes later.
Guillaume Latendresse, a former Canadien who was booed by most of the 21,273 in the seats, sealed the win with a goal that went in off his body as he drove to the net with 6:05 remaining.
Erik Karlsson scored in the first period for Ottawa, while Rene Bourque got one early in the second for Montreal.
Capitals 3, Rangers 1 — Alex Ovechkin’s franchise-record 31st career playoff goal got the Capitals started before less-heralded teammates Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera scored 46 seconds apart, and Washington beat visiting New York in Game 1.
Ovechkin, a two-time MVP who led the NHL with 32 goals this season, crashed the net to score on a power play about seven minutes into the second to tie the score for the Capitals. Carl Hagelin had put the Rangers ahead, 1-0, in the first period — the only puck that made it past Braden Holtby, who finished with 35 saves. Game 2 is Saturday in Washington.
Capitals rookie defenseman Steve Oleksy — who got hit in the face by a puck later in the second period — sent a pass about 80 feet down the middle of the ice and between Rangers defensemen Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh to set up Johansson. The Swede collected the puck at the blue line and beat Lundqvist at the 14:21 mark to make it 2-1.
It was Chimera’s turn less than a minute later, when he took a pass from Mathieu Perreault, spun around near the boards and put the hosts ahead, 3-1. That led to mocking choruses of ‘‘Luuuundqvist’’ from spectators
Blues 2, Kings 1 — Defenseman Barret Jackman scored his first career playoff goal with 50.4 seconds remaining, lifting host St. Louis over Los Angeles.
Jackman, a stay-at-home type who totaled three goals and 12 points in the regular season, joined a rush and scored in transition against Jonathan Quick, last year’s playoff MVP. He beat Quick from just inside the blue line for a 2-0 series lead heading to Los Angeles.
The Blues capitalized on a stickhandling goof by Quick to win the opener on Alex Steen’s short-handed goal in overtime.
Patrik Berglund’s deflection tied it early in the third period for St. Louis, which was swept by the Kings in the second round last season while getting outscored, 15-6.
Dustin Brown scored for the Kings, who’ll try to rebound in Game 3 Saturday night.
The Kings led, 3-0, in every playoff series last year en route to winning the Stanley Cup, and are down, 2-0, in a playoff series for the first time since 2002, when they lost in seven games to Colorado.
The Blues responded after coach Ken Hitchcock called a timeout with just under three minutes remaining. They have won eight in a row at home, allowing one goal in all eight games
Red Wings 5, Ducks 4 — Gustav Nyquist’s power-play goal at 1:21 of overtime after Detroit blew a three-goal lead in the third gave the Red Wings a victory at Anaheim that tied their playoff series at 1-1.
Johan Franzen scored two goals and Damien Brunner had his first Stanley Cup playoff goal to go with two assists for the Red Wings, who survived a third-period collapse with a timely goal from Nyquist.
Bobby Ryan scored the tying goal with 2:22 left in regulation for the Ducks, who also got goals from captain Ryan Getzlaf and Kyle Palmieri while erasing Detroit’s 4-1 lead with a phenomenal surge in the final minutes. Game 3 is Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.