The Ottawa Senators thumped the Montreal Canadiens 6-1 at the Bell Centre on Thursday night to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Sens took the series 4-1 over the favored Canadiens and sees them reach the second round of the NHL playoffs for the first time since 2007.
Cory Conacher led the way for Ottawa with two goals while Zach Smith, Daniel Alfredsson, Kyle Turris, and Erik Condra also scored to silence the Montreal faithful.
Ottawa coach Paul MacLean was delighted with the win and downplayed some of the unsavory moments in the rough and tumble series.
“We just beat the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup playoffs,” he exclaimed. “I mean, to me that’s huge. I’m going to call my mom and say we finally beat her team.
“I thought the whole series was fun. I didn’t think it was bitter at any time.”
The Sens withstood an early barrage from the Canadiens thanks to the steady play of goalie Craig Anderson and stunned the hosts 2:17 into the game when Zack Smith scored from close range.
Conacher made it 2-0 when he tapped in at the 12:26 mark and that goal sucked the life right out of the arena. Montreal cut the deficit in half with 13 seconds left in the first period when P.K. Subban scored on the power play.
Ottawa then scored four straight goals and Anderson shut the door to clinch the series, and Alfredsson sung his goaltender’s praises after the game.
“Andy made some great saves and we took over more and more as the game went on,” Ottawa’s captain stated.
“Finding a way to win two games in this building feels great and so was being able to finish it off on our first chance.”
The Ottawa Senators outscored the Montreal Canadiens 20-9 in the series and will now have a few days of rest before the Eastern Conference semifinals.