Ottawa, Ontario — Relief and jubilation. The Montreal Canadiens felt both after ending their first-round playoff series against the Ottawa Senators.
Carey Price made 43 saves, Brendan Gallagher scored in the first period, and the Canadiens won 2-0 Sunday night to advance to the second round of the NHL playoffs.
Max Pacioretty (Michigan) sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 1 second remaining.
"Price stepped up and he was the difference," Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban.
It was the first time this season the Senators were shut out.
Montreal won the best-of-seven series in six games, but lost two in a row after taking a 3-0 series lead — and Ottawa nearly sent it to a deciding seventh game. The Canadiens will face the winner of the Detroit-Tampa Bay series, which the Red Wings lead 3-2.
"I know some people thought it would be pretty easy for us to get the fourth win, but we knew they were a capable team that battled hard all season to get into the playoffs," Subban said. "I like the way we had to win this series.
"We deserved it. We worked for it. I thought we had some bounces early in the series. We didn't get them as the series went on, but today we stuck to the plan regardless of what happened. And when you have Carey Price back there, it makes everything a lot easier."
Price, nominated for the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie, rebounded after allowing five goals in Game 5 with a masterful effort as the Senators outshot the Canadiens 43-20.
Montreal, which reached the Eastern Conference finals last spring, is in the second round for a second consecutive year for the first time since 1992 and '93.
"Advancing is such a great feeling, but we have to be honest: We got some bounces tonight," Pacioretty said. "They poured it on us pretty good and Carey was a wall back there."
(At) Minnesota 4, St. Louis 1: Zach Parise scored twice, including a short-handed, highlight-reel goal to get Minnesota going in the first period, and the Wild advanced to the Western Conference semifinals with the Game 6 victory.
Justin Fontaine also scored, Nino Niederreiter added an empty-net goal and the Wild set up a rematch of their second-round loss last year to Chicago. The Blackhawks beat Nashville in six games to move on.
The Blues had their third straight first-round ouster.
Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves, giving him 67 over the last two games after the 6-1 defeat here that allowed the Blues to tie the series. The Wild outscored them 8-2 after that, and the Blues lost their 10th straight postseason game when facing elimination.
Coach Ken Hitchcock pulled goalie Jake Allen after Fontaine scored with 8:41 left in the second period, and T.J. Oshie's first goal of the series came with 4 seconds left before the second intermission to give the Blues some life. They outshot the Wild 27-11 over the last two periods.