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Wednesday’s NHL playoffs: Senators go up 3-1 on Bruins

Jimmy Golen
Associated Press

Boston — The Senators are heading home with a chance to eliminate the Bruins in Ottawa.

Not that they’ve had much trouble with them in Boston.

Bobby Ryan scored early in the third period, Craig Anderson stopped 22 shots for his fourth career postseason shutout and the Senators beat Boston 1-0 on Wednesday night for a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

It was Ottawa’s fifth straight win in Boston dating to 2015 and seventh victory in eight tries — home or away — this season. Game 5 is Friday night in the Canadian capital.

“We worked so hard to get home ice for the first round of the playoffs,” Senators forward Zach Smith said. “It’s nice to get some wins here and go back and potentially have the chance to close it off at home.”

Tuukka Rask made 26 saves for Boston, which had a goal disallowed in the second when Ottawa coach Guy Boucher challenged and the replay showed Noel Acciari was offsides.

The Bruins need a victory on Friday to force the series back to Boston.

“We’ll show up, show some character,” Rask said. “We’ve been on the other side. Us, as veterans, have to make sure the young guys don’t hang their heads.”

Every game so far in this best-of-seven series has been settled by a one-goal margin, including back-to-back overtimes in Games 2 and 3.

“You’re not going to win 7-6 every night,” Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. “You’ve got to be able to play any style, so that’s the way it is.”

The game remained scoreless until 5:49 into the third, when Erik Karlsson’s shot deflected off Rask to his stick side. Ryan pulled it from his backhand to his forehand and swiped at it as Zdeno Chara dove behind Rask into the crease to try to knock the puck away from the goal line.

“There’s always a game or two in the series where it’s like chess. It’s nice and slow and strategic moves,” Anderson said. “We played our system to a T. We weathered the storm early and just stuck with it and made good on our chance in the third.”

The 6-foot-9 Chara was able to reach out and prevent the first attempt from going in, but Ryan pushed it over the line with his second.

The Bruins pulled Rask with almost 2 minutes left and managed a couple of scoring chances — both from Marchand — but Anderson turned them away.

“Very good goaltending on both sides,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Their guy was one goal better than us.”

More Eastern Conference

Washington 5, (at) Toronto 4: Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie each scored two goals, and the Capitals tied their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.

Alex Ovechkin added his third goal of the playoffs as the top-seeded Capitals regained momentum ahead of Game 5 in Washington on Friday night. Braden Holtby made 30 saves.

Zach Hyman, James van Riemsdyk, Auston Matthews and Tyler Bozak scored for Toronto, which was coming off a 4-3 overtime win on Monday night. Frederik Andersen stopped 22 shots.

The Maple Leafs rallied after the Capitals scored four times in the first for a 4-1 lead. Bozak, who had the winning goal in Game 3, got Toronto within one with 26 seconds left, but Washington held on from there.

Western Conference

Anaheim 3, (at) Calgary 1: Patrick Eaves, Nate Thompson and Ryan Getzlaf scored, and the Ducks became the first team to advance to the conference semifinals.

It was the Ducks’ first four-game sweep since they eliminated Winnipeg in the first round in 2015 and just the fifth in franchise history.

John Gibson made 36 stops for Anaheim, which will face the Edmonton Oilers or San Jose Sharks in the second round.

Sean Monahan scored a power-play goal in the second for Calgary, which qualified for the postseason as the first wild card in the Western Conference.

It was a short night for Flames goaltender Brian Elliott, who was pulled for Chad Johnson after giving up a soft goal at 5:38 of the first period. Johnson allowed a goal on the second shot he faced, but finished with 20 saves.

Minnesota 2, (at) St. Louis 0: Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves, Charlie Coyle scored in the first period and the Wild avoided a playoff sweep.

Dubnyk’s second playoff shutout came almost two years to the day of his first, also against the Blues on April 20, 2015. Martin Hanzal also scored for Minnesota in the second.

Blues goalie Jake Allen made 26 saves. He entered having stopping 114 of the Wild’s first 117 shots in the series.

St. Louis still leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 heading into Game 5 at Minnesota on Saturday.