(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators will try to stave off elimination for a second time when they visit the Montreal Canadiens on Friday for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
After falling behind 3-0 in this best-of-seven set, the Senators picked up their first victory on Wednesday to avoid a four-game sweep. Ottawa earned a 1-0 win in the home contest, as the trend of one-goal decisions in this series continued for a fourth straight game.
Montreal had won two straight in overtime before falling in Game 4. Now, the Habs will try to stay perfect in the series on home ice when they get a second chance at punching a ticket to the second round.
Mike Hoffman scored the only goal on Wednesday, snapping a scoreless tie at 9:05 of the third period. Craig Anderson anchored the victory with another strong showing in net, turning aside 28 shots for his third career playoff shutout.
The lone goal came after a failed clear by the Canadiens. Cody Ceci kept the puck in the Montreal zone and chipped it to Hoffman, who scored on a wrist shot from the top of the left circle.
"That's all we said after the second period, just stick with it," said Senators coach Dave Cameron. "We did and got the result we wanted."
Anderson has started in place of Andrew Hammond in the last two games and will get the call again tonight. The veteran goaltender has stopped 75-of-77 shots in his two starts since taking over for Hammond.
Only four teams have come back to win a series after facing a 0-3 deficit, but two of those occurrences have come in recent memory. The Los Angeles Kings did it last season in the opening round against San Jose, while the Philadelphia Flyers pulled off the remarkable comeback against the Boston Bruins in the second round of the 2010 playoffs.
Ottawa has never overcome a 2-0 deficit to win a playoff series. The Canadiens have never lost a series after winning the first three games and are 28-0 all- time when holding a three games to one lead.
If the Sens can win again tonight they will return home to host Sunday's Game 6.
Carey Price stopped 31 shots on Wednesday for a Canadiens team that was bidding to sweep a first-round series for a second straight year. Montreal ousted the Tampa Bay Lightning in four games to open the 2014 postseason and eventually made it to the East finals before falling in six games to the New York Rangers.
Price only surrendered one goal in each of the last two games and is boasting a .946 save percentage in this series. The Vezina and Hart Trophy candidate was screened by Ottawa's Mika Zibanejad on the only goal in Game 4.
"I didn't get a good look at it, but I got to try and fight to see it," Price said.
Montreal was playing its first game without defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, who will miss the remainder of the series with an upper-body injury. The Canadiens defenseman absorbed a pair of big hits from Ottawa's Erik Karlsson in Game 3. Greg Pateryn replaced Beaulieu on Wednesday to make his playoff debut.
This marks the second playoff meeting between the Habs and Sens. Ottawa won the previous postseason encounter in quick fashion, taking the 2013 conference quarterfinals matchup in five games. Montreal was a heavily-favored No. 2 seed heading into that series before getting knocked off by the seventh-seeded Senators.