(The Sports Xchange) – In an outdoor game with temperatures dipping past the freezing point, being hit by a puck was never less fun.
Yet Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson made sure to get in front of all 28 shots in a 3-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL100 Classic at TD Place in Ottawa.
Earning a huge assist in the shutout was Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson, who blocked eight shots in 32:55 of ice time.
The temperature at the start of the game at Lansdowne Park was 12 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 11 Celsius) for the league’s first outdoor game of the season.
“It wasn’t very comfortable,” Karlsson, who also had seven shots on goal, admitted of his puck stopping after the Senators (11-13-7) won their second in a row.
“Everybody in here did what needed to be done today, whether it was blocking shots, forechecking hard, backchecking hard.
“Everybody really wanted to win.”
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Bobby Ryan and Nate Thompson scored for the Senators in front of 33,959 fans.
It was the second shutout of the season for Anderson.
“Obviously it was a lot different than a regular game, but the cold wasn’t too bad,” Anderson said.
“I think the head sock worked out great, and just tried to keep as much bare skin to the elements as minimal as possible. I just tried to stay moving, and threw the gloves on the heater in between TV (timeouts). Able to keep my fingers pretty warm when you put them into a nice warm glove.”
Montreal goalie Carey Price kept his team in the game with 35 saves.
The Canadiens (14-15-4) lost for the fourth time in their last five (1-3-1) as their lead over Ottawa for fourth place in the Atlantic Division standings shrunk to three points.
Ryan, who scored for the second game in a row, admitted conditions were difficult.
“It was cold,” he said. “It was cold. It was cold. Yeah, every period, it got colder. But it was worth every second. Coldest I’ve ever been. Not even close.”
With that, he acknowledged the gritty contributions of the crowd.
“The fans came out and made it a heck of a night by being loud and engaged,” said Ryan. “And when the home team gets two points and the city can rally around a great event, makes it all the better. It was well done by the NHL and the city and something I will look back on, absolutely.”
The Canadiens were limited to one power-play opportunity and were unable to do anything with it. They only had 16 shots in the first two periods, over which time the Senators had 29.
Montreal captain Max Pacioretty said frigid temperatures were no excuse for his team’s shooters going cold.
“They found ways to create chances,” he said. “We can’t use that.
“We know where we are in the standings, we know it’s a division game. It doesn’t matter the hype, it doesn’t matter the outside noise. We didn’t play a strong game and that never feels good.”
Price, however, said he enjoyed the experience.
“I felt pretty good actually, I dressed appropriately,” said Price.
Asked if he wanted to talk about the game, Price shrugged.
“I like to talk about the experience. The experience was a lot of fun.”