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Canadiens, Sabres keep playoff series alive

Thanks to terrific goaltending by Jaroslav Halak and a pair of early goals, the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens ensured Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals still have work to do in the first round of the playoffs.

Halak made 37 saves in his return to the net, Michael Cammalleri and Travis Moen scored on two of Montreal's first five shots, and the visiting Canadiens beat the top-seeded Capitals 2-1 Friday night in Game 5 to extend their Eastern Conference first-round series.

The Capitals could have closed it out at home, but they will take a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 at Montreal on Monday.

In a key call, Canadiens coach Jacques Martin went back to Halak - benching Carey Price, who took over in goal during Game 3 and started Game 4. The move worked against the high-flying, NHL-leading offense of the Capitals, limiting them to two-time MVP Ovechkin's second-period goal and helping silence a standing-room-only crowd of 18,377.

Also affecting the mood of the spectators: Cammalleri put Montreal ahead 1-0 only 1 1/2 minutes into the game - and on its third shot of the evening - by scoring against goalie Semyon Varlamov. And at 7:01, two shots later, it was 2-0 on Moen's backhande.

Sabres 4, Bruins 1

Adam Mair, Jason Pominville, and Mike Grier scored in the first 30 minutes for host Buffalo, which rebounded from a devastating loss to force a sixth game in the Eastern Conference first-round series.

Boston goalie Tuukka Rask had barely outplayed Buffalo's Ryan Miller as the Bruins won three straight tight games.

The Sabres broke through early in this one, with Mair scoring on Buffalo's first shot. Game 6 is Monday night in Boston. The Bruins lead the series 3-2. Miller made 34 saves and was helped at every turn by his teammates, who blocked 19 shots in the first two periods. Sabres leading scorer Thomas Thomas Vanek sat out a third straight game because of a foot injury. - AP

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