The only solace for the Senators was the split.

The Senators learned the hard way in Game 2 of the 417 Series that if they don't do a better job driving to the net to score goals on Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, they won't stand a chance -- because Craig Anderson can't do it all by himself.

Instead of making the trek home with a 2-0 lead in this historic first-round playoff series, the Senators have to be satisfied with a 1-1 split after they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Habs at the Bell Centre Friday night.

As the series shifts back to Scotiabank Place Sunday for Game 3, the Senators have time to do some soul-searching after only winger Milan Michalek was able to beat Price on 29 shots.

After a standout performance in Game 1, Anderson allowed three goals on 34 shots -- to Michael Ryder, Brendan Gallagher and Ryan White. The Canadiens served notice to the Senators that if they're going to win this series, it won't be easy.

The game ended with captain Daniel Alfredsson in a tussle with Andrei Markov. The undermanned Habs -- who didn't have Lars Eller, Max Pacioretty and Brian Gionta -- were physical from start to finish.

"We're the underdogs, we've got to win on the road. It would have been nice to get two (wins)," said defenceman Marc Methot. "I thought we played pretty well, especially in the first we came out pretty strong, and we (allowed) a lot less shots.

"They amped it up and I thought we handled it pretty well for the most part. It was a physical game both ways. The difference was they buried a couple of more goals."

The Senators didn't give Anderson the help he needed.

Though Price made a few big stops in the second -- including on Mika Zibanejad and Sergei Gonchar on a late power play -- the Habs pulled out to a 3-1 lead when Ryder was left alone to fire home a wrist shot at 18:57 of the second.

They looked like they might recover after falling behind 2-0 in a span of 53 seconds early in the second. Phillips' slapshot from the point was tipped by Michalek in front and beat Price high at 8:16 to pull the Senators to within a goal.

Until Michalek finally beat Price, it didn't look like the Senators would stand a chance. They were completely outplayed and looked out of sorts when Gallagher took a perfect pass from Alex Galchenyuk to beat Anderson at 4:13 to make it 2-0.

Only moments earlier, White broke the scoreless tie by sliding a backhander through Anderson's five-hole. That came after a bad gaffe by Erik Karlsson, who put the puck on White's stick.

"I'm trying to give it a hard push, he knocks it down, and it's a miscommunication between myself and Andy," said Karlsson. "There's not much you can do about it. I'm probably going to do it a few more times in my career."

The Senators' record in Game 2s, after winning the opener, fell to 1-10 lifetime. The Senators have to deal with the physical play from the Habs and find a way to get to Price.