Canadiens outlast Penguins in OT to take series opener

Canadiens outlast Penguins in OT to take series opener

Jeff Petry scored at 13:57 of overtime Saturday to give the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of a qualifying round series in Toronto.

On the winner, Brendan Gallagher’s centering pass was deflected toward the high slot. Petry’s shot from above the right hash marks sailed past Penguins goaltender Matt Murray.

Montreal blew an early two-goal lead after Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki scored in the first. Carey Price made 39 saves.

Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust scored for Pittsburgh. Murray, who wasn’t publicly announced as the Game 1 starter until earlier Saturday, finished with 32 saves.

The prevailing consensus seems to be that Montreal’s fortunes against the Penguins heavily rest with Price’s play, and he was stellar in the first, stopping all 18 shots he faced.

His teammates backed him by taking a 2-0 lead that period.

At 11:27, Kotkaniemi got to a rebound right in front. He poked at the puck, and it bounded in past Murray to make it 1-0.

After Pittsburgh defenseman Brian Dumoulin turned the puck over in the Canadiens end, Suzuki gathered the puck and drove down the left side. From the left circle, his wrist shot went over Murray’s glove to push it to 2-0 at 6:53.

The Penguins climbed back into things in the second, tying it with two goals.

At 9:55, Crosby, from Price’s left and behind the extended goal line, banked the puck in off Price’s skate to make it 2-1.

During a power play at 12:34, a shot from the left point by Jared McCann went off teammate Patric Hornqvist in front of the net. Rust pounced on the puck at the top of the crease and poked it past Price for a 2-2 tie.

Pittsburgh’s Conor Sheary missed the net with a wide shot on a penalty shot with 3:03 left in regulation after he got hooked by Petry during a breakaway.

It was Montreal’s turn at 6:46 of overtime, as Jonathan Drouin had the puck roll off his stick after he was awarded a penalty shot.