Mon, 21 Sep 2020

Penguins even series with win over Canadiens

Field Level Media
04 Aug 2020, 13:19 GMT+10

Jason Zucker's third-period goal stood as the winner Monday as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 to even their qualifying round series.

The teams have split the first two games of the best-of-five series. Game 3 is Wednesday.

Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel also scored for Pittsburgh, which broke a string of seven straight postseason losses, with its previous win coming against Washington, 3-1 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference second round in 2018.

Matt Murray made 27 saves for the Penguins. There was some speculation that Murray, a two-time Stanley Cup winner, would be replaced in the Penguins net by Tristan Jarry after Murray lost for the ninth time in his previous 10 postseason starts in Game 1.

Jesper Kotkaniemi scored for Montreal, and Carey Price made 35 saves.

The Penguins entered this revamped postseason format as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. Montreal is seeded 12th, the final spot in the East.

Early in the first, Teddy Blueger missed a chance to give Pittsburgh the lead with a breakaway, but Price stopped his backhand shot.

Crosby made it 1-0 at 4:25 of the first. From below the left hash marks, he snapped the puck between Carey's pads.

That gave Crosby 188 career postseason points, moving him into a tie for eighth all-time in the NHL with Doug Gilmour and Joe Sakic.

Murray preserved the lead in the second period when he got a glove on a tip attempt by the Canadiens' Joel Armia. He came up big again in the first minute of the third period, getting his right arm on a rising shot by Tomas Tatar off a Montreal two-on-one.

Zucker made it 2-0 at 14:41 of the third. Off a pass from Conor Sheary in the right circle, Zucker one-timed the puck high past Price.

Kotkaniemi spoiled Murray's bid for a seventh career shutout when he scored on a rebound with 2:10 left in regulation to pull Montreal to within 2-1.

Guentzel sealed it with an empty-netter with 9.2 seconds left.

--Field Level Media

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