The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in game one of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers with a score of 3-2. The Canadiens lead this best-of-five series 1-0. The game was played at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario. Here’s a recap of Game 1 between the Canadiens and Penguins.
The Penguins controlled the first half of the period getting off shots from the high and low slots. But, they would be met by the Canadiens physical defense as they are the No. 12 seed in the Eastern Conference. At the midpoint of the period, Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored the game’s first goal as he was being pushed by Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson. From there, it was a battle of momentum shifts between both teams. Even though the Canadiens were leading, the Penguins outshot them 18-6 during the period.
Montreal went into the second period with a 1-0 lead.
Montreal had all the momentum going for them heading into this period. Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki scored the game’s second goal at the 13:07 mark giving Montreal a two goal lead. But, Pittsburgh wouldn’t leave this game without putting up a fight of their own. At the midpoint of the period, the Penguins start to make a comeback as Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scores the team’s goal. A few minutes later, Penguins forward Bryan Rust tied the game on a power play goal. The Canadiens outshot the Penguins 13-8 even though the Penguins tied the game. Oh how the tables have turned.
The game is tied up 2-2 heading into the third period.
It’s basically the same story for this period: lots of scoring chances and momentum swings. However, both teams played more defensive as the shots were only 8-4 in favor of Pittsburgh. Penguins forward Connor Sheary had the chance to give Pittsburgh the lead but Canadiens goaltender Carey Price saved a goal with his right pad. He also made another save on Crosby on the rebound shot attempt. Sheary had another opportunity to tie the game on a penalty shot but missed.
The game is still tied up at two a piece and we have our first overtime game in the qualifying rounds.
If you haven’t watched an NHL playoff overtime game, then you’re in for a ride. It’s one of the most exhilarating experiences a sports fan should experience at least once. It really doesn’t matter who has momentum going into it because it doesn’t shift the way it does during regulation time. Back to the game, there were many chances both teams could’ve won the game. One chance came off the stick of Canadiens forward Jonathon Drouin on a penalty shot. But, he couldn’t elevate the puck above Penguins’ goaltender Matt Murray.
In the end, Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry scored the overtime game winning goal. Montreal won the game 3-2.
It’s the second upset in this series of games with the first being the Blackhawks defeating the Oilers 6-4.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Sidney Crosby: (1 goal)
Second Star: Carey Price (39 saves)
First Star: Jeff Petry (OT game winning goal)
Game two of the Penguins-Canadiens series is on Aug. 3 at 8 pm EST.