Canadiens defeat Penguins in OT, win Game 1 of Cup Qualifiers


Jeff Petry scored with 6:03 remaining in overtime to give the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Saturday.

Petry gathered the puck in the right face-off circle before taking a wrist shot to the blocker side.

Carey Price made 39 saves, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki scored for the Canadiens, the No. 12 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust scored, and Matt Murray made 32 saves for the Penguins, the No. 5 seed.

Game 2 of the best-of-5 series is in Toronto, the Eastern Conference hub city, on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS, ATTSN-PT). The winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

There hasn’t been a best-of-5 series in the NHL since 1986. The League used them for the preliminary round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs from 1980-86, and the team that won Game 1 went on to win the series 87.5 percent of the time (49 of 56).

Kotkaniemi put the Canadiens ahead 1-0 at 11:27 of the first period. Paul Byron deflected a shot from Brett Kulak off of Kotkaniemi as Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson hit him near the crease for his first NHL postseason goal.

Suzuki also scored his first NHL postseason goal when the rookie forward made it 2-0 at 6:53 on a wrist shot from the left face-off circle.

Crosby banked a shot in off Price’s skate, cutting it to 2-1 at 9:55 of the second, before Rust tied it 2-2 with a power-play goal at 12:34. A shot from Jared McCann went off Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist in front of the crease, leaving the puck for Rust to score on a wrist shot.

Pittsburgh did not score on a 5-on-3 that lasted 1:32 after Ben Chiarot was called for high-sticking Crosby 58 seconds into the third period.

Penguins forward Conor Sheary missed wide left on a penalty shot with 3:03 remaining in the third.

Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin missed a penalty shot on a backhand at 6:46 of overtime.

It was the second time an NHL postseason game had two penalty shots. There were three on March 29, 1923, when Cy Denneny and Punch Broadbent of the Ottawa Senators, and Duke Keats of the Edmonton Eskimos each failed to score in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Ottawa won 2-1 in overtime.

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