Don’t tell the Montreal Canadiens they were the last team to qualify for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.
After a failed shootout attempt from Jonathon Druin, Jeff Petry put to rest any doubt as to “what could have been” 13:57 into the first overtime period as he buried a shot from the point to give the Canadiens a 3-2 victory and a surprising 1-0 lead in the series over the favored Pittsburgh Penguins.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) August 2, 2020
Facing the top seed in the Eastern Conference Qualifying Round, the Habs were not intimidated as they jumped out to a surprising 2-0 lead in the second. However, Sidney Crosby started the rally for the Penguins who tied the game and forced the first overtime of the 2020 playoffs. Bryan Rust scored the game-tying goal in the second before a scoreless third period for both teams.
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Ultimately, the Penguins could not consistently beat Carey Price who turned aside 39-of-41 shots on goal. Although he did not get credit for the save as it wasn’t an official shot on net, Price’s positioning on Conor Sheary’s penalty shot attempt forced the missed shot. At the other end, Matt Murray was solid for the Penguins registering 36 saves on 39 shots. However, it was Petry’s first shot of the game that was the difference-maker.
— Murray Pam (@Pammerhockey) August 2, 2020
In a normal season, a record of 31-31-9 (shortened season or not) wouldn’t get you close to playoff contention. In fact, at the time of the NHL season coming to a halt, the Canadiens were 10 points out of the eighth seed in the East with a game in hand.
Now, they are two victories from advancing.
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