Penguins Postgame Commentary: Stanley Cup Qualifying Round vs Habs, Game 1
By COMON Network Team
Final Score – Montreal Canadiens 3, Pittsburgh Penguins 2 – F/OT (Montreal leads series 1-0)
3rd Star: Sidney Crosby (PIT) – 1 G
2nd Star: Jeff Petry (MTL) – Overtime GWG
1st Star: Carey Price (MTL) – 39 SV, 2 GA
The qualifying round began with an overtime win for the Montreal Canadiens, as the 12th seed from the Eastern Conference beat the Penguins 3-2 in the first OT, and now lead the series 1-0 in the best of five.
The scoring started in the first period at 11:27 when Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored when a puck hit his body and got past Matt Murray to make it 1-0. Nick Suzuki then beat Matt Murray on the glove side in the second period before the Pens got a goal from Sidney Crosby scored from Jake Guentzel and Justin Shultz to cut the lead in half. Bryan Rust then tied the game on the man advantage, on which the Pens went 1-for-7, including a third-period miss on a 5-on-3. Patrick Hornqvist and Jared McCann picked up assists on the marker.
Neither team scored in the third period. Connor Sheary missed the net on a penalty shot late. Montreal had a chance in the overtime on a penalty shot too that also missed the net. In fact, the shot never happened.
In overtime, Jeff Petry buried the game winner through the legs of Aston-Reese and past Murray to win the game.
Game 2 is Monday night in Toronto.
COMON Network Team Commentary
- 1st Period: Pens looked dominant in the opening period. They were skating extremely well and in the first eight minutes of play, were outshooting MTL 10-1. Murray got beat on an unlucky bounce/play. The power play for the Pens is still a question mark in my eyes. Lots of sloppy passes and only one legitimate shot on goal that lead to a scoring chnace.
- 2nd Period: What a rebound period. Murray gets beat glove hand, but that’s yesterday’s news. Penguins power play had a HUGE bounce back. Simple: Pucks on net. Crosby is still the best player in the world. Playoff Rust needs to come back for this team.
- 3rd Period: Yikes at that penalty shot. Both teams were playing fast hockey.
- Overtime: Overall, great hockey. Both teams were BUZZIN around playing good hockey. Petry had a hell of a shot.
Player of the Game – Bryan Rust
- 1-of-7 on the man advantage including what, in my estimation, was the game when the Pens had a 5-on-3 for a minute and a half and failed to score. They’ve got two Hall of Famers, maybe 3 if you include Letang, on the top unit. Let the stars be stars and stop over-detailing everything. Not scoring on that two-man advantage is brutal. Purely and simply pathetic. Special teams is the difference tonight, other than Carey Price looking like a damn brick wall. He stole it for Montreal.
- The Penguins looked dominant in the first period despite trailing on the board 1-0 after those 20 minutes. They outshot the Canadiens 18-6 and other than the goal, which was fluky with Johnson shoving Kotkaniemi towards the net. But Price was awesome.
- I didn’t think Matt Murray was bad. He made 32 stops and I really loved his stop in overtime on the loose puck in the crease. My problem is the glove-side goal in the second. That’s a bad goal. He’s 0-7 in his last seven playoff starts. I think he goes in Game 2 and I’ve got no problem with that, but the rebound control needs to be better too. I’m waiting for him to steal a game like he did as a rookie. Price stole the game. Why can’t Murray do that for the Penguins?
Player of the Game – Carey Price (MTL) – 39 saves, 2 GA
- I hate to say it. But Carey Price stood on his damn head. I mean Jesus Christ. How many shots did the guy stop? Too many. That game is on the Pens. Price stole the game. Hence first star.
- There is nothing else to it. The Penguins had too many opportunities to score throughout the game and in overtime.
- Kris Letang saved the game at one point. On the power play Letang laid down and saved a pass across the slot from being a shot in the net. Props to him.
- This was the Pens game and they lost it. Now they have to fight. High percentage shots are better than shots on net. Plain and simple.
- They got the next one. LGP.
Player of the Game – Carey Price (MTL)