TORONTO (AP) — Montreal coach Claude Julien figured his young, largely inexperienced Canadiens had a real opportunity to grow after being given a second life by the NHL’s restart.
The Canadiens did that, and a whole lot more, Saturday night — with a big hand from a couple veterans.
Jeff Petry scored at 13:57 of overtime, Carey Price made 39 saves and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Saturday night in Game 1 of their best-of-five qualifying round series.
“Carey was huge throughout that whole first period and gave us a chance,” Julien said. “He made some big saves throughout the whole game, but the first period is where he allowed us to stay in the game.”
“We’ve just got to heed the lessons,” Rust said. “We did some really good things.”
Montreal killed off a 5-on-3 power play for 1:32 early in the third period despite sustained pressure. Both teams then failed to connect on 5-on-4 advantages, with Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin coming closest from the slot.
Murray stopped 32 shots.
NOTES: The Canadiens and Penguins have met twice before in the postseason, with Montreal winning both times, including a seven-game victory in the second round in 2010. … Pittsburgh had the seventh-best record in the NHL when the season was suspended March 12.