Photo: Nathan Denette, The canadian Press
Solid in front of the net, Canadian, Carey Price has pushed back a total of 39 shots.
Claude Julien had said Saturday afternoon that he had no other choice than to trust the young players of the team. Saturday night, they have paid back that trust.
Nick Suzuki has been possibly the best attacker of the Canadian, while defender Jeff Petry has played the hero in overtime, which led the club to victory 3 to 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, at the first meeting of their series of qualification.
Petry has settled the impasse at 13:57 of the extension, giving the victory to the Canadian in his first game “that counts” since march 10 due to the pandemic of COVID-19.
The american defender has recovered a loose puck after a rise of Brendan Gallagher, has prevented the slide from Brandon Tanev and beat goalkeeper Matt Murray with a shot down the side of the shield.
The Canadian leads the series in best of five matches 1-0. Between 1980 and 1986, when the NHL employed this format for the first round, the team that won the first game won the series and 87.5 % of the time (49-of-56).
Jesperi Kotkaniemi, which is imposed at the Scotiabank Arena even if he has wasted a two-goal lead, scored the other goal for the Habs.
Carey Price has been solid in front of the net on the Canadian, especially in the beginning of the meeting, and was pushed out of a total of 39 shots.
“The concentration was there from the beginning to the end. We were ready to do what was necessary to win, ” said Claude Julien. By extension, if you are afraid of losing, you will lose. If you are determined to win, you will win. This is what I said to the players. “
Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust replied for the Penguins. Matthew Murray, who was finally preferred to Tristan Jarry by coach Mike Sullivan, was pushed out of 32 throws.
The Penguins were 1-for-7 in numerical advantage. In particular, they have been unable to take advantage of 1:32 in a numerical superiority of two men, early in the third period. Since Phillip Danault was in the dungeon, Suzuki has been the attacker of the confidence of Julien in this situation.
“[Suzuki] is a smart player and he has participated in our meetings on the shorthanded, pointed out Julien. He knew how the Penguins were going to be five against three. He has done a good job. Price has made big stops and our defenders have done well also. The disadvantage of digital deserves a lot of credit for this victory. “
The second game of this series will be presented on Monday evening, a 20-h.
Brave the storm
The Canadian has survived the storm in the beginning of the game. Gallagher fired the first shot of the game, but the Penguins have managed the 10 in the following.
Price had to be alert to prevent the Penguins to pass this benefit of the column of fire in the advantage towards the goals. He has directed three stops difficult to pay the costs of Evgeni Malkin.
“I don’t know if it was nervousness, but the Penguins have started the match strong, noted Julien. Carey has done a good job. He kept us in the game. It gave us a chance to walk. “
The Habs then managed to best counteract the efforts of the Penguins ‘ and to calm down the game. Then, Kotkaniemi opened the scoring at 11:27, when a shot from Brett Kulak was deflected before hitting him in the chest and end up in the goal. Murray could do nothing about it on the sequence.
Suzuki has widened the gap at 6:53 of the second third thanks to an accurate throw during a raid two against one, but the Penguins have taken control of the meeting by the following.
At the end of a long sequence in the territory of the Habs, Crosby brought the Penguins to only one goal of their rivals at 9:55. Rust then tied it at 12:34, in numerical advantage, taking advantage of a loose puck in front of Price.
Conor Sheary got a golden opportunity to play the hero with 3:03 remaining in the third period, earning a penalty shot. It has, however, missed the target.
Jonathan Drouin has in turn awarded a penalty shot at 6:46 of the extension, but it has lost the control of the disk at the time of draw backs.
Petry has finally given the victory to the Habs.
Echoes of locker room
Jeff Petry was able to take advantage of his chance in overtime : “We often speak of the importance for the defenders to support the attack. When I saw the puck appear, I went for it. I took a second longer for me to release and I pulled. “
Petry has paid tribute to Carey Price : “He has made stops as very important in the beginning of the meeting and has played so calmly, like he does so often. When the opposing team applies any pressure, it excels to calm the game and the team. It helps everyone to get into his game. “
Nick Suzuki believes that the Canadian has passed a message : “there is not a lot of people who we consider to be contenders. We want to demonstrate that we can compete with anyone. We have just made a first step forward. [The Penguins] are going to come back even stronger in next match. “
Suzuki did not flinch when Claude Julien sent him into the fray for the numerical inferiority of two men early in the third period : “I had confidence and I relied on two good defenders with me (Shea Weber, and Jeff Petry). We have talked a lot about their digital advantage. I had a lot of confidence. And it’s nice to see that the coach trusts me in this type of situation. “