Game one treated fans to lots of shots, lots of hits and even two penalty shots. Even after all that, this game still needed overtime to decide a winner.
The first period started with the Pittsburgh Penguins coming out firing on all cylinders. The shots were 10-2 for the Penguins at the halfway mark of the period. Fortunately for the Montreal Canadiens, Carey Price was stellar and withstood the barrage from the Penguins.
Both teams went 0/1 on the power play. The Penguins outshot the Canadiens 18-6 in the period. The Canadiens were the more physical team as they out hit the Penguins 20-11
Score: 1-0 Montreal
The second period started with the Canadiens skating much better and causing the Penguins to turnover the puck. At 6:53 Nick Suzuki scores an unassisted goal to give the Canadiens a 2-0 lead. Just over three minutes later at 9:55 the Penguins finally beat Price with a goal by Sidney Crosby. The goal was scored on a delayed penalty to Tomas Tatar of the Canadiens. Justin Schultz and Jake Guentzel get the assists.
After the Penguins scored to cut the Canadiens lead in half, you could feel the momentum shifting. The Penguins would keep the momentum going with a power play goal by Bryan Rust. Assists to Patric Hornqvist and Jared McCann on the game tying goal.
The Canadiens outshot the Penguins in the second 13-8. They also continued their physical play by out hitting the Penguins 20-8 in the period.
The first half of the third period saw the Penguins spending most of their time on the power play. Price and the Canadiens fought off the Penguins and survived being short handed, including a 5 on 3 for the Penguins. In the second half of the third, both teams traded scoring chances back and forth. The best chance to break the tie came from Conor Sheary on a penalty shot late in the period. Sheary tried to wait for Price to make the first move, but Price did not flinch and Sheary ended up missing the shot.
For the first time in the game, the Penguins were able to out hit the Canadiens. The hits were 8-6 for the Penguins. The Penguins also out shot the Canadiens 8-4.
After many back and forth chances early, Jonathan Drouin while on a breakaway drew a holding penalty from Jack Johnson. Drouin was awarded a penalty shot with a chance to win the game. Although Drouin was able to get Penguins goaltender Matt Murray move on a deke, Drouin lost the puck before having a chance to shoot it.
With that penalty shot being the second of the game, it became the first time a NHL playoff game had two penalty shots since 1923.
At 13:57 in overtime, Jeff Petry scores and gives the Canadiens the win. Assists on the game winner go to Brendan Gallagher and Phillip Danault. The Canadiens take a 1-0 series lead in this best of five series.
Shots favored the Canadiens 12-7 and hits were 7-3 also for the Canadiens.
Final Score: 3-2 Montreal
Final Game Stats:
Goals: 3-2 Montreal
Shots: 41-35 Pittsburgh
Hits: 53-30 Montreal
Faceoff Percentage: 51%-49% Pittsburgh
Takeaways: 9-8 Montreal
My Thoughts on Game One
The Canadiens won the game, but they need to find a way to stay out of the penalty box moving forward. The Penguins were only one for six on the power play in game one, but the Canadiens are playing with fire.
The young guns for the Canadiens played really well against the more experienced Penguins. I think the Canadiens have a chance to win this series by limiting their penalties, keep being physical and Price playing as sharp as he played in this game.
Fans can catch game two of this series on Monday, August 3rd at 8pm EST. It will be interesting to see how the Penguins respond to this game one defeat.