Not many pundits had this one correct. The No. 5-seeded Penguins were tapped by many to not only advance over the 12th-seeded Canadiens, but to sweep them.
Now, the Carey Price-led Montreal squad is a game away from advancing to the Stanley Cup playoffs first round.
With wins in Games 1 and 3, both thanks to game-winners from defenseman Jeff Petry (in overtime and to cap a 3-1 come-from-behind win, respectively), a team that didn’t even have a sniff of the playoffs when the season was paused is 60 minutes away from suiting up.
Back on March 12, Claude Julien’s squad had a 31-31-9 record and were nine points out of the postseason with three teams between them and the last wild-card spot. They were tied for 18th in goals for (212), tied for 23rd in goals against, in the bottom third on special teams, on a three-game losing streak and when the June 26 draft lottery happened, everyone was gearing up to potentially see French-Canadian star Alex Lafreniere get drafted by Quebec’s team.
Well, things are looking a tad different now for Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge — and instead, it’s the possibility of Lafreniere skating with Sidney Crosby that has everyone buzzing.
But first, there has to be a Game 4, where the Canadiens will look to close things out and the Penguins will try to remain afloat. Montreal will have to face a new masked man in net as Matt Murray has been booted and 2020 All-Star Tristan Jarry will may his career postseason debut. On the opposite end, Pittsburgh will once again have to try to solve Price, who has been stellar, stopping 104 of 111 shots, including 31 from the high-danger zone (per Natural Stat Trick.com).
Sporting News had all the action as Sidney Crosby — on his birthday — and his Penguins try to avoid elimination.
Penguins vs. Canadiens live score, updates, highlights
(All times are Eastern)
3:35 p.m. — Updates from warmies.
11:07 a.m. — Jake Evans was injured in the second period of Game 3 on a hit by Brandon Tanev.
10:32 a.m. — Tristan Jarry named the starter for Game 4.
Source: Read Full Article