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Crosby, Pens Even Series With Victory

Pittsburgh tops Montreal 3-1, Game 3 on Wednesday

Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Jason Zucker (16) scores past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) during the third period of an NHL hockey playoff game Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — Sidney Crosby, Jason Zucker and Jake Guentzel scored for the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night, tying the best-of-five qualifying series at one game apiece.

Crosby beat Montreal’s Carey Price early in the first period and Zucker scored with about five minutes left in the third. Guentzel sealed the win with an empty-net goal.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi ended Matt Murray’s shutout bid with 2:09 left.

The Canadiens opened the series with a 3-2 overtime win on Saturday, but were flat from the start in Game 2 and never recovered. Game 3 is Wednesday night.

The Penguins controlled the early offensive play and Price had to be sharp right away, denying Zucker after he was sent in alone a few minutes into the game.

Pittsburgh kept the pressure on and was rewarded when Guentzel’s cross-ice pass found Crosby streaking down the left wing. The Penguins’ captain snapped the puck between Price’s legs at 4:25.

It was the 188th playoff point of Crosby’s NHL career, moving him into an eighth-place tie with Joe Sakic and Doug Gilmour.

As Montreal pressed for the equalizer, Kulak got caught at the blue line to give Pittsburgh a 2-on-1 break, allowing Conor Sheary to find Zucker in front at 14:41.

Guentzel iced the victory with 9.1 seconds left. Pittsburgh outshot Montreal 38-27.

NOTES: Pittsburgh, the No. 5 seed in the East, again struggled on the power play. The Pens were 0 for 5, leaving them 1 for 12 in the series. … Montreal, the No. 12 seed, was 0 for 3 with the man advantage. … A recorded version of “O Canada” was performed by Canadian country singer Brett Kissel. Unlike the Game 1 anthem, the rendition included a French verse. … Montreal outhit Pittsburgh 31-20.

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Game 3 of the series is Wednesday night.

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