Tanev’s OT goal lifts Penguins over Canadiens 3-2

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price makes a save against Pittsburgh Penguins' Teddy Blueger during overtime of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 in Montreal. (AP)

MONTREAL (AP) — Teddy Blueger set up Brandon Tanev’s overtime goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins with a shot that turned into a juicy rebound.

The Montreal Canadiens were stunned that officials let it stand.

Tanev scored a disputed goal in overtime, lifting the Penguins over the Canadiens 3-2 Saturday night.

Bryan Rust tied it with a goal in the third period and Zach Aston-Reese also scored for the Penguins. Matt Murray made 26 saves.

Tanev won it 1:49 into overtime after Blueger tried to stuff a shot but was blocked by goalie Carey Price’s right leg on a 2-on-1. Blueger may have knocked Price’s left leg pad as he swept across the top of the crease. Montreal thought he prevented Price from making the save on Tanev.

Referees Marc Joannette and Chris Rooney went to the video review but confirmed the call on the ice.

“I think there was contact, but it’s the referees making the final decision,” said center Phillip Danault. “I don’t really understand all these different rules. I think (Blueger) impeded the goaltender. It’s frustrating because we just want the rules to be more clear.”

Artturi Lehkonen scored both goals for the Canadiens, who dropped their fifth straight. Max Domi extended his points streak to nine games with an assist, and Price stopped 34 of 37 shots.

Lehkonen nearly completed a hat trick on a breakaway with eight minutes left in the third, but Murray stretched his left pad to make the save.

“I thought (Murray) was terrific,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “The breakaway stop he made in the third period was a huge save for us. That was a game-changing save. Matt’s game is trending the right way. His last couple of starts have been pretty solid. Tonight, I think, was his best.”

The Penguins improved to 4-0-1 in their past five games at Bell Centre.

The Canadiens fell to 0-4-1 in their last five games and 3-6-1 in their last 10.

“This is what I said at the beginning of the year, it’s 50-50, just like the challenges,” coach Claude Julien said. “It depends how they see it. I can’t comment on something I don’t know why they called it a goal.

“I can’t comment because we’re not the ones making those decisions. That’s up to the referees and Toronto. That’s all I can say.”

Newly-acquired veteran Ilya Kovalchuk did not play for the Canadiens. The Russian signed a one-year, two-way contract with Montreal on Friday but hasn’t dressed for a game yet.

The Canadiens jumped to a 1-0 lead at 8:42 of the first period through Lehkonen’s eighth on an athletic play by Domi. The second-line center dangled the puck behind his back to evade Patric Hornqvist before feeding Lehkonen, who was unmarked to Murray’s left.

Pittsburgh tied it 46 seconds later. A turnover in the neutral zone by Jesperi Kotkaniemi gave Blueger enough time to shovel a loose puck to Aston-Reese, who was alone in the slot and beat Price blocker side.

Lehkonen restored Montreal’s one-goal advantage 3:37 into the second period on a heads-up play deep in Pittsburgh’s end. The wing anticipated a pass from Kris Letang to Jack Johnson across the slot, intercepted the puck and rammed it past Murray for his 100th career point.

The Penguins came close to tying it early in the second, but Price made his best save of the encounter. The Canadiens goaltender went post-to-post to rob Rust with his glove on a cross-crease pass from Evgeni Malkin.

Price also denied Jared McCann on a breakaway in the first and Tanev on a 2-on-1 in the second.

NOTES: Penguins minor league G Casey DeSmith missed a chance to join the NHL team because he lost his passport. Pittsburgh let G Tristan Jarry rest at home before the team hosts Florida on Sunday, and the Penguins wanted to promote DeSmith. The 28-year-old couldn’t find the paperwork to travel internationally, and G Emil Larmi was called up from Wheeling of the ECHL instead. DeSmith has played 50 games for Pittsburgh over the past two seasons. Larmi was active for his first NHL game but did not play. … Penguins F Alex Galchenyuk was kept off the score sheet in his fourth game against his former team.


Penguins: Host Florida on Sunday.

Canadiens: Host Winnipeg on Monday night.