Carey Price was in a position to make history Saturday, but Sidney Crosby and friends had a different idea.Crosby had a four-point night with a goal and three assists and Jake Guentzel scored twice to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-1 win at the Bell Centre.The win allowed the Penguins to claim the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Pittsburgh and Montreal have 77 points each but the Canadiens dropped into the second wild-card spot because they have played one more game. The only good news for the Canadiens came earlier in the day when Edmonton shut out Columbus 4-0. The Blue Jackets are just outside the playoffs with 75 points but they have two games in hand on Montreal.Both teams went with their No. 1 goaltenders after they played Friday night. Price, who was coming off a road win over the New York Rangers, was looking for win No. 314, which would have tied him with the late Jacques Plante for the most wins in team history. Matt Murray was on the losing end of a 4-3 overtime decision in Buffalo Friday but he bounced back with a 36-save performance.Sidney Crosby reached a milestone when he opened the scoring 21 seconds into the first period. It was Crosby’s 440th goal with the Penguins and he moved ahead of Jaromir Jagr on Pittsburgh’s all-time goals list. He has a long way to go before catching all-time leader Mario Lemieux, who scored 690.The Penguins took advantage of a mistake by Jordie Benn, who lost the puck to Jared McCann as he tried to clear the Montreal zone. Crosby worked a give-and-go with Jake Guentzel and got a break when his shot hit a post and bounced in off Price’s skate.Crosby had a hand in Pittsburgh’s second goal, setting up Evgeni Malkin at the point on a power play. The result was Malkin’s 21st goal of the season.Guentzel made it 3-0 at 10:32 after Crosby won a faceoff against Nate Thompson in the Montreal zone. This was one Price should have stopped but the shot went in through his pads to give the Penguins three goals on their first four shots.
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray makes a save against Montreal Canadiens’ Max Domi during first period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Saturday, March 2, 2019.
Graham Hughes /
THE CANADIAN PRESS
The Canadiens outshot the Penguins 12-4 in the first period and their best chance was on a Max Domi breakaway, which was stopped by Murray. Price kept the game from getting completely out of hand by forcing Malkin to shoot high on a breakaway.Guentzel scored his 31st goal in the second period for a 4-0 lead while Brendan Gallagher ended Murray’s shutout bid with his 29th at 7:30 of the second period. It was a typical Gallagher goal as he battled for position in front of the net and converted a pass from Phillip Danault.Claude Julien pulled Price with more than four minutes to go and McCann added an empty-net goal.The Canadiens will spend the coming week in California with a game in Los Angeles Tuesday (10:30 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio) followed by back-to-back games Thursday in San Jose and Friday in Anaheim.firstname.lastname@example.org/zababes1Related