Brandon Tanev Scores in Overtime, Penguins Beat Canadiens 3-2

MONTREAL — Brandon Tanev scored in overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

Zach Aston-Reese and Bryan Rust scored for the Penguins (25-11-5) in regulation time in the first game of a back-to-back. Matt Murray made 26 saves.

Artturi Lehkonen scored both goals for the Canadiens (18-17-7), who dropped their fifth straight game. Max Domi extended his point streak to nine games with an assist while Carey Price stopped 34-of-37 shots in defeat.

Tanev scored 1:49 into overtime when he cashed in Teddy Blueger’s rebound past a sprawled-out Price as the Penguins improved to 4-0-1 in their past five games at Bell Centre.

Pittsburgh Penguins Brandon Tanev
Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Brandon Tanev (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Newly-acquired veteran Ilya Kovalchuk did not make his Canadiens debut. The Russian signed a one-year, two-way contract with Montreal on Friday.

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

Pittsburgh tied the game 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 winger 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.

Artturi Lehkonen Montreal Canadiens
Artturi Lehkonen, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Penguins came close to tying the game 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.

Rust got his redemption at 5:24 of the third, tying the game 2-2 after Johnson’s shot off the end boards bounced right onto his stick. The goal came less than a minute after Montreal-born defenceman Marco Scandella, who was making his Canadiens debut, drilled a shot off the post.

Penguins Bryan Rust
Pittsburgh Penguins Bryan Rust (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

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


Alex Galchenyuk was kept off the score sheet in his fourth game against his former team. … Olympic freestyle skier Mikael Kingsbury was in attendance at Bell Centre.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2020.

Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press