TORONTO — Jeff Petry scored 5:33 into the third period as the Montreal Canadiens rallied from two goals down and beat Pittsburgh 4-3 in Game 3 on Wednesday night, pushing the Penguins to the brink of elimination in the best-of-five series.
Shea Weber had a goal and two assists for Montreal, Paul Byron added a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Drouin also scored. Ben Chariot also had had assists.
Carey Price stopped 30 shots for the Canadiens — the 12th seed in the Eastern Conference as part of the NHL’s 24-team restart to its pandemic-delayed season. Montreal can advance to the normal first round with 16 teams with win in Game 4 on Friday.
Patric Hornqvist, Jason Zucker and Teddy Blueger scored for fifth-seeded Pittsburgh, which led 3-1 after Blueger’s goal 5:34 into the second. Matt Murray finished with 27 saves.
PANTHERS 3, ISLANDERS 2
Mike Hoffman and Brian Boyle scored 2:07 apart in the opening minutes of the third period, and Florida avoided a sweep.
Erik Haula also scored and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 20 shots. The 10th-seeded Panthers trail the best-of-five series 2-1 with Game 4 on Friday.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Brock Nelson, with 1:27 remaining, scored for the Islanders, the East’s seventh seed. Semyon Varlamov stopped 19 shots and made a costly error leading to Hoffman’s go-ahead goal 41 seconds into the third period.
With Varlamov penalized for playing the puck inside the trapezoid 7 seconds into the frame, Panthers defenceman Keith Yandle faked a shot in the high slot, before feeding Hoffman, who blasted the puck in from the right circle.
Boyle made it 3-1 when he corralled a loose puck inside the Islanders zone and snapped a 40-footer inside the left post.
COYOTES 4, PREDATORS 1
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Conor Garland and Taylor Hall each scored in the third period to lead Arizona.
The Coyotes, seeded 11th in the West in the NHL’s restart, can eliminate the sixth-seeded Predators in Game 4 on Friday in this best-of-five qualifying series.
Christian Dvorak scored on Arizona’s first shot of the game, and Coyotes scored three in the third for the victory capped by Carl Soderberg’s empty-netter inside the final two minutes.
The Predators thought they had a 2-1 lead 1:13 into the third period on a goal by Kyle Turris, but the Coyotes won their challenge of offside with Nashville centre Matt Duchene found over the blue line on review. Turris later hit the post with 6:19 left.
Garland put the Coyotes ahead to stay with his wrister from the slot at 7:08 of the third.
Darcy Kuemper made 39 saves for the victory in his third start in four games and second in two days.
Viktor Arvidsson scored Nashville’s lone goal, and Juuse Saros had 24 saves..
LIGHTNING 3, BRUINS 2
Tyler Johnson scored the tiebreaking goal with 87 seconds left and Tampa Bay handed Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston its second straight loss in the NHL’s playoff seeding round.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 25 shots for the Lightning, who improved to 2-0 in the three-game round-robin. Tampa Bay would earn the No. 1 seed in the East with a victory over Philadelphia on Saturday.
Tuukka Rask made 32 saves for the Bruins, who led the NHL with 100 points in the pandemic-shortened regular season but can now finish no higher than the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Charlie McAvoy and Chris Wagner scored to help Boston rally from a 2-0 deficit. But in the final minutes Yanni Gourde received a long pass at the blue line and shot it off Rask’s left skate. The puck was sitting there for Johnson to flick it in.
AVALANCHE 4, STARS 0
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — High-scoring 21-year-old rookie defenceman Cale Makar connected on an early power-play goal, 30-year-old Pavel Francouz recorded a shutout in his post-season debut and Colorado past Dallas in round-robin play.
Joonas Donskoi, Vladislav Namestnikov and Andre Burakovsky also scored as the Avalanche improved to 2-0 in the three-game round that will determine playoff seeding for the top four teams in the Western Conference. The Stars have lost both of their games and are likely to finish where they started as the fourth seed.
Donskoi scored 3 seconds after a power play ended in the first period, and Burakovsky connected early in the third period after Mattias Janmark was called for tripping late in the second.
Burakovsky’s shot hit the crossbar before deflecting off the back of Stars goalie Anton Khudobin into the net. Donskoi and Burakovsky had assists on the other’s goal.
Khudobin finished with 36 saves.
The Associated Press