MONTREAL (KDKA) – A questionable hit in the third period went unpunished, but Kris Letang hurt the Canadiens on the scoreboard when it mattered the most.
With the score tied 3-3 late in the third period, Letang fired a shot on goal as he crossed the Montreal blue line.
Max Pacioretty delivered a high hit on Letang after the shot was released. The hit left Letang bleeding from his nose, which was reportedly broken on the play.
No penalty was assessed on the play and Letang went straight to the locker room. He came back for the start of overtime and made his presence known in a big way.
James Neal fired a backhander off the rush, which was stopped by Canadiens’ goaltender Carey Price. The puck sat free in the crease and after some poking and digging, the puck came to Letang, who put it behind Price to give the Penguins a 4-3 win.
Price and the rest of the Canadiens immediately questioned why the referee had not blown the whistle before the goal, claiming Price had covered the puck. Television replays showed the puck being free for a short time, but the referee was on the other side of the net during the exchange.
After having two other goals disallowed in the game, this one stood and the Penguins added two points in the standings.
Once again, the Penguins had to rally from behind just to force overtime.
Evgeni Malkin scored just 21 seconds into the game to put Pittsburgh up 1-0. However, Montreal responded with goals by Travis Moen and Pacioretty to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
The Penguins appeared to tie the game early in the second after a puck bounced into the net off of Chris Kunitz. However, upon review it was determined that Kunitz had directed the puck into the net with his glove and was waived off.
With just under nine minutes to play in the period, Erik Cole blew a shot by Marc-Andre Fleury to put the Canadiens up 3-1.
The Penguins began to take control and were getting several chances around the Montreal net. Finally, Pascal Dupuis broke through with a long slap shot to cut the deficit to 3-2 with 3:20 to play in the period.
The score would remain unchanged until late in the third period.
Malkin found Jordan Staal wide open entering the play from the bench and sprung him on a breakaway. Staal cradled the puck and roofed it over Price to tie the game 3-3 with 4:30 to play.
Pittsburgh largely dominated the final two periods of play and outshot Montreal 42-27 in the game.
While no penalty was assessed for the hit on Letang, Pacioretty will face a disciplinary hearing with the NHL on Monday.