PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - The Montreal Canadiens leveled their Eastern Conference series with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions.
On the heels of a stunning first-round win over the top seeded Washington Capitals, the Canadiens appeared to have run out of steam in their Game One 6-3 loss to the Penguins.
Pulled during a poor performance in the series opener, goaltender Jaroslav Halak returned to his impressive playoff form with 38 saves and the Montreal defense coped in the absence of top defender Andrei Markov, out with a knee injury.
“He’s a huge part of this organization and we’re missing him but everyone is stepping up and that’s what we need to win,” 20-year-old defender PK Subban told reporters after stepping in for his injured team mate.
“In a game like this you have two options: you can freeze up or you can grasp the moment and enjoy it. It was a lot of fun.”
Michael Cammalleri netted two goals to lead the way, making the go-ahead score on a power-play in the second period before adding the final one with 2:54 remaining.
Pittsburgh are missing valuable center Jordan Staal, who is out indefinitely with a foot injury, but the home team still took an early lead on Matt Cooke’s backhand at 4:38 in the first.
Brian Gionta tied the game for the Canadiens with 4:12 remaining in the opening period.
Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles