MONTREAL - The Canadiens secured a 3-2 overtime victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday night at the Bell Centre to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
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The Canadiens were deprived of interim head coach Dominique Ducharme's services after he tested positive for COVID-19.
In Ducharme's absence, assistant coaches Luke Richardson and Alex Burrows, and director of goaltending, Sean Burke, were in charge behind the bench.
No lineup changes were made by Montreal heading into the contest.
The Habs had the full support of 3,500 enthusiastic fans in the stands.
They quickly made their presence felt during the pregame festivities.
No goals were scored during the first period.
Goaltender Carey Price made 17 saves in the opening frame, including this one on Max Pacioretty.
The Canadiens, meanwhile, registered three shots on veteran netminder Marc-André Fleury.
The Golden Knights opened the scoring at the 3:16 mark of the second period.
Centreman Nicolas Roy capitalized on a turnover by Eric Staal to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
It was Roy's third goal of the playoffs.
Fortunately, the Canadiens responded just 38 seconds later on a goal by rookie Cole Caufield.
The 20-year-old right-winger accepted a breakaway pass from Nick Suzuki and beat Fleury upstairs for his second goal of the playoffs.
The Stevens Points, WI native extended his point streak to five games on the play.
Caufield also became the first Habs player aged 21 or under to register a five-game postseason point streak since Shayne Corson in 1987.
That's the way things stood after 40 minutes.
Price was solid again in the middle frame, denying forward Alex Tuch on a breakaway.
The Habs' starter stopped 29 of 30 shots after two periods.
Vegas retook the lead just 2:22 into the third period.
Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo caught Price by surprise with a shot from the top of the slot to put the Golden Knights up 2-1.
It was Pietrangelo's fourth goal of the playoffs and his third of the series versus Montreal.
Pacioretty and Tomas Nosek assisted on the tally.
Shortly after Pietrangelo lit the lamp, Price made another remarkable save on Tuch.
Josh Anderson tied things up for Montreal with 1:55 left in regulation.
The 27-year-old winger capitalized on a mistake by Fleury behind his own net, sliding the puck into an empty cage.
It was Anderson's second goal of the playoffs.
Overtime was required to settle this one.
Vegas led 40-21 in shots after 60 minutes.
Anderson scored the game-winner for the Canadiens in the extra frame.
The Burlington, ON native capped a 2-on-0 rush with Paul Byron to seal the deal.
Price made 43 saves to register his 10th win of the playoffs.
Game 4 will be played on Sunday night at the Bell Centre. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET.