MONTREAL (Reuters) - Rookie defenseman P.K. Subban scored a power play game winning goal in overtime to give the Montreal Canadiens a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, sweeping them into the playoffs.
"I had a couple of penalties in this one, so I guess I wanted to make up for it, thankfully I was able to," Subban told reporters.
The Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks kept their wafer-thin hold on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference by getting one point for the overtime loss.
They have a two-point lead over Dallas and Calgary with three games remaining.
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews gave up the penalty that led to the powerplay for tripping.
Subban then sent the Canadiens to the playoffs, firing a one-time shot past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford following a perfect cross-ice pass from Andrei Kostitsyn.
"We worked our butts off and you don't want to blame it on one little thing and say it comes down to a call but that's obviously what happened," said Toews.
"You can argue the call, especially when you feel there are a lot of stick penalties that don't get called against you out there, and then the game's decided on something like that, it's pretty damn frustrating."
Montreal's Mike Cammalleri and Chicago's Patrick Kane exchanged goals in the second period while goaltenders Carey Price and Crawford were unbeatable for the rest of the game, each making spectacular saves.
Price earned his league-leading 37th win making 42 saves, which included seven on a single Blackhawks' power play in the third period.
(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario. Editing by Greg Stutchbury and Alastair Himmer)