Such was Bergevin’s choice, though there was no debate in the GM’s mind which path he would choose.

Nobody has a goaltender like Carey Price in the league, Bergevin told reporters on Sunday. Goalies are not important until you don’t have one. … It’s a position that’s really hard to find, and we have in my opinion, our opinion, one of the best in the business, so I’m going to keep him and make sure he’s here for the rest of his career.

Price has a lifetime 2.40 goals-against average in 509 regular season appearances, though he’s been below that number each of the last four seasons as he entered his prime. Just three seasons ago he ran the table by winning the Vezina Trophy, Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award, leading the league with 44 wins while posting a 1.96 GAA and .933 save percentage. He was again a Vezina finalist this year, ranking fifth with 37 victories, sixth with a 2.23 GAA and tied for seventh with a .923 save percentage.

I love that about the guy. Yeah, he’s always like that. I think our players get a kick out of him, quite honestly, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said about Kessel channeling his emotions into the game-winner. He’s a guy that, he’s a vocal guy. He’s an emotional guy, and he’s all in. He wants to win. So when he comes back to the bench, if he thinks he wanted a puck or he was open, he lets a player know. Hey, give it to him. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

Ultimately, Ottawa was done in by one bad third period after putting on a masterclass on how to beat the Penguins in their five previous. The Sens failed to produce a shot on goal until 4:54 remaining in the final frame ‘ a span of 18:53 that extended to before the second intermission.

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