Pens-Canadiens In-Game Blog
Friday, 01.20.2012 / 6:16 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
MALKIN SCORES THE ONLY GOAL OF THE SHOOTOUT TO SEAL THE DEAL!!! PENS WIN!!!
PENS 5, CANADIENS 4
0:00: After a series of near heart attacks, we're going to the shootout.
1:11: Fleury kicks out the pad on a shot through a bit of traffic to keep play going!
2:20: Huge scoring chance for the Pens there. Pacioretty found himself basically all alone on the back door, but somehow Fleury was able to keep it out of his net!!!
5:00: The extra period begins. Teams will skate 4-on-4 per NHL rules.
0:00: We're going to OT folks.
2:43: Geno dishes a beautiful backhand sauce pass to Neal, who gives it right back into his linemate's wheelhouse. Geno winds up and one-times a bullet short side past Budaj, who's still sliding over as the puck is already in the back of the net!!! PENS 4, CANADIENS 4
4:35: We're all back to full strength.
5:16: Habs go to the PP for 41 seconds.
6:35: We'll be 4-on-4 for the next 1:17 as Kunitz gets called for boarding.
7:18: Another big PP here for Pittsburgh as Cole interferes with Tanger on the blue line!
7:48: Pens have really been pressing hard these last few shifts. They seem to have dug deep and are drawing on their reserves of energy.
10:57: The NHL's top road penalty kill comes up big on the Pens' PP. They kill it off and go back to full strength.
13:05: Huge stop on a 2-on-1 rush by Fleury on Pacioretty! And on the ensuing counterattack, Pens get a PP as Cole goes to the box for slashing. Crucial opportunity for Pittsburgh here!
16:28: Jeffrey finds a loose puck in the slot and wrists a scorcher over Budaj's glove for his second goal of the night! With the assist he got on Letang's goal, this is Jeffrey's first career three-point game! CANADIENS 4, PENS 3
18:14: Penalty expires and Letang is released! Pens back to full strength.
20:00: Pens begin the final frame with 1:46 left on the penalty assessed to Letang. Also, Adams was assessed a 10-minute misconduct as the last period ended, so he'll be in the box for a while. Puck drops. Here we go!
- Jeffrey has a goal and an assist already tonight
- The tally was his first since March 18, 2011 vs. Ottawa
- Both Cole and Kostitsyn each have a goal and an assist
0:00: That'll do it for the second. Habs take a 4-2 lead into the intermission. Pens have a 22-16 edge in shots.
0:14: Pens take another late penalty as Letang slashes Plekanec (whose shot ended up bouncing off Fleury and hitting the crossbar). To the PK they go.
2:48: A few good shifts for the Pens just now but overall, they just look tired. It's been a busy month for them so far.
6:40: Pens certainly bringing the physicality factor tonight. They're outchecking Habs 18-10.
9:26: Just like that, the momentum swings back to Montreal as Pacioretty taps in a feed from Cole to give the Habs a 2-goal lead. Right before the tally, Vitale had laid a thunderous check on Nokelainen that got the crowd revved. CANADIENS 4, PENS 2
12:54: Pens are back to full strength as Addsy is liberated!
14:28: Michalek gives a cross-ice pass that Subban tries to intercept -- and ends up sending right to the stick of Jeffrey, who taps it past Budaj for the score! Shortie for the Pens!!! CANADIENS 3, PENS 2
14:54: One of Pittsburgh's best PKers in Craig Adams will go to the box for holding. Pens back to the PK.
17:03: Tangradi absorbs a hard hit just outside the blue paint and skates gingerly to the bench, but does not go down the runway.
18:51: And Canadiens strike with 8 seconds left. Kostitsyn roofs a shot from the slot over Fleury's shoulder. CANADIENS 3, PENS 1
20:00: Puck drops to start the second. Game on! Pens have 1:14 left on the penalty to Orpik.
- That was Letang's fourth goal and 21st point through 24 games
- Dupuis and Jeffrey picked up the assists
- Letang is leading the Pens with 9:52 of ice time
0:00: That'll do it for the first. Habs have a 2-1 lead over Pittsburgh and Letang has Pens' only goal. Shots: Pittsburgh 10, Canadiens 6.
0:43: Orpik gets called for hooking, which he had to do in order to prevent a breakaway. Pens will end the period on the PK.
2:14: Emelin checks Tangradi into the boards behind the Habs net and the glass falls out as a result. Luckily no one is hurt, but the game will be delayed a few minutes as the crew gets it taken care of.
5:02: The puck squeaks by a Habs blueliner and Dustin Jeffrey pounces; he gets a mini breakaway but can't get a big enough lead so he passes back to Adams, and Budaj has to make a wheeling glove save on the shot!
6:17: Habs back to full strength. They currently possess the league's top road penalty kill.
7:24: Plekanec capitalizes on a turnover and is off on a mini breakaway with Neal trying to get back; but it's Letang that comes to the rescue like he's been shot out of a cannon and sweeps the puck off his stick cleanly. Unbelievable speed by Tanger.
8:23: Subban really getting under the Pens' skin already tonight. He lays out Vitale with a punch/hit in the corner and gets called for it. Fleury goes to the bench and Pens are able to work it pretty well with the extra attacker, but Habs finally get possession.
11:37: Pens successfully kill it off. They're back to full strength.
13:38: Neal's stick gets caught in Hal Gill's skate blade and he's going to get a penalty for it. Pens to the PK.
14:19: Kostitsyn snaps a shot on goal that Fleury saves, but a crashing Cole knocks home the rebound. CANADIENS 2, PENS 1
15:58: Letang gets the puck on the point and heads to the net. He skirts around Plekanec, who went down for the sliding block, and goes to the side of the cage where it goes off Chris Campoli's blade past Budaj! Welcome back Tanger!!! PENS 1, CANADIENS 1
16:44: Sullivan skates across the ice to stay onsides as the Pens enter the zone and collides with Travis Moen. The refs see it as interference and send Sully to the box. Teams will go 4-on-4.
17:03: Kunitz lays a hard, clean hit on Erik Cole and Pacioretty beelines across the ice to challenge the Pens forward to a fight for it. The two duke it out in a lengthy fight that sends them both to the box. And the Habs forward is getting an extra two for roughing, which puts Pens on the PP!
19:26: Canadiens strike 34 seconds in off a fluky bounce. Subban pinched in and got a shot toward the goal; the puck deflected off Engelland's skate and right to Lars Eller, who punched it past a surprised Fleury for the score. CANADIENS 1, PENS 0
20:00: It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Puck drops to start the first. Game on!
Pens lines are the same as last night's:
Fleury starts in goal. Peter Budaj in net for Montreal. Pens scratch Williams, Asham and Lovejoy.
Good evening everyone! The Pens are back at CONSOL Energy Center for their second game in as many nights. They're coming off a colossal 4-1 win over the NY Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, who was the NHL's top team heading into the contest. The Pens were led by yet another Herculean effort by Evgeni Malkin, who had two goals to give him nine in his last seven contests.
But perhaps the best part of the game was that Kris Letang made his return to the lineup after a 21-game absence. He sustained a broken nose and concussion as a result of a high hit from Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty, but head coach Dan Bylsma said there will be no shenanigans in the first meeting between the two clubs since the injury.
"I know I am going to speak to Kris and say that won’t be the case," Bylsma said. "He’s got to focus on playing the game and not worry about something that happened before. That won’t be what Kris is doing tonight."
The Pens did not hold a morning skate this a.m. because of the back-to-back situation, but they did make a roster move -- recalling Jason Williams from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
"(The move is) really just an indication we don’t have any extra players," Bylsma said. "We’re hopeful that we’ll stay with the same lineup as last night. There’s a possibility he may have to go in."
Bylsma also said that Marc-Andre Fleury gets the nod tonight against his hometown team for his 20th straight appearance, which will be the most extensive workload of his career. During Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup championship season in 2008-09, Fleury also appeared in 19 straight games from Feb. 3-Mar. 14, 2009.
The video of Bylsma's pre-game address to the media is below: