Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
The Official Web Site of the Pittsburgh Penguins
Montréal
Canadiens
42-34-6
Pittsburgh
Penguins
47-24-11

game recap

Penguins 5, Canadiens 4, SO

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

Share with your Friends


Penguins 5, Canadiens 4, SO
Montréal Canadiens 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 5

PITTSBURGH (AP) -The Pittsburgh Penguins were introduced to playoff-style hockey by the Montreal Canadiens. The youthful Penguins like the way they responded against an opponent that looked to be trying to intimidate them from the start.

The Penguins squandered a two-goal lead late in the third period, but Evgeni Malkin won the shootout by deftly faking out David Aebischer with an inside-out move as Pittsburgh beat Montreal 5-4 on Thursday night for its fifth consecutive victory.

Erik Christensen also put the puck past Aebischer as the Penguins won their second shootout in a row - they beat Dallas 4-3 on Friday - after losing five of their first six. Montreal dropped its fifth in nine shootouts as Marc-Andre Fleury stopped the final two Canadiens shooters, Chris Higgins and Tomas Plekanec, after Alex Kovalev had matched Christensen's score. Fleury made 40 saves in regulation and is 9-1-2 in his last 12 starts.

"I've never seen the (Eastern Conference) playoff race so close, five or six teams are so close, and it was a playoff atmosphere," said Sergei Gonchar, who scored twice on the power play and had another slap shot deflected in by Malkin. "You could see their intensity was there. But we're playing with more confidence."

The Canadiens trailed 4-2 after Gonchar scored twice during a rare seven-minute Pittsburgh power play in the second period. But Montreal tied it on goals by Mike Johnson and Mathieu Dandenault in the final 5 1/2 minutes of the third, with Johnson's shot deflecting in off Gonchar and Dandenault's shot bouncing in off defenseman Rob Scuderi's skate.

"Those were tough bounces to take, but we stuck with it and got the two points," Penguins forward Sidney Crosby said.

Crosby, drilled in the midsection by Maxim Lapierre immediately after the opening faceoff to set the tone for a physical and feisty game, assisted on each of the Penguins' first three goals. Crosby became the first player to break the 80-point mark this season with 82, including 25 goals.

Montreal tried to establish its toughness from the start. But the Canadiens' aggressiveness cost them when Sheldon Souray was ejected for jumping on Colby Armstrong, punching him several times and slamming him to the ice after Armstrong leveled Saku Koivu behind the Montreal net.

"You expect teams to be intense, and they had that (checking) line out there to start the game and wanted to set a tone early," Crosby said. "That's part of playing in the second half of the season. Teams want to win hockey games and we're more than willing to play and do whatever we have to do to win games, too."

Souray was given a five-minute fighting major and a two-minute instigating penalty and, about midway into the extended penalty time, Montreal went down two men when Radek Bonk was called for interference.

"The penalties killed us," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "I understand the seven minutes but I just don't understand why Armstrong didn't get anything. I still think he was charging (Koivu) and then he drops his gloves. Armstrong knew what he was doing and dropped his gloves and didn't get anything."

Still, Carbonneau took Souray's side by saying, "Saku is our best player and if somebody does something like that to him, I have no problem with someone playing that way."

"I've never seen it called like that at all, it seemed to be one-sided," Souray said.

Bonk returned during the lengthy power play to score a short-handed goal, but Pittsburgh was already up 2-0 following Malkin's 25th goal and Gonchar's slap-shot goal as Jordan Staal screened Aebischer during a two-man advantage. Gonchar scored his second of the game and ninth of the season, on another slap shot from the high slot, with 15 seconds left in the Souray-caused power play.

"We're moving the puck well and I had a chance to shoot it," Gonchar said. "There was good traffic in front and the puck is finding the net."

Bonk scored again, his eighth, late in the second, but Christensen answered with his 10th of the season to make it 4-2 midway through the third.

Notes: Montreal led 44-33 in shots, 7-0 in overtime when Pittsburgh was short-handed for the final 1:40 after Gonchar was called for holding. ... Montreal leads the NHL with 15 short-handed goals. ... Crosby has more assists (57) than any Penguins player has points. Crosby has an eight-game scoring streak (4 goals, 13 assists). ... Penguins forward Mark Recchi turned 39 on Thursday. ... Aebischer made his second successive start, the first time he's done so since Nov. 7-11.

scoring summary
1st Period
18:19
PIT
PPG - Evgeni Malkin (25) ASST: Sergei Gonchar (32), Sidney Crosby (55)
1 - 0 PIT
2nd Period
08:40
PIT
PPG - Sergei Gonchar (8) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (30), Sidney Crosby (56)
2 - 0 PIT
10:35
MTL
SHG - Radek Bonk (7) ASST: NONE
2 - 1 PIT
11:38
PIT
PPG - Sergei Gonchar (9) ASST: Sidney Crosby (57), Ryan Whitney (28)
3 - 1 PIT
17:13
MTL
Radek Bonk (8) ASST: Sergei Samsonov (14), Mike Johnson (13)
3 - 2 PIT
3rd Period
09:09
PIT
Erik Christensen (10) ASST: Maxime Talbot (5), Colby Armstrong (13)
4 - 2 PIT
14:29
MTL
SHG - Mike Johnson (9) ASST: Craig Rivet (10)
4 - 3 PIT
17:31
MTL
Mathieu Dandenault (2) ASST: Mark Streit (16), Sergei Samsonov (15)
4 - 4 Tie
OT Period
NONE
Shootout
RNDPITMTL
1E. ChristensenA. Kovalev
2S. CrosbyC. Higgins
3E. MalkinT. Plekanec
penalty summary
1st Period
06:27
PIT
Sergei Gonchar  Holding the stick against  Chris Higgins
07:05
MTL
Alex Kovalev  Interference against  Colby Armstrong
11:36
MTL
Garth Murray  Roughing against  Jarkko Ruutu
11:36
PIT
Jarkko Ruutu  Roughing against  Garth Murray
11:36
PIT
Dominic Moore  Tripping against  Sheldon Souray
15:32
PIT
Mark Recchi  Slashing against  Radek Bonk
16:36
MTL
Michael Ryder  Hooking against  Jordan Staal
2nd Period
00:35
PIT
Mark Recchi  Roughing against  Maxim Lapierre
04:53
MTL
Sheldon Souray  Game misconduct
04:53
MTL
Sheldon Souray  Misconduct (10 min)
04:53
MTL
Sheldon Souray  Fighting (maj) against  Colby Armstrong
04:53
MTL
Sheldon Souray  Instigator against  Colby Armstrong
07:48
MTL
Radek Bonk  Interference against  Mark Recchi
14:11
PIT
Sergei Gonchar  Tripping against  Saku Koivu
3rd Period
14:25
MTL
Tomas Plekanec  Roughing against  Alain Nasreddine
OT Period
00:42
MTL
Saku Koivu  Hi-sticking against  Brooks Orpik
00:42
PIT
Brooks Orpik  Roughing against  Saku Koivu
03:20
PIT
Sergei Gonchar  Holding against  Saku Koivu
goalie stats
David Aebischer
David Aebischer
SA: 33TOI: 64:53
Saves: 29EV: 21 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 11
SV%: .879SH: 0 - 0
Marc-Andre Fleury
SA: 44TOI: 65:00
Saves: 40EV: 25 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 14 - 14
SV%: .909SH: 1 - 3