Sidney Crosby scored with 1:19 remaining in overtime and Alex Galchenyuk in the penalty box serving a too-many-men on the ice penalty to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a hard-fought 2-1 win over the Canadiens Saturday night at the Bell Centre. With the defeat the Canadiens have lost two games in a row for the first time since December 5th and 6th against Chicago and Dallas. Max Pacioretty gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead late in the first period. Evgeni Malkin tied the game late in the second. Malkin also drew assist on the Crosby game-winner. Shots on goal in the game were 37-28 in Pittsburgh’s favour. The Canadiens finish the 3 game season series against Pittsburgh with a 1-1-1 record. The announced three stars at the Bell Centre were Crosby and the goaltenders Carey Price and Marc-Andre Fleury.
Adding It Up –
The Natural – Max Pacioretty‘s game opening goal was classic “goalscorer”. Coming off the right side startled Fleury with a hard wrister into the top corner over his glove. Pacioretty reaches the midpoint of the season with 18 goals, few better than this one. With just under 3 minutes left he had the game-winner on his stick and the net open and he hit the outside of the cage.
Tough Break – The too many men on the ice penalty in overtime was unforgivable. The goal was unfortunate. Tomas Plekanec broke his stick almost immediately. Playing effectively 4-on-2 Malkin set up Crosby on quick mid-ice pass that Price had no chance to deal with. Game over.
Can’t Do It All – Before the penalty and the winning goal Price had spectacularly stopped five shots in the overtime including brilliant efforts against David Perron and Crosby. In the third period Price saved a loss in regulation time when he dove across to stop Craig Adams. He also made a big stop on Crosby with five minutes left.
Same Sad Song – Michel Therrien said it all in the post game newser “I didn’t like our power play.” Neither did anyone else in the Bell Centre. It goes on and on. 0-for-4 on this night. In the third period of a tie game the Penguins gifted the Canadiens with a too-many-men penalty of their own and then were outshot 2-0 with the man advantage. The Habs power play needs a total overhaul even if it means reducing P.K. Subban’s role. I certainly can’t be worse.
Worth Mentioning – Therrien did say he liked the Canadiens effort 5-on-5, “We had our chances. It was a good hockey game.” ….I would think Sven Andrighetto has seen his last AHL game. Along with fourth line duties, Therrien gave him 3:22 of power play time. He made a bad clear that led to Pittsburgh’s first goal but his body of work was pretty good for a rookie. UPDATE – Spoke too soon on that one. Andrighetto assigned to Bulldogs Sunday. Thomas remains. ……Seemed like the three times the Andrighetto/Christian Thomas/Michael Bournival line was on the ice in the first period good things happened. As fourth liners they totaled eight shifts in the game but their speed was noticable.
Moving On – The Canadiens now hit the road for two games. Columbus on Wednesday and Ottawa on Thursday before returning home to play the Islanders next Saturday night.