Liveblog: Game 24 – Canadiens beat powerhouse Penguins 3-2

EmelinPitt

Max on fire

Max Pacioretty scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season to key the Canadiuens' 3-2 conquest of the Penguins.

The Canadiens led 1-0, on Pacioretty's first goal of the game, after 40 minutes and took control in the third period when Tomas Plekanec and Pacioretty beat Marc-Andree Fleury.

James Neal scored twice for the visitors.

Carey Price made 29 saves to 26 for Fleury.

Sidney Crosby was blanketed by Plekanec and kept off the scoresheet.

The win completed an unlikely back-to-back sweep of Washington and Pittsburgh.

 

Explosion of scoring

Before the third operiod was three minutes old, Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty (with his second of the game) gave the Canadiens a 3-0 lead.

Over, right?

Wrong.

James Neal got the Penguins on the board with an unstoppable laser. And with three minutes left, Evgeni Malkin's spectacular end-to-end rush set up Neal's second of the game.

Then the Canadiens held the fort.

Max scores, exits

Pouncing on a ridiculous turnover by Pittsburgh defenceman Olli "Vowels" Maata, Max Pacioretty fired a wrister past Marc-Andree Fleury for the game's first and, thus far, only goal.

Pacioretty left the game midway through the period.

The Canadiens had back-to-back power plays but could not beat Fleury.

Shots were 11-8 for the home team.

The period ended in a scrum, featuring Brendan Gallagher and Chris Kunitz, setting up a lively third.

As advertised

The POenguins and Canadiens played 20 minutes of terrific hockey.

The home team didn't get a shot until eight minutes into the game. And they had to kill two penalties.

But the Canadiens had the best of it late in the period, and a Tomas Plekanec shot nearly trickled past Marc-André Fleury.

Carey Price's best saves were on a bang-bang close-in chance by Pascal Dupuis.

Shots were 12-12.

Good game.

Scouting report

While y'all had a good Friday night's sleep after that nice W in Washington, the HIO staff stayed up studying video on Pittsburgh to prepare for the Penguins' visit to the Bell Centre Saturday night.

We perused a 20-page scouting report full of McGuirean detail, such as Matt Niskanen's tendencies on dump-ins to his opposite corner and what Beau Bennett studied in high school.

But all the accumulated intelligence boils down to this:

Keep an eye on Sidney Crosby ... and Evgeni Malkin ... and James Neal ... and Chris Kunitz ... and Kris Letang ... and ...

The visitors have a lot of weapons – not to mention a hot goaltender in Marc-André Fleury (13-6-0, 1.90, .924).

The Penguins are the best team the Canadiens have faced – and the best Bell Centre fans have seen – since San Jose came to town. Pittsburgh's last visit, on March 2, Brandon Sutter scored in OT to secure a 7-6 barnburner win.

If both teams play well Saturday night, it should be a terrific game.

 

 

816 Comments

  1. big al says:

    The biggest weakness on the Habs is lack of size and toughness on D. Gorges and Diaz never hit anyone and they are terrible in getting the puck out of their zone onto the stick of one of the forwards. They just bang the puck off the glass or boards never looking to make a pass. I think they are both highly overrrated. Bring up Tinordi and Beaulieu. They both have more talent, size and toughness!!!! Against the bigger Western conference teams we look like minor leaguers!

  2. third generation haber says:

    Very gutsy effort! I love when we play an attacking style. Ful credit to all, including MT.

    Problem is, we did this last year, won the division, got bounced in the first round, and drafted 25th…. When I watch Diaz swing his stick like a little girl instead of hitting Malkin, I remember precisely why we we’re not the same team in the post-season.

    j.p. murray

    • savethepuck says:

      I remember injuries to Max, Carey, Prust, Eller, Emelin, White, etc…being one of the reasons we didn’t do well in the playoffs.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  3. savethepuck says:

    Habs beat Pens for their 3rd win in a row on a Saturday night and nobody is posting? Where the heck is everyone?

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  4. savethepuck says:

    Haven’t seen Timo in a while, but in case he was wondering, Plex shadowed the best player in the world tonight keeping him to 0 points and he even scored a goal.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  5. Just finished watching the game, and wow that’s how it’s done…attack attack attack. Good to see Therrien got the memo.

    Only one complaint. I haven’t said a nasty word about Dersharnais for two years (he’s there and we’re here) but he royally erked me tonight. With a buck 20 remaining and Gallagher fighting two Penguins, on what planet in hockey do you sit and watch a battle outnumbered two to one? You want to eat the clock up you do not sit there by the net hoping someone does all the work. That was hard to watch. Get your butt in there win the battle and eat the clock up. Nothing harsh, just get your hands dirty tis all.

    Great work Habs! Best HNIC in over a month!

    TSN Olympic Update

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    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
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  6. Arnou Ruelle says:

    Hi guys. Just got back here again..

    • Arnou Ruelle says:

      Here’s what I notice over the past three games:

      1) They need to stop 3rd period blowoffs! This has been the biggest weakness of the Habs.

      2) Prusty is slowing Larry and Chuky down. Need to put Bourny to speed up kid line.

      3) Gally IMO should be a Team Canada consideration. Dude knows how to puck handle and battle inside the crease. Davy and Patches are copying his style.

      4) Pricy and Budaj are playing better thanks to Stephane Waite.

      5) Danny-Pleky-Gio should be a solid line. Short but stable.

      Overall. The team is doing ok. MB can still improve the team after 20-plus games. MT is doing somewhat of a decent job. Hope he continues that work along with staff.

      • A. Berke says:

        I fully concur, especially regarding Bournival replacing Prust to join Eller and Galchenyuk.

        Ali B.

      • savethepuck says:

        I can’t see Bournival with Eller and Chucky. Chucky and Bournival have only played LW and center. Eller has only played RW and center. Unless you take Eller off of center, one of the kids will have to play their off wing, and I can’t see MT doing that.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

  7. PrimeTime says:

    Are we still on the fire MT should be fired wagon? Booner predicted this week to be a disaster. I guess credibility means nothing in today’s media circus

    • His butt was saved the last three games, don’t think for one minute had the Habs continued playing like they were (no fire, no scoring) that no changes would have been made. It was looking exactly how exactly how coaches get fired.

      When teams shut down, who goes? History doesn’t lie.

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures
      Summit Member 1.29.31.33

      • Ktowner says:

        3 and 0 in my 10 game evaluation with a healthy team. MT must have read my post.
        On a serious note I agree that these third period let downs are a cause of concern.

  8. Habitoban says:

    Funny. Team started heading south last year when we lost Emelin, now that he’s back it looks like we’re heading north.

  9. savethepuck says:

    3 wins in a row against 3 good teams. I really like how this team looks when healthy. I think they can compete against any team. Only 4 points out of the conference lead, bring on the Bruins!

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  10. JM says:

    A little reminder to MT. The team has been playing great the last few games don’t change anything. See how long we can ride the rails with this. Nothing beats winning …

  11. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Was the 4th line on for the 2nd Pens goal? I saw White.

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  12. Peter Young says:

    A lovely win to add to our club’s three-game winning streak against three strong teams. It was particularly pleasing that the Canadiens at no time went into a defensive shell, Martin style, to protect their lead. They continued to play the way that got them their lead in the first place, and that prevented the Pens superstars from getting more than two.

    It was enjoyable to see Crosby so frustrated by P.K. Subban, once and future Norris Trophy winner, and by Plekanec, crafty as ever. It was equally pleasing to see Gallagher battling away all night.

    In fact, well done to all the lads. Tonight’s game was fast, exciting, entertaining hockey, our team came out on top, and I will go to bed very happy on this Saturday night.

    If the team continues to play like this and suffers no injuries to leading players, they should make the playoffs, even given the unfair playoff qualification rules that penalize teams in stronger divisions like the Metropolitan.

  13. Habitoban says:

    I apologize in advance for being petty, but … Jacques Martin, that is how you hold on to a lead!

  14. habs-hampton says:

    Will someone PLEASE tell Bob Cole that the Ole song does not mean the fans think the game is in the bag. It’s a fight song, a motivational song, a cheer for the team. It’s not the same as the nananana song.

    You’d think it was his first game(except he says it every time he hears it with more than 5 minutes left in a game.)

  15. The Gonk says:

    DD is playing better – you know he’s confident when he reminds you of water-bug skipping the surface, he’s had that kind of jump lately. But the line change to give Malkin space wasn’t good. That MT plays him the last minute is bizarre to me but totally predictable. Patches has it going. BG on that line, on any line, seems to be the magic spice. Price was outstanding again, just some unreal saves in first part of the game. Subban and Markov did it again and thank goodness Emelin is back – we have a decent top 3 (whoever is paired with Emnelin). Plekanec ruled the face-offs and Gionta was game. Did anyone notice Bourque didn’t play? I didn’t.

  16. Donkey Hoat says:

    Very good (and rare) to see Tomas Plekanec given a game star.
    They should have a fourth star every game, and give it to Plekanec.
    Night in, night out, he brings it, and with so little fanfare and hoopla.

  17. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Again, a great win tonight, but, two games in a row they almost blew a 3-0 lead. A concern U think?

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  18. sweetmad says:

    Pleks shut down Crosby again,like I have said before Crosby hates playing against him,got really nasty in the face off,the linesman got so fed up he sent Crosby out,we did well on the face offs tonight and they had something like 10 more blocked shots than us,we were fireing on all cylanders tonight,love my team.We only had 2 takeaways according to the score box,I could have sworn we had more than that.But I don’t care we won.
    GO HABS GO

    • AH says:

      Yeah that was hilarious, Crosby looked like a dad giving it to his teenage son, and Pleks looked just like a kid sitting there head down not saying a thing, then Mom (the ref) comes in and saves the kid! LOL!

  19. AH says:

    What was Crosby all over Pleks for?, was it just because he was kicking his arse in the face off circle? He was going off on Pleks that one time before the ref tossed him. LOL!

  20. habsfanforever7631 says:

    Great win by the Habs!

    A lot of credit should go to P.K. Subban, he played against Crosby all night, and he did very well. Same goes for Plek.
    Subban also played the last minute of today’s game and yesterdays game, as he should.

    Go habs go! We’re on a role!

  21. HabFab says:

    Washington disappoints again… Ottawa looks like they won’t.

  22. DipsyDoodler says:

    Three games against three of the best teams in the league. Three exciting wins.

    Those few of you who can’t stop complaining are worse than a thousand Justin Biebers.

  23. Habitoba says:

    Similar wins between Caps and Pens

  24. Jed says:

    Bah, Leafs win the skills competition.

  25. Grimmly says:

    Good on Reimer, he deserved the win. I love how the leafs basically gave up on his as a starter and he plays like that

  26. danhabsfan says:

    How does Leafs win when they are always dominated

  27. Stevie.Ray says:

    Galchenyuk has gone cold. Better trade him, am’i'right, folks

    • habs001 says:

      He looks physically more over matched this year than last year and it is not easy to play with Eller and Prust…I dont believe he will make the USA team as he his weak in the d zone but he will be a top forward in 2 years…

  28. Vladdy Mondavi says:

    What a game by Subban! He stifled and got under the skin of two of the leagues studs.

    A couple seasons ago PK would have tried to sell Malkin’s elbow during their scrum in the second. Instead he kept his head on and played a solid defensive effort all around.

    I think I’ll have another beer. Night can’t get much better… Maybe it can Leafs need to lose.

    • JM says:

      Come on Matty. When they were losing they did suck and I would not blame that totally on management. Someone woke up and finally put some balance lines together that’s the reason for winning the last few games. Having said that. Don’t get too excited. I am glad they are winning but. This team is like the weather. unpredictable …

  29. Mattyleg says:

    This is a terrible, terrible result for everyone who has been maintaining how much we suck, how much Therrien sucks, how bad our players are, and how ignorant our management is.

    I wait in great anticipation to hear these posters’ take on these past three matches.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  30. Marc10 says:

    That was a great game. Loved the crowd! Well done Seventh man. Well done.

  31. punkster says:

    Unreal in here.

    We get scored on a great play by a couple of the best players in the game today making exceptional moves and people have to find their Habs whipping boys to lay blame upon.

    Grow up.

    Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
    but…
    ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

  32. Stevie.Ray says:

    Why the heck did they call it the Metropolitan Division?

  33. habs001 says:

    Habs played well and probably should have been up 5-2…The Cube has to be seniored into a coaching position and it is time for one of the AHL teams 3 d…to be played into the lineup…Cube and Diaz together will burn the Habs in the playoffs…

  34. L Elle says:

    3 consecutive wins against 3 very good teams. All measuring devices in lockdown mode.

  35. Harditya says:

    WHAT A GAME! I LOVE GALLAGHER!!

  36. The Jackal says:

    Rofl what is with the Crosby hating? He is the best player in the world and he is not whiny – deal with it haters! Can’t you just enjoy the sport and the stars that elevate it to a higher level? Jeez, some people. Mon dieu! Or is it Mondou?

    I for one am glad the Habs won and that the paying fans got to see a great game.

  37. VancouverHab says:

    Was Briere benched in the third? He was invisible if he wasn’t….

  38. NLhabsfan says:

    This one is so sweet..love the way they shut down Crosby.

  39. Bill says:

    The Habs are really rollin’!

  40. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Great win but I am still p!ssed on that second Pens goal. He blew by 3 Habs to score.

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  41. slapshot777 says:

    Price so confident. What a difference from previous years. Now I feel it has to be aa perfect shot to beat him. Playing positionally sound.

  42. Adam says:

    They’re ruining the tank by being good. Does this team just not get that you have to lose to win?!

  43. SlovakHab says:

    3 stars for me: 3. Neal; 2. Pacioretty; 1. Price

  44. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Again, my good feeling absolutely STOMPS all over Boone’s bad feeling. And I didn’t get to watch the game! Go Habs!

  45. slapshot777 says:

    Great week. Habs coming to life finally.

  46. Adidess says:

    Maybe this team will get on a run. What a week!

  47. icemachine says:

    This CH team is not only talented, they’re playing with heart. So good to see the team healthy and playing well

  48. aversglay says:

    What a week!

  49. LeGrosBill says:

    HALAK!!!

  50. Mondou6 says:

    There must be a few unhappy Crosby fans here tonight.

  51. duffy says:

    Take that mr. Crosby

  52. Propwash says:

    Stick = measured.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  53. Et le but says:

    Terrific week of hockey; proud of my team!

  54. Et le but says:

    This one’s done folks!

  55. LeGrosBill says:

    finally a call

  56. Et le but says:

    We are on the verge of taking 6 out of 6 against top flight teams this week!
    Re

  57. ffenliv says:

    I’m usually a real ref-lover, but that sure looked like a missed call against Malkin there. Really looked like a high-stick.

  58. VancouverHab says:

    I just can’t help it: Gally works like a navvy and holds the puck twisting & turning around three Pens, then he passes it sweetly to Desharnais who….does nothing (and does that nothing softly) and the puck turns over.

  59. B says:

    Ovechkin ties up the game in Toronto.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  60. Rudy says:

    2 nights in a row with a nail biter after being ahead by 2.

  61. RAM_TOUGH says:

    This is BS, something has to be done. The Refs have to be acountable for thier actions!

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  62. scavanau says:

    Malkin was really hurt. Made his next shift. Nice act to gain extra rest.

  63. kirbhabs says:

    nice skate back… not

  64. Habilis says:

    Gallagher… I mean honestly. The kid just goes. He never, ever stops.

  65. kirbhabs says:

    Love gally

  66. Propwash says:

    FFS refs…

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  67. twilighthours says:

    That goal is on cube as much as siaz

  68. Well Et Le But, there ya go! They have to protect a lead instead of keep going at ‘em. That is why we still need a top notch coach and a team that plays all 60 minutes. It’s ridiculous! Why can’t we just dominate! Dominate! Dominate!

    I’m speechless! 20 years and counting…


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