Round 2, Game 5: Canadiens fall to Penguins 2-1

Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak makes a blocker save against Penguins Pascal Dupuis on Saturday night. Allen McInnis, The Gazette

Preview | Matchups | Saturday’s NHL schedule | Boone’s Game Blog and About last night … | Stubbs on Twitter | Hickey’s game story | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

AUDIO: Jacques Martin| Dan Bylsma | Scott Gomez | P.K. Subban | Michael Cammalleri | Glen Metropolit | Dominic Moore | Jaroslav Halak


• At a Glance: The Canadiens were able to keep the Penguins’ snipers at bay again in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal on Saturday night, but defencemen did the damage in a 2-1 Pittsburgh win. Kris Letang gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead with less than two minutes to play in the first period when he beat Jaroslav Halak with a bullet from the point as Josh Gorges was serving a cross-checking penalty 18:18 into the period. Sergei Gonchar made it 2-0 for Pittsburgh midway through the second period when his point shot eluded a screened Halak. Marc-André Fleury made 32 saves, several of them could be called turning points in the game as the Canadiens pressed for the tying goal in the second period before the Gonchar goal, and tried to get on the scoreboard in the third period. Tomas Plekanec finally solved Fleury with 30 seconds to play when he pushed a rebound home during a 6-on-4 man advantage. Fleury made another game saver in the dying seconds as the Canadiens pushed for a miracle goal that would have tied the game 2-2.

• What It Means: The Penguins have pushed the Canadiens to the brink of elimination with a 3-2 series lead.

• What’s Next: Game 6 goes Monday night in Montreal. Game 7, if necessary, will be back in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.


  1. gohabs1170 says:

    Word is that Spacek is real close to returning, but not tonight.  Most likely next game.

    Had an inner ear problem and a major case of vertigo…guess he finally got the right combination of ‘cocktails’ to make it right

  2. j2w4habs25 says:

    The Habs win tonight can get all of PITT in panic because as of right now their NOT!.

  3. Bill H says:

    “It is just up to you guys BUT I BELIEVE JARO BELONGS TO MONTREAL…”

    Up to us guys?  LOL I don’t make the decision on where Halak plays next year.  Nor do I decide who to play in Game 6 if Jaro let’s in a few stinkers tonight.  I’m glad I’m not the coach as I am far from qualified.  But if Jaro does play a poor game, I’d be thinking, “Is he tired?  Does he need a rest to bring level back up for Game 7?  Price can be a great goalie too…should I put him in for 1 game and hope for the best?”  Oh no…what have we done now….are we back to Price vs Halak??? 

    I think Halak has done wonderful things against all odds.  I like an underdog, and that is part of what is appealing about him.  I know almost nothing about him personally though.  Perhaps you do, if he is your courntryman, Slovak.  But I don’t think anyone performs at that kind of level unless they love the game.  And I’d be very surprised if Halak didn’t enjoy the glory and the money just a little bit along with love of the game.

  4. Bugs says:

    You just finished watching it since Dec 4th?

    Man, that’s a HECK of a long DVD…

    Superfluously redundant, I remain

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward:

  5. Jbird says:

    This could be the last game ever at the Melon Arena.  I sure hope so – I also hope their new arena is cursed.

  6. alestar says:

    Love that picture of Cindy and Big Hal!


    XXIV…and counting

  7. 24 Cups says:

    Great read, Bill. An interesting point concerning Halak. Both goalies are RFAs so I say let’s see what happens. There is no need to break the bank just yet.

  8. Slovak says:

    There is one big difference – Jaro is not there because of big money or glory – he just loves the game – pure and simple. That is why he can stay cool even after a horrible burnout – that is why he can bounce back – sometimes everything goes wrong and you get 6 pieces in nets or you can have a horrible streak too – I have a question for you – if Montreal gets horrible loss tonight, who would you have in nets next game – who would be the one that makes you believe you can win it??? Do you see the point… It is just up to you guys BUT I BELIEVE JARO BELONGS TO MONTREAL…


  9. Slovak says:

    MUCH MOORE BIGGER – Chara is a proven leader for long time – and also he is a great guy – but JARO IS THE BIG STORY – his way from nothing to play off against all obstacles is like a dream – he improved year after year – never gave up never – that is attitude of a legend… And I believe he will became one…


  10. TommyB says:

    Interesting, for sure.  I have always assumed it’s game over with either MCL or ACL tear.

  11. pmaraw says:

    its stuff like this that frustrates me.  we are watching the habs effectively turn teams into perimeter teams, eliminating second chances in front of the night but allowing them to cycle along the boards.  we arent getting out played in the hard working areas, the pens are, fire 100 shots from the perimeter, i dont care, the actual scoring chances are minimal.  hell the only reason the pens scored last game were on 2 blown calls putting our guys out of position.

    you when i knew we were gonna win in game 4?  when they interviewed Belliveau, I got this warm tingly feeling

  12. Habsman93 says:

    Just finished watching the 100 Year Celebration from Dec 4th and I am primed and ready for tonight just seeing all those greats on the ice again brought chills and now hoping this current team can do the same once agin.

  13. Slovak says:

    :)))))))  Halak has to sleep in the fridge to remain that cool and calm no matter what… right now I would start to shake from all of the attention… but he just make his little circle on the ice after he is the first star for I don’t know how many times and he’s gone…:))


  14. pmaraw says:

    more than boston?  is jaro bigger than chara in slovakia?  not physically bigger…  but like superstar wise?

  15. Bill H says:

    Markov back in the line up?  I’ll believe it when I see it.  What I saw with my own eyes is the way he went down, which looked like pain in the extreme.  But hey, I guess stranger things have happened.  Some of the discussion on ACL and MCL is very informative.  I’m still hoping for Spacek to get back before this series is over.

    Spector/Lyle Richardson wrote an interesting piece on Wednesday, before Game 4, when we were down 2-1 in the series.  He didn’t rate our chances for a Cup run very highly, or for getting past the Pens, for that matter.  Why?  The imbalance in SOG, night in, night out.  He says we can’t afford to let the game open up, as we did that against the Caps and ended out down 2-1 before we tightened up defensively. He says this “rope-a-dope” strategy can help you steal a game or two, but it won’t help you in the long run.  Period 3 on Thursday night was fantastic hockey.  Periods 1 and 2, I am
    not so happy with.  Can we count on 2 quick goals in the third again?  The realist in me says Spector is correct.  The fan in me just wants to enjoy it as far as they go. 

    Richardson also says Halak’s performance, while very impressive, is more comparable to Steve Penney in ’84 or Jose Theodore in ’02 than it is to Roy or Dryden.  Until we win the Cup, I’m inclined to agree.  And the team that signs Halak long term for big bucks next year is taking a big gamble.  Look at Huet.  Look at Theodore.  Look at Tim Thomas.  Long term contracts for big bucks that are exacerbating their team’s cap issues.  Flashes of brilliance do not mean long term all star calibre.  I wish Halak a long a prosperous career with the Canadiens, but it remains to be seen how his career will go.

    Seems more is coming out about SK’s bad attitude and work ethic, and how most other players did not want him around.  Is there still any question about the decision to cut him loose? 

    I’m not one to bash Crosby, but this, I can’t resist:

    Number of goals this series

    Crosby       0

    Pyatt         1


    I must admit, my sig pic felt pretty pointless all season long, right up until now.

  16. pmaraw says:

    Lmao!  great work bugs!  I love it!

  17. Bugs says:

    The numbers, dang you! The numbers!

    Give us the 6/49 NUMBERS!

    Superfluously redundant, I remain

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward:

  18. pmaraw says:

    i wouldnt bet on a fair game by the refs.  i also wouldnt bet on markov playing 😛  in fact i would bet the other way on both of those, but I will bet on Montreal winning tonight and I will bet on crosby crying tonight.

  19. Bugs says:

    Little snippet of what the reporter had to go through to get you this story: “…he decided to make his way to the Canadiens’ room at Pittsburgher’s practice facility to ask them how they felt about Sid the Kid getting all the attention. But he was stopped by Halak and informed they were in a meeting. No problem, he figured he’d grab a muffin and coffee off the brunch table and wait. But he was stopped by Halak and informed the muffins and donuts were for the Boys. Alright then, he’d go sit down in the stands and wait. But he was stopped by Halak for not having a proper practice press-pass. It was pointed out that a press-pass is ALSO a proper practice press-pass but that argument was stopped by Halak for overuse of alliteration.”

    Tellin yehs; it’s gettin ridiculous with this guy. Very frustrating.

    Superfluously redundant, I remain

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward:

  20. Slovak says:

    Damned Luongo – if only Demitra did score against him in the end – hey I did write this one before – I would love to see Demitra part of Habs team… I think in Vancouver he just don’t have right guys around him, it is not possible to play this different at Olympics and now…


  21. Danno says:

    Fearless prediction: Tonight will be a defining moment in the history of Les Canadiens. The referees, shamed by their disgraceful performance on Thursday will call a fair game. The Great Wall of Halak will remain impenetrable. Markov will rise to
    quarterback our power plays flawlessly. And we will triumph on our way back to the Bell Centre for the final and decisive match and eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champions.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  22. Slovak says:

    But know what? Real love had to be earned that hard… and now it’s the best possible scenario of all scenarios in the history of that word… so everything is ok Bugs Jaro loves you all, and all slovak hockey fans stands by Montreal…


  23. 100HABS says:

    No problem with the risk – once it’s torn, it’s torn. MCL can heal, ACL can’t. Unless it’s like less than 50% torn, there might be a chance of healing. Mine was 90% torn and therefore useless. While waiting for the operation, I played sports with a brace no problem. Some people opt to use a brace all life because they fear the knife.

    If I were him, no doubt, I would play and get the repair the day after the last game of the season.

    All this assuming he really has an ACL tear. There was no official confirmation.

  24. Say Ash says:

    I don’t think I can drink that much.

  25. pmaraw says:

    well who woulda thunk it, a goalie outta slovakia?  I was routing for them at the olympics 😀

  26. joe-hab-nuno says:

    let us pray


    “our father, who are in bell center, hockey be thy name, thy will be done, the cup be won, on ice as well as in the stands… give us this day our hockey sticks and forgive us our penalties…. as we forgive those who cross-check against us. Lead us not into elimination and deliver us to victory.. In the name of the fans.. lord stanley. and the holy halak!!! AMEN!”



  27. W35T5ID3 says:

    duz the ‘W’ in ur avatar stand for Whiner?lol …as in cindy cry baby crosby aka the whiner?

  28. W35T5ID3 says:

    Is Markov playing?If so or if in an upcoming game,say game 6 then no one can question his desire and dedication to the team and winning.I think he,like i realize that this could VERY WELL be our year.Lord stanley,lord stanley….give me the brandy!

  29. Bugs says:


    Know what?


    It’s true!


    …sorry, sorry; gonna collect myself…

    Superfluously redundant, I remain

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward:

  30. spoonfullofjelly says:

    Damn, sounds like a hell of a night.

  31. Slovak says:

    But there can be 0-0 at the end of 3rd period – i take that as a “shootout” – then Habs score one even if they have to push it by their tongues and here we are :))


  32. spoonfullofjelly says:

    I have torn my ACL. I played the rest of the football season with it. The pain is not an issue, there is only pain when you feel your knee “slip”….but I had a specially made athletic brace and was able to play. With the right brace, right support he can play, however, it will have it’s risks.

  33. Bash says:

    Okay let’s see…











    Cross… check!


    GO HABS!!!


    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  34. Slovak says:

    And you know what, Halak’s story is pretty similar to Habs story – none or only very very few believed, he can be THE GOALIE one day, because he is small, he was no sudden wonder, terrible rebound control, drafted from the place at the end of the tunnel, you guys seem to oversee him because of Price, etc.etc. HE HAD TO EARN EVERY INCH OF WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW… AND NOW HERE HE IS… Jaro: “No one believed us, but HERE WE ARE”


  35. Storm Man says:

    Doctor James Andrews when it comes to knees this guy is the top dog.

  36. TommyB says:

    I don’t think there is any doubt about the knee not hurting with the right meds, or that his mobility wouldn’t be affected with a good brace.  I do however think the issue would be how much more damage would he risk by playing under those conditions?  I’m no doctor, nor have I ever had a torn ACL, but that seems to me what the issue should be.  Let’s not forget that there has never been any official word from the team regarding Markov’s injury, so maybe the damage was not nearly as bad as was first suspected.  But my bet would be that we may see Markov on the bench in a suit tonight.


  37. Bugs says:

    Tried to be.

    But was stopped by Halak.

    Superfluously redundant, I remain

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward:

  38. 100HABS says:

    I’m in Montreal so I called around to find the best. Found a guy that does knees all week associated to the McGill sports clinic. If you’re in Toronto, you could probably find someone almost as good. It’s worth getting on the wait list of the best.

  39. habssince1909 says:

    Even one shift could be inspirational, and yes, it could play with the Penguins “head”…..

  40. habssince1909 says:

    It would be great if Markov could actually play, even if he cannot, just for morale reasons is also good enough.  We have got to BELEIVE……..take it one game at a time….


    GO HABS GO…..

  41. MontrealAtheist says:

    There is no shootout in the playoffs … Even if it takes 10 OT periods until we have a winner 🙂

  42. Bob Barker says:

    I tore my ACL, MCL and LCL as well as my biceps femoris all in the same injury. The swelling was ridiculous. Once it subsided though I could walk fine, I just couldn’t run properly because my knee was too unstable. I could limp run, so I still played ball hockey while waiting for surgery. 

    I saw Dr. Robert Giffin in London, Ontario. Every other surgeon I saw  said I probably wouldn’t be able to play sports again. Dr. Giffin completely rebuilt my knee using donor tissue from an achilles tendon to replace my biceps femoris and hamstring tissue from my other leg to replace the three torn ligaments. 

    I’d say I have 95% functionality in my repaired knee and don’t even notice it when I play hockey, which is 3-4 times per week. The only sport I don’t play as much of any more is soccer. 

    Anyways, if you’re looking for a surgeon I’d say Dr. Giffin should be at the top of your list. 


  43. MontrealAtheist says:

    Hey, if they win tonight Monday’s game will be even bigger 🙂

  44. 100HABS says:

    With the right meds, his knee won’t hurt. With a good brace, his mobility should not be affected. Saku Koivu plays with 2 braces – you would never know it.

  45. 100HABS says:

    I had it rebuilt through hamstring graft in 1998. Wore a sports brace for about 2 years for tennis and skiing. For the following 10 years, I’d say the operated knee (right) was actually stronger then my left.

    Since last fall, I’ve had bad swelling when playing tennis. I’m going for an MRI Monday. Probably meniscus problem.

    Overall, the operation was a great success. I’m more than willing to go back under the knife to fix the current problem.

  46. MontrealAtheist says:

    I don’t care who scores the winner as long as someone does it … Would be cool if Jaro could score the winner via a penalty shoot though. That should be enough to replace that obsolete cross on Mt. Royal with a 50m Halak statue.

  47. MontrealAtheist says:

    evidently they don’t know what to do, they will do the same again and pray something goes in”

    Sounds familiar, eh? Yeah, that’s precisely what the Caps were doing in the previous series … Boudreau was so convinced that what they were doing was right and they only needed to continue doing what they were doing and things would magically turn out differently.

  48. novahab says:

    Barnett said on off the record last night he played with a torn ACL two days after he did it so it can be done.  Question is will the Pens go after his knee espeically that idoit Cooke or will they exploit his lack of ablilty to turn quickly. Then maybe MAB sits and Markov just plays the powerplay.

  49. brad.men5 says:

    valid point, unfortunatly I’m not a professional athlete so I had to use crutches for a while before my swelling went down.  Did you go for recontruction surgery?

  50. Will Longlade says:

    Messing with the Pens heads, that’s all. If I was part of the team, there’s no way they could go to Pittsburgh without me.

  51. 100HABS says:

    Do you have top-notch injections available to locally cut the pain to your knee? I’ve had an ACL tear, too.

    I would insert Markov even if it’s just for the power play.

  52. nickster13 says:

    Everyone get excited! biggest game since 1993 is less than 7hours away! GO HABS GO! get pumped up!

  53. Bill J says:

    YW – was one of my fav shows as a kid (in french)


  54. brad.men5 says:

    I wouldn’t get excited about markov coming back to play.  I personally just tore my acl, and let me tell you, playing through it would be painful. 

  55. WestHab says:

    Thanks again.

    Les Schtroumpfs Sont La!

  56. WestHab says:

    Of course, thanks for the spelling, Bill.

    Les Smurfs Sont La!

  57. Slovak says:

    2 – 1 Habs, or Halak will make shootout, it will be 0-0 and Habs score in OT – I HAVE A DREAM :))


  58. Bill J says:

    I somehow don’t think Markov will play, it adds uncertainty to the Penguins game IMO (kinda like with Staal in game 4) except with Markov I somehow see him as a cheerleader tonight.

    PS your sig (if you want it french) should be:

    Les Schtroumpfs Sont La!


  59. Max_a_million says:

    Gomez is very funny, I really like his sense of humor. 

    Not just a play maker, he also makes lots of great plays all over the ice.

  60. WestHab says:

    I have to miss the game tonight, maybe that will favor my life expectancy.

    Les Smurfs Sont La!

  61. WestHab says:

    With all this excitement about Markov is there any chance that Spacek will get back sometime?  I mean is it really possible that Markov beats Spacek back to the line up?  What’s going on with Spa?

    Les Smurfs Sont La!

  62. dudurules says:

    3-2 habs in ot…refs will stink again

  63. Slovak says:

    Sid and the other Ping Peng boys must be so desperate, evidently they don’t know what to do, they will do the same again and pray something goes in – come on Montreal make those clowns lick blood


  64. Jbird says:

    That’s what I’m saying exactly!  Really like that guy – wish he could score -but his play making and attitude are world class.

  65. Clay4bc says:

    Everyone still comes if Gomez is not traded for…but I think the myth of Gomez is cute.


    “Peoples will only be truly free when the last king is strangled by the bowels of the last priest” Francois Laignelot –

  66. ABHabsfan says:

    I agree, just didn’t fit my parallels!

  67. Bugs says:

    In-depth report: From ordinary to extraordinary, Habs know the drill.

    Superfluously redundant, I remain

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Assistant-Director of St-Habbie’s Hospital for the Blind, Head Physician of Neuroflannelogy Unit, and Occupational Therapist in Habsbros Emergency Ward:

  68. munch17 says:

    I would add that another mil goes to making those around him better. So I see him as a 5 mil guy.

    No way Giunta or Cammy ( or Gill for that matter) come if he wasn’t signed.

  69. HabFanSince72 says:

    Markov can just score the winner. No OT please.


  70. lavie says:

    Gomez’s 500K was spent on making the room as relaxing and trouble-free room;

    another 500K was spent on inspiring young players.

    So, Gomez is a
    6 mil player. Is that fair?

  71. omgblamebriesbois says:

    Does anyone know what time the habs practise today?  I can’t seem to find it anywhere

  72. says:


    Only thing that needs to be said…….oh and lets throw the season for a better draft choice……….lol!

    They Call Me Shane

  73. Jbird says:

    I’m enjoying hearing Gomez and reading his quotes in the press.  Yesterday on the Syndicated Jim Rome show Gomez is interviewed while on the team bus and Rome asks him something to the effect of “Montreal is playing so well, What gives? Any surprises on your team”

    Gomez say’s “Yeah big surprises.  Epecially our D. I mean, some of the leaders on the team like me were really worried about all of our D in the regular season, especially Hal Gill.  But Gill,  somehow that big guy is actually playing well – real surprising coming from Gill.”

    Than you hear laughter in the backround and Gomez laughs and tells Jim Rome that Gill is seated beside Hal.  

    Now for 7 million – the good quotes are a consilation worth at least 500,000. 

    Love that the Habs are being talked about everywhere across the continent and that Gomez is there not to say the same old things.  


  74. ABHabsfan says:

    Marc Savard returns from injury and scores OT wineer; Simon Gagne returns and scores OT winner; Markov returns…

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