The Pens takes their third straight game and five out of their last six with a win over the shorthanded Habs. The last time these teams met Crosby went to town with a hat trick. Tonight he grabs another goal and assist and the first start honors.
It was pretty easy to tell early the Pens were on a mission, both mentally and physically. Bylsma clearly had intentions of getting the game over early with the amount of energy expended. Each line came out with intentions of putting the puck in the net. Yes, rarely is that the purpose or intention of the 4th line. But when Eric Godawful puts up 4 SOG's that says something.
Game started off a little slow, back and forth through the neutral zone. Neither team was able to set up shop nor create anything. Couple good chances for both teams: Kostytsin for the Habs and Crosby for the Pens. Sid corralled an unreal chance off his skate but couldn’t finish.
As stated above, the Pens 4th line looked real good. Godawful even had a nice wrap around chance. Crosby, who seems to always play well against Montreal, gets the Pens on board when he lifts one over Price's weak spot, the glove, [1-0]. Talbot happily gets his first point of the season. Shortly after Sid and Talbot had another chance, Crosby went high and wide though nearly making it 2-0.
Ultimately the Pens dominated the ice despite the Habs having as many SOG. Malkin double shifted at one point with the 4th line and fed Godawful who had more ice time in the 1st period than he had in the past 4 games combined. (not a real statistic)
I don't know about you, but I could feel the Pens had this game, this period was the kicker. However the Pens were on their heels early with the Habs coming out real strong and getting a few great chances. They too had intentions. Theirs? Not letting this game get out of hand. But intentions sometimes do not manifest in reality, as in this game. Hence.
Cammallari does Pittsburgh a favor and blows a wide open rebound to keep the Pens in the lead.
After Talbot draws a tripping penalty to put the Pens pp out for the first time of the night. To be honest, the powerplay looked much better. Good puck control and overall circulation. Guys were moving and so was, oddly, so was the puck. Though keeping the puck the majority of the time in the Habs zone the powerplay came up empty, sadly. Despite the powerplay ending, the same 5 were out and Malkin made a nice pass to Guerin who slides a hot one by Price to make it [2-0].
Steggie makes what I consider to be the quote of the night 'bout Jerk Store, “Bourque sends it all the way around the other end. I don’t think anyone was expecting that.” Heh.
Pacioretty does the Pens a favor and pings one off of Fleury's beloved post.
Later Crosby leads a break with Feds and Staalzy. After a classic Sid spin move, he finds a steaking Gochar with a pin point backhander who does a little this and that and slides one through the legs of Price, [3-0].
That came at the 16:56 mark and pretty much ended the period. With the exception of Adams taking a high stick to the face of Ryan White, nothing really exciting happened.
Have to admit, after this period I was pretty lax. I took a little extra time in the bathroom. I got a bowl of ice cream to gather my thoughts about this post game. I saw the game as over for the most part. By the looks of the third period, the Pens seemed to take the same approach as moi.
Very unexciting to begin the period. The Pens looked like they were just going through the motions. Very typical for any team up 3 goals.
Brimming with excitement.
Pacioretty gets the Habs on the board at the 6:18 mark on a turnover in the Pens zone, [3-1]. I'll be honest again, this one made me sit up in my seat. I knew this was game Montreal would love to win especially with some key guys out of the line up. At the 8:25 mark Cookie draws a tripping penalty on Hammer-lick. Pens head on a powerplay which, while continuing to look better, still came up empty handed. Best play wasn’t offensive, rather defensive. Ryan O’byrne fires a shot into the glove of a sprawling Flower,
Ruppers took care of business and hits Pacioretty so hard he forgets the Presidents black.
Crosby made a solid play nearing the end of the game and decides not to be selfish. After turning one of the Canadians into an American and dishes to Guerin for a failed play. Pretty move though.
And that was it, 3-1 Pens.
Little cliche, but deal with it.
- Some say Guerin has slowed up at 38. I say he's just picking his spots.
- Metropolit and Cammallari are legit.
- Staal with another strong effort.
- Rupp and Cookie contributed nicely. Typical offensive role players.
- Fluery's a beast.
- 30 shots, 45 hits...dance.