by Tony on 11/26/09 at 01:21 AM ET
The Penguins’ gameplan going into tonight’s 3-1 win over Montreal was pretty clear from the start: Finish your checks.
I’d say they executed that plan very well, as the Pens were awarded with 45 hits on the Habs, playing on the 2nd night of back-to-back games after playing last night in Montreal vs. Columbus.
Sidney Crosby, Bill Guerin and Sergei Gonchar scored for the Pens, while Max Pacioretty had the lone tally for the Habs.
The Pens were the clear aggressors throughout the game with a good portion being played in the Habs’ zone. As a result, Marc-Andre Fleury only saw 19 shots on goal, 18 of those he saved.
The Penguins got on the board first midway through the first period when Max Talbot stole the puck at center ice. Talbot fed Crosby, who brought the puck into the Habs’ zone and fired a wrister from the top of the slot to the top shelf that Habs’ goalie Carey Price couldn’t stop, giving the Pens a 1-0 lead.
They doubled their lead about six minutes into the second period on an extended possession in the Habs’ zone, mostly via cycling between Evgeni Malkin and Guerin. Eventually, Guerin grabbed the puck and went to the net, where he then was able to get the puck squeezed through the five-hole of Price, making it 2-0 Pens.
The Pens increased their lead to 3-0 late in the second when Crosby made a great spinning backhanded pass to Gonchar, who then went backhand five-hole past Price and into the net.
The Habs got their only goal about seven minutes into the third period on a 3-on-2 break when Pacioretty took a feed from Sergei Kostitsyn and fired a wrister past Fleury to make it 3-1 Pens at 7:17. The Habs had a big chance to cut the lead to 3-2 midway through the third period when Ryan O’Byrne was all alone in the slot, but Fleury made a great point blank glove save.
- Only three penalties in the game. The Pens’ powerplay went 0-for-2.
- Nice game for Jordan Staal in the faceoff circle, going 10-for-15.
- Three blocked shots for Martin Skoula.
- Huge game for Mike Rupp, awarded 9 of the Pens’ 45 hits.
- Guerin led the Pens with six blocked shots.
The Pens now head to Long Island for a Friday afternoon matchup vs. the Islanders.
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Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
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