The Montreal Canadiens were on a three-game winning streak and had the defending Stanley Cup champions on the ropes. Then a redirection and a bouncing puck both went in the Pittsburgh Penguins' favor.
Matt Cooke scored the game-tying goal late in the second period, and Pascal Dupuis collected the winner in the third as the Penguins rallied for a 3-2 win Thursday at the Bell Centre to put an end to their brief two-game losing streak.
"It's always special to play in Montreal," Dupuis said. "We have five or six guys who have family and friends around here."
Sergei Gonchar also scored and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 19 shots as Pittsburgh moved back into a tie for first place in the Atlantic Division with New Jersey, one point behind Washington for the Eastern Conference lead.
"We were staying in our game tonight," captain Sidney Crosby said. "We didn't give them a lot and we played really well. It was a great win for us."
Carey Price made 38 saves for the Canadiens, who had been perfect since celebrating their 100th anniversary last Friday with a 5-1 rout of the Bruins. Matt D'Agostini and Roman Hamrlik scored 2:50 apart in the second period to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead, but it didn't last.
"Carey was great," said Montreal forward Mike Cammalleri, whose goal streak ended at three games. "He made many saves that otherwise could have or should have been in."
Cooke prevented the Canadiens from taking the lead into the third period when he redirected Gonchar's shot from the point past Price with 2:15 left in the second period.
"That was a huge goal, considering the way the period had gone," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "The momentum was clearly in their favor and the building was pumping."
Dupuis scored the go-ahead goal with 6:39 remaining when he teed up a bouncing puck from the top of the left circle and drove a high shot that went in off Price's glove.
"I actually like shooting these pucks because you don't know where it's going, so obviously (the goaltender) doesn't know," Dupuis said. "The puck makes funny little moves out there."
Montreal almost drew even less than a minute after Dupuis scored, but referee Chris Lee blew his whistle before Scott Gomez was able to fire the puck into the net.
"I think the puck was loose, but the decision was taken during the play and we can't change it now, it's too late," Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre said. "But I think the team gave a good effort. Carey played unbelievable again for us, and we still have to build on the last four games we've played."
Pittsburgh, which came off home losses to Chicago and Carolina, got the only goal of the first period when Gonchar took a nice feed across the goalmouth from Bill Guerin and beat Price at 6:38 for his fourth of the season.
Montreal went more than half of the second without registering a shot on goal, but when D'Agostini got one he put a wrist shot over Fleury's right shoulder at 10:48 to tie the score. Hamrlik soon had the Canadiens in front, driving a slap shot from the left point into the net for his fifth of the season.
Material from wire services was used in this report
|Sergei Gonchar (4) ASST: Bill Guerin (13), Pascal Dupuis (5)|
1 - 0 PIT
|Matt D'Agostini (2) ASST: Glen Metropolit (9)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Roman Hamrlik (5) ASST: Mike Cammalleri (11), Marc-Andre Bergeron (7)|
2 - 1 MTL
|Matt Cooke (6) ASST: Sergei Gonchar (12), Jordan Staal (11)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Pascal Dupuis (8) ASST: Brooks Orpik (11), Jay McKee (5)|
3 - 2 PIT
|Max Pacioretty Holding against Eric Godard|
|Mike Rupp Boarding against Josh Gorges|
|Josh Gorges Holding against Jordan Staal|
|Evgeni Malkin Hi-sticking against Tomas Plekanec|
|Tomas Plekanec Roughing against Evgeni Malkin|
|Ruslan Fedotenko Delay of game|
|Ryan O'Byrne Holding against Pascal Dupuis|
|Hal Gill Tripping against Sidney Crosby|
|Ryan O'Byrne Holding against Tyler Kennedy|
|Sergei Gonchar Interference against Mike Cammalleri|