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Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Pens #2

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Channel their inner Saints: The last time the Habs downed the Penguins was back on Super Bowl weekend. While Drew Brees and the Saints were preparing to shock the Colts, the Canadiens beat the Pens in an afternoon tilt that began at 2:00 p.m. Who knows, maybe Sunday's Game 2 matinee is just the break the Habs have been looking for.


Think outside the box: The Penguins are not the Capitals and they proved that in Friday's series opener. After holding the Caps to just one power play goal in 33 chances in seven games, the Habs' PK unit allowed four goals in as many Penguins chances with the man advantage in Game 1 alone. The best way to stop the Pens from scoring on the power play? Stay out of the box altogether.

Hit Parade: While the Habs took out some of their frustration on the Penguins, the favor wasn't exactly returned the way it could've been. The Canadiens' 30 hits tied a playoff high for Jacques Martin's crew this spring, but with 30 of their own, the Pens were uncharacteristically docile in Game 1. Pittsburgh averaged over 40 hits per game against the Sens in the opening round.

Solving Sidney: This could be a reach, but that doesn't change the fact that the Penguins are 0-2 in these playoffs when their captain does this one thing. The Pens have yet to win when Sidney Crosby has an odd number of points this spring. Both of his three-point games against the Sens ended in a loss, while his two helpers in Game 1 against Montreal brought him to 4-0 this postseason when his production was even. Even trickier for the Habs is that the Pens are 1-0 when he doesn't get a point.

Dress a No. 79: With Andrei Markov likely shelved for the time being, the Habs may want to consider having another player wear his jersey on Sunday. While Marky was out three months this season, the Habs went 15-18-3. That all changed upon his December return, with the Canadiens going 24-15-7 with their blue-line anchor doing his thang.

See also:
Playoff Central
Extra special
Game 1 recap
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