PITTSBURGH - Here are a few key storylines from Tuesday night's 4-1 win over the Penguins at PPG Paints Arena.
Making it count in the second
The Canadiens found their groove in the middle frame. After a slow start in the first, Claude Julien's troops opened up the floodgates in the second period.
The Habs were trailing by one when Tomas Tatar evened things up with a power play goal. Montreal added two more goals before the period was through, thanks to Joel Armia and Shea Weber, and never looked back.
The Habs knew they could do better after the opening 20.
"We hadn't played in three days, so we weren't very cohesive in the first period," explained Phillip Danault, who extended his points streak to four games with an assist on the Tatar goal. "We recovered well in the second period. We found our rhythm."
Montreal's head coach saw things the same way as his players, and was proud of his team's resilience on this night.
"The team showed character. We were a bit rusty in the first period. We weren't managing the puck very well and passes weren't ending up on the tape," outlined Julien during his postgame press conference. "We came back and a good second period allowed us to take the lead."
Goaltender Carey Price had a strong night at the office, stopping 33 of 34 shots, and was happy to see the way his team reacted after giving up the first goal.
"We definitely knew that we didn't have the strongest of first periods, but we were only down by a goal," affirmed the 32-year-old backstop. "We all knew that we could play better and we stuck with it, we didn't panic, we had a great second, and had a good third as well."
« On savait qu'on n'avait pas connu une très bonne première période. On tirait cependant de l'arrière par seulement un but », a affirmé le gardien âgé de 32 ans. « On savait qu'on pouvait jouer beaucoup mieux. On n'a pas paniqué et on a connu une bonne deuxième période. »
What a move by Weber
The captain's 10th goal of the season had his teammates talking after the big win in Pennsylvania.
Weber gathered speed on the Pittsburgh defense before beating goalie Tristan Jarry on a wraparound.
The defenseman admitted it was a first for him - in real life, at least.
"I don't even know. I blacked out," cracked Weber.
And when was the last time he did something of the sort?
"Not since I played NHL '95, probably," he added with a laugh.
His teammates definitely had their own take on a spectacular goal by the 6-foot-4, 230-pound rearguard.
"A big guy like Weber… the goalie was probably expecting a shot. Webby took advantage and used his incredible vision," explained Danault of the goal.
A rare win over the Penguins at home
The Canadiens handed the Penguins their first regulation loss at PPG Paints Arena since October 29 against the Philadelphia Flyers. They put a stop to a 10-game points streak at home for Mike Sullivan's troops in the process.
Tatar also ended another streak for Pittsburgh. When he scored his 10th of the season earlier in the game, the Slovak forward halted Jarry's shutout streak at 177:15.
Les Canadiens ont infligé une première défaite aux Penguins en temps réglementaire au PPG Paints Arena depuis le 29 octobre dernier contre les Flyers de Philadelphie. Il s'agissait d'une séquence de dix matchs consécutifs avec au moins un point à domicile pour la troupe de Mike Sullivan.
Montreal, for its part, won a third game in its last four outings.
The Habs are back in action on Wednesday when they welcome the Ottawa Senators to the Bell Centre.