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game recap

Evgeni Malkin gives Penguins comeback OT win

Defeat Canadiens after Conor Sheary ties game in last minute of third period

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Evgeni Malkin scored 1:54 into overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.

Malkin scored on a slap shot during a power play Pittsburgh received when Montreal was called for too many men on the ice in overtime.

"I thought the 4-on- 3 in overtime was terrific," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "They had some real high-quality chances. [Sidney Crosby] had two great chances on a real nice play by [Phil Kessel], and obviously [Malkin's] goal was a goal-scorer's goal."

 

WATCH: All Canadiens vs. Penguins highlights

 

The Penguins tied it 3-3 with 55 seconds left in the third period. Justin Schultz's shot went off teammate Conor Sheary past Carey Price.

Brian Flynn gave Montreal a 3-2 lead 2:04 into the third after he shot off the left post behind Marc-Andre Fleury. The puck went through the crease and hit Pittsburgh defenseman Chad Ruhwedel's skate and Fleury before crossing the goal line.

The Penguins (25-8-5) ended December on a four-game winning streak. They won 12 of 15 games this month (12-1-2).

Malkin had the goal and an assist and is tied with Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid for the NHL lead with 43 points, one ahead of Crosby. It was Malkin's 10th NHL overtime goal, which is second in Penguins history to Mario Lemieux (11).

Video: MTL@PIT: Hornqvist scores with tap-in at doorstep

The Canadiens (22-9-6) are 1-2-2 in their past five games. They have not won consecutive road games since defeating the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders on Oct. 22 and 26 during an eight-game winning streak, but took four of a possible six points from three road games in the past four days.

"When you're looking around that whole trip, you have to be satisfied with picking up four points out of six," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "Three games in four days is demanding, and guys battled until the end. To pick up four points out of six on the road, you have to be satisfied."

Alexander Radulov gave Montreal a 1-0 lead 4:07 into the first period. Shea Weber carried the puck into Pittsburgh's zone and left it for Paul Byron, who made a cross-ice pass to Radulov, who one-timed a shot past Fleury.

Patric Hornqvist tied it 1-1 by tapping a pass from Malkin past Price at 1:07 of the second period, and Phil Kessel gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead with his 12th goal of the season at 4:28.

Byron tipped a shot from Jeff Petry past Fleury to tie it 2-2 with 39 seconds remaining in the second.

Video: MTL@PIT: Radulov finishes tic-tac-toe passing play

 

Goal of the game

Kessel set up Malkin's game-winner by sliding a pass to him in the right circle. Malkin's one-timer went over Alexei Emelin's stick and Price's glove, off the right post and into the right corner.

Video: MTL@PIT: Malkin fires in one-timer for overtime win

 

Save of the game

With the Penguins trailing 1-0, Sheary had a chance to tie it after receiving a pass from Chris Kunitz behind the net and shooting off Price's blocker. Price, falling forward, dropped his stick and batted the puck out of midair with his blocker 6:46 into the first period.

Video: MTL@PIT: Price sprawls for incredible blocker save

 

Highlight of the game

Kessel gave the Penguins a lead by going by Ryan Johnston down the far wall and holding off Johnston on his way to Price. Kessel went forehand-to- backhand to lift a shot over Price's blocker early in the second period.

Video: MTL@PIT: Kessel races in, flips backhand past Price

 

Unsung performance of the game

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, in his first game back from a lower-body injury that caused him to miss seven games, played 25:40. He had two assists, two hits, two takeaways and two blocks.

Video: MTL@PIT: Sheary tips Schultz's shot to tie game

 

They said it

"It was fun. A lot of shots on both sides. I wish there weren't that many goals [allowed] on our side, but sometimes that's how she goes, and I was glad to see our team come back." -- Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury

 

"It was not a perfect game. … I think it's not the style that we want to play, but at least we have the character to come back in games." -- Penguins defenseman Kris Letang

 

"As a goalie, you always think you can do more. So, I'll just leave it at that." -- Canadiens goalie Carey Price on Malkin's goal

 

Need to know

Weber played a game-high 28:42 and had four hits and four blocks in his 800th NHL game. … Crosby's goal streak ended at five games and his point streak ended at six. … Fleury tied Tom Barrasso for 17th on the NHL wins list with No. 369.

 

What's next

Canadiens: At the Nashville Predators on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, RDS, SNE, NHL.TV)

Penguins: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 8 (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN360, ROOT, SUN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Malkin, Fleury lift Pens past Canadiens in OT, 4-3

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