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Outshooting Penguins doesn?t lead to win for Habs

by Corey Masisak /
PITTSBURGH -- Maybe getting more shots isn't the best thing for the Montreal Canadiens after all.

For only the second time in 12 contests during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Canadiens were able to outshoot their opponent. For the second time, the Canadiens were defeated despite the advantage in shots on net.

Montreal put 33 shots on goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 of this Eastern Conference Semifinal series Saturday night at Mellon Arena -- eight more than the Canadiens' Jaroslav Halak had to deal with. But the Penguins were able to survive a late attempt at a rally and ward off the Canadiens to claim a 2-1 win and 3-2 series lead.

"There were times when we made the right play, but we don't exactly execute and we didn't get our goals," forward Michael Cammalleri said. "I thought our execution could have been a little more precise tonight. It is not the intent -- the intent was there. We just need to be a little bit better."

Cammalleri did score his team-leading ninth goal of this postseason, but it came 31 seconds from the final horn in the third period. The Canadiens had one chance to tie it after that -- Cammalleri's ninth shot of the game with 12 seconds to play, a blast from the left wing which Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside.

It proved to be too little, too late for the Canadiens, who were left to ponder something of a squandered opportunity.

"They did what they had to do at home," forward Scott Gomez said. "We stuck to the game plan. It is playoff hockey. What can you say? They got the win and we'll regroup."

Added coach Jacques Martin: "It was a tremendous game, highly competitive. They scored early on the power play. I thought we had some good opportunities. It was a good game. We just have to make some adjustments and now we go home to play in front of our fans."

In each of Montreal's six victories, the Canadiens have had at least nine shots less than either the Penguins or the Washington Capitals -- and some of the disparities have been incredibly lopsided.

This was one of the few games where they have not been dominated at even strength, but they were unable to take advantage and collect the road victory they're going to need if they are to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Part of the reason was Fleury made 32 saves, but Cammalleri didn't feel his team did enough and his goaltender, Jaroslav Halak, agreed.

"I want to watch what I say because I don't want to discredit what (Fleury) did. You ask your goaltender to be as good as you need him to be," Cammalleri said. "He didn't let in a goal until there was (31) seconds left. You have to say he had a solid game. I think if you ask him he'd be honest with you and say we didn't have 25 Grade A chances. I don't know what the scoring chances were, but he was as good as they needed him to be. Credit to him, but he'd probably say he's played better games."

Added Halak: "They tried to always have somebody in front of me and that's how they scored the two goals. We need to do the same thing the next game. We made it easy on their goalie. That's how you score goals in the playoffs. You try to make the screen for the goalie and that's how you get to be successful."

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