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game recap

Matt Murray, Penguins stifle Canadiens

Makes 19 saves, allows one goal after giving up seven last start

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Matt Murray made 19 saves for the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 4-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Wednesday.

Murray, who allowed seven goals in the Penguins' 8-7 overtime win against the Washington Capitals on Monday, made his third start in four games since returning from a lower-body injury. 

Ian Cole, Eric Fehr, Jake Guentzel and Olli Maatta scored for Pittsburgh (28-11-5), which ended a three-game road losing streak. Evgeni Malkin got his 50th point to tie Sidney Crosby for the Penguins lead with an assist on Cole's goal. 

 

WATCH: All Penguins vs. Canadiens highlights

 

"I thought we didn't take a lot of chances through the neutral zone, and with a team as fast and as opportunistic as the Canadiens are, you know, that's playing to our strengths, and I thought we did that all night," said Fehr, who was a healthy scratch the past three games.

Sven Andrighetto scored at 18:11 of the second period when his wraparound shot went in off the back of the paddle of Murray's stick to draw Montreal within 3-1. 

Carey Price made 22 saves for the Canadiens (27-13-6), who have lost three of four. 

"We played a really good hockey team, the Stanley Cup champions, and to give yourself a chance at least to win this hockey game you've got to compete," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "We didn't compete, our focus was not quite there. Disappointing night." 

Pittsburgh forward Patric Hornqvist had two assists, including one on Cole's third goal of the season that gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 14:52 of the first. Fehr made it 2-0 with his sixth goal at 5:19 of the second period. 

Hornqvist got his second assist on Guentzel's fourth goal, a deflection of defenseman Cameron Gaunce's shot from the left point past Price at 17:38 that put the Penguins ahead 3-0. 

Maatta scored his first goal in 63 games -- since Feb. 8, 2016 -- at 15:36 of the third period.

The Canadiens have allowed 28 goals in their past eight games, which include four wins (4-4-0).

"When you allow goals, it's usually a team fault," Price said. "I think you've got to look at it for what it's worth. On my part, I need to play better. You've got to stay positive and look at the bright side, we're still first in our division and you can't win the Stanley Cup in January. So we just need to improve going forward."

 

Goal of the game

Fehr backed up in the slot to reach back for a pass from Chris Kunitz and put a wrist shot past Price.

Video: PIT@MTL: Fehr, Kunitz combine to beat Price from slot

 

Save of the game

Price made a glove save on Conor Sheary's low shot when the Penguins forward drove past Montreal defenseman Shea Weber on his way to the net in the first period.

 Video: PIT@MTL: Price uses glove to stone Sheary on the rush

 
Highlight of the game

Malkin extended his point streak to five games with an assist on Cole's first goal in 20 games. After taking a pass from Hornqvist and carrying the puck over the blue line, Malkin curled in toward the middle from the right side. He fed a pass to Cole, who came in as a trailer and put a low shot past Price through traffic.

Video: PIT@MTL: Cole buries Malkin's feed to finish rush

 

Unsung performance of the game

Center Nick Bonino had a Penguins-high four blocked shots.

 

They said it

"We had some pretty good structure. I thought we did a pretty good job limiting their speed coming through the neutral zone, for the most part. I thought we made pretty good decisions with the puck, forcing them to have to play 200 feet, and I thought we got a pretty good, solid team effort and we got contributions throughout our lineup." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

 

"They've just got a lot of speed. They keep coming at you, every line. Their [defense] are joining the rush a lot and making a four-man attack. They obviously played a good game tonight." -- Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber

 

Need to know

Malkin has 33 points in his past 24 games (13 goals, 20 assists). … Cole's goal was his first in 20 games since Dec. 1. ... Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty and defenseman Nathan Beaulieu were each minus-3.

 

What's next

Penguins: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, ROOT, NHL.TV)

Canadiens: At the New Jersey Devils on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; MSG+, SNE, RDS, NHL.TV)

Video: Murray, Hornqvist lead Pens past Habs, 4-1

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