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game recap

Penguins top Canadiens, keep pace in Metropolitan

Hornqvist has two goals, assist; Pittsburgh tied with Capitals in points

by Sean Farrell / Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Patric Hornqvist had two goals and an assist, and the Pittsburgh Penguins kept pace in the Metropolitan Division with a 5-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Thursday.

Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist, and Tristan Jarry made 17 saves for Pittsburgh (41-26-5), which is 5-1-1 in its past seven games. The Penguins are tied for first in the division with the Washington Capitals with 87 points, but Washington owns the tiebreaker because they have played two fewer games.


[WATCH: All Penguins vs. Canadiens highlights]


"We were skating, we were in their face, and the last 50 minutes of this game we were really good," said Hornqvist. "And that's the way we have to be here down the stretch to be successful, and I really like our effort."

Artturi Lehkonen, Paul Byron and Nicolas Deslauriers scored, and Antti Niemi made 34 saves for Montreal (26-33-12), which is 1-4-1 in its past six games. The Canadiens are 16 points behind the New Jersey Devils for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Video: PIT@MTL: Deslauriers slams one-timer past Jarry

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. "They lost a game last night, they're a team that has won the Stanley Cup in consecutive seasons, and they have a lot of character and they showed it tonight."

Malkin put the Penguins ahead 3-2 on a power play at 10:30 of the second period with a one-timer from the right side for his 40th goal. Sidney Crosby got his 699th NHL assist on the play.

Video: Breaking down the recent play of Evgeni Malkin

Deslauriers tied it at 3-3 at 12:57.

Hornqvist gave the Penguins a 4-3 lead at 12:24 of the third period when he deflected Carl Hagelin's shot past Niemi. The goal was his 400th NHL point.

"He brings the same thing every night and especially in those tight games," Crosby said. "He's a guy who seems to always kind of step up and make those big plays. And it's not always a goal, but subtle plays, winning puck battles and fighting hard in front of the net. So, he's a big part of our team, and he showed it again tonight."

Bryan Rust extended the lead to 5-3 with an empty-net goal at 18:07.

Lehkonen made it 1-0 at 3:15 of the first period when he deflected Jeff Petry's shot from the right point.

Byron scored off a rebound on the power play at 6:31 to make it 2-0.

Phil Kessel cut it to 2-1 at 10:05 on a one-timer off a 2-on-1 following a turnover by Petry at the blue line.

Video: PIT@MTL: Kessel cashes in on Rust's great feed

Hornqvist tied it 2-2 at 14:33 when his pass deflected in off Byron's stick.

"We can't sit back on our lead," Deslauriers said. "We knew they have probably one of the best scoring touch in the League. I think we just needed to play more in their (defensive) zone and make them work."


Goal of the game

Hornqvist's goal at 12:24 of the third period.

Video: PIT@MTL: Hornqvist tips shot home for 400th NHL point


Save of the game

Jarry's save on Jacob de la Rose at 13:18 of the third period.

Video: PIT@MTL: Jarry shuts down de la Rose's tip-in try


Highlight of the game

Malkin's goal at 10:30 of the second period.

Video: PIT@MTL: Malkin blasts home one-timer for PPG


They said it

"I thought we played hard. We didn't start off the way we wanted, but sometimes that can be a great motivator. Our team's capable of coming back from goals, we've done it time and time again, so there was a lot of hockey left to be played and I thought our guys settled into the game and we did a lot of good things out there." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

"We were playing one of the best teams in the League and I think you can see why. It was kind of struggle for us tonight to really create offense. They had the puck a lot and it wasn't for a lack of work effort. They made some plays over there." -- Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher


Need to know

It was the third time Malkin has scored at least 40 goals in a season in the NHL, and the first since he scored 50 goals in 2011-12. … Hornqvist had a season-high 10 shots on goal.


What's next

Penguins: At the New York Islanders on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, MSG+, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Canadiens: At the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, CBC, SN, TVAS, NHL.TV)

Video: Hornqvist's three-point night lifts Pens to 5-3 win

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