Paul Steigerwald gives his three impressions from the press box of the Penguins’ 4-1 loss against the Montreal Canadiens.
1. The Montreal Canadiens were 15-0 when scoring the first goal coming into the game. The first goal was huge and they get the first goal when Brenden Gallagher bumps Marc-Andre Fleury. Then they score. No penalty called on the play. Goal not disallowed. The Canadiens get the goal 2:30 in and now they’re 16-0 when they get the first goal. The lack of calls in the first period put the Penguins in a tough spot. It wasn’t the best officiated game we’ve seen this year. The Penguins had only one power-play chance the entire game and I think they could have had three in the first period.
2. David Perron made an impression in the game, not only in terms of scoring his first goal in a Penguin uniform in his first game, but he also saved a goal in the game. He showed that he can really backcheck. He came back and stole the puck from Brenden Gallagher in the neutral zone. Perron made a strong impression in his first game even though he had only 10 minutes of a morning skate after arriving from Denver, Colorado.
3. The Canadiens are a team to be reckoned with all year long. They play the system perfectly under Michel Therrien. It starts with Carey Price in goal. They shut you down in the neutral zone and make it difficult to generate offense. Once they have a lead they are almost impossible to come back against.
Sam Kasan gives his three impressions.
The Montreal Canadiens are so good defensively that goals come at a premium. So it was important for Pittsburgh to also play strong defensively to keep it a close game. However, the Canadiens were able to take advantage of a couple of Pens miscues to tally some goals. A Beau Bennett turnover led to Montreal’s second goal. Christian Ehrhoff lost track of Max Pacioretty during a 4-on-4 and the resulting play ended with Montreal scoring their third goal. Another gaffe during a power play gave the Habs a 3-on-1 shorthanded chance the other way, but the Pens escaped that situation unscathed.
2. Perron Debut
On Friday afternoon the Pens acquired winger David Perron. He was inserted into the lineup against the Canadiens with Sidney Crosby as his center. Perron made a statement in his debut. Crosby had the puck in the corner as Perron darted to the net. Crosby fed a pass across. Perron got down on one knee to snap the puck into the goal. Pens fans are hoping to see more of that.
3. Game Within
There was an interesting battle during the game between Steve Downie and Tom Gilbert. The two had several post-whistle altercations and were battling each other all night. They both took a penalty during the second period, which resulted in a Canadiens’ goal. Downie came out of the box as Montreal had a 2-on-1. Downie jumped to the puck career, Max Pacioretty, who fed Gilbert. He scored the goal, which ended up being the game-winner. So Gilbert got the last laugh.