The Penguins appeared to be on their way to the first win at CONSOL Energy Center when the pesky Canadiens snatched it right from under them. The Habs converted two goals in a 24-second span to flip a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 victory.
It was a spirited dual between the two 2010 semifinals combatants. Both teams traded shots and scoring opportunities. If it weren’t for the stellar play by both goaltenders (Marc-Andre Fleury and Carey Price) this could have been a real shootout. The Penguins outshot the Canadiens, 38-27, but couldn’t hold off a spirited comeback by Montreal.
Pittsburgh will regroup and fly to New Jersey for a matchup against the Atlantic Division rival Devils Monday at 4 p.m.
Paul Martin was all over the ice against Montreal. He joined the rush, carried the puck deep and was quick to get back to his defensive position. In one sequence Martin brought the puck in the offensive zone, got off a shot and then raced back to knock the puck away from an attacking Canadien.
Martin finished the game with an assist, five shots and over 22 minutes of ice time.
Martin has been liberated from the Devils’ defense-first mentality and is really flourishing under the Penguins’ aggressive system. It’s still early, but the smooth-skating blueliner has already displayed the talent and skill level that will make him a valuable asset to Pittsburgh.
The momentum and game turned with just 3:12 remaining in the third period. The Penguins were holding a 2-1 edge on the scoreboard when Mike Cammalleri, a Penguin killer, re-directed the puck into the Penguins’ goal for his second tally of the night. The play evened the score and the Canadiens used the momentum to carry them to victory.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Mike Cammalleri and Scott Gomez scored in a 24-second span over the final 2:12 and the Montreal Canadiens came back for a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday night, keeping the Penguins winless through two games at brand new Consol Energy Center.
Cammalleri's second goal of the game came when he was second Montreal player to deflect a Josh Gorges shot from the right-wing boards, getting it past Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
• Evgeni Malkin had one of those monster shifts at the end of the second period. He protected the puck, created changes and swarmed the Canadiens when he didn’t have possession. He single-handedly (literally) kept the puck in the offensive zone for nearly a minute and drew a Montreal penalty.
• Great showing by Mike Comrie in the first period, sticking up for one of his new teammates. Kris Letang was boarded hard by Maxim Lapierre with a late hit. Comrie dropped the gloves (the first fight of CONSOL Energy Center) and sent his new teammates a message.
• The Penguins went 0 for 6 on the power play, but that should come with an asterisk. Evgeni Malkin blasted a one-timer into the net at the exact split second the penalty expired. Regardless, it was the Penguins’ power play work that scored the goal.
• Maxim Lapierre pulled a questionable move in the second period to get the Canadiens on a power play. Lapierre was jawing with Maxime Talbot. The Hab motioned as if he were going to drop his gloves to fight, to which Talbot obliged. However, Lapierre kept his gloves on and Talbot was given a roughing penalty. It may not be ethical, but Lapierre used the system to his advantage.