Every French Canadian child grows up dreaming about playing for the Montreal Canadiens and donning the Habs’ sweater. For the lucky few who are talented enough to play at the National Hockey League level, every time they play against those Canadiens at Bell Centre is a special moment.
But Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis
, who grew up in Laval, took it one step further. In front of an arena full of his friends and family, Dupuis posted two points (1G-1A), including scoring the game-deciding goal 13:21 into the third period to lift the Penguins to a 3-2 victory over the Habs at Bell Centre.
“I got the game-winner and in Montreal, that’s really special,” he said. “I’ve got family here and I’m trying to get to see them. The game-winner in any game is good, but especially at home.”
Dupuis handled a breakout pass from Brooks Orpik
and carried a bouncing puck into the Canadiens zone. Dupuis laid into a heavy slap shot from the point that eluded Montreal netminder Carey Price.
“When you shoot those rolling pucks you never know where it’s going to go,” Dupuis said. “I just shot it and didn’t know where it was going.”
Where it went was into the twine. Along with his two points, Dupuis, who now has eight goals on the year tying for second-most on the team, also had a plus-2 rating, two shots, one blocked shot and 14:19 minutes of play while skating on a line with either Sidney Crosby
and Bill Guerin or Evgeni Malkin
and Ruslan Fedotenko.
“That’s special for him and he played well,” Crosby said. “He’s always excited to play (in Montreal). It brings out the best in a lot of guys when they’re playing in front of family and coming back home. It was really nice for him to be able to score a big one for him.”
The Penguins played a strong game, outshooting the Habs by a 41-21 mark, including a 15-6 advantage in the third period. The Canadiens stayed in the game, with help from goaltender Price, and fought to the bitter end.
“They played well,” Dupuis said. “They came hard. They always play well at home. They have a really good crowd and they feed off of that. Carey Price played really well. We had over 40 shots on net but he played well.”
“(Price) played well,” Crosby said. “He kept them in the game. We threw a lot of shots his way. It could have been a bigger score if some of those had gone in. He did a great job of keeping them in the game.”
Sorel, Quebec native Marc-Andre Fleury
knows how excited Dupuis feels. The Penguins netminder turned aside 19 shots to help his team claim victory over his boyhood team.
“The guys were awesome,” Fleury said. “They played great all game long. It was a battle to the end. That was a big goal by Dupuis.
“I had some friends and family at the game watching. It’s always special for us to play here and especially to win.”