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Penguins-Canadiens In-Game Blog

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

0:00:
That's the game. The Penguins outshot the Canadiens 26-20, but fall to the Habs, 3-0.

0:41
: The scoreboard just showed Malkin's parents in the crowd!

0:41: On the power play, the Penguins threw several pucks at Price, but the rubber got deflected out of play.

1:20:
The Penguins have pulled Johnson!

1:53:
Things got a little chippy there, wtih a little scrum in front of the bench. Mara then engaged Cooke at center-ice. Mara is headed to the box, and the Penguins will have a power play!

3:33:
Letang snapped a sharp-angled slap shot at Price, but Price made the tough save.








8:15: Eller with a tough re-direction in front that Johnson is able to keep out of the net.

12:21: Jeffrey rips a turning shot on goal that Price consumes.

17:49: Kovalev nearly tips a shot into the goal, but it flies wide of the post.

20:00: Puck drops. Game on. Third period underway.

THIRD PERIOD



SECOND PERIOD NOTES
- Neal and Letestu each have 3 shots
- Letang has 17:08 minutes of ice time
- Johnson has stopped all 6 shots he's faced

0:00: The second period ends. The Habs with a 3-0 lead and shot advantage at 18-16.

1:58: Subban is getting two minutes for elbowing. Pittsburgh PP goes to work.

2:15: Johnson makes a split pad save on Desharnais. What a beauty by Johnny.

4:04: Tempers boil over. After Cooke is hit into the boards both teams dropped gloves and come together. After all that Cooke and Rupp get penalties for Pittsburgh. Weber is in the box for Montreal. The Habs will have a two-minute power play.




7:13: Talbot and Mara dropped the gloves. A great job by Talbot against the much bigger Mara.

7:30: Neal gets a great shot off a two-on-one rush. But Price makes the save.

7:48: The Pens kill off the penalty. Props to Dupuis on the PK effort.

9:59: The Canadiens will go on the power play. Talbot is called for slashing.

10:26: Staal gets a few chances right in front, but can't settle the bouncing puck for a good shot. Carey covers for the whistle.

13:09: Cammalleri gives Montreal a 3-0 lead. He takes a pass right atop the crease, gets down on a knee and one-times a shot past Fleury. Brent Johnson is coming into the game. Canadiens 3, Penguins 0











14:32: The penalty expires and we're back to full strength.

15:40: Neal with a great opportunity. With the puck right atop the crease, he jukes Price to the ice, but his shot goes just over the crossbar.

16:34: We have our first penalty of the game. Desharnais gets two minutes for tripping.

18:48: Kovalev gets a shot from the slot, but the puck sails just wide of the cage.

19:36: The Canadiens strike again. Moen with a snap shot from the near circle beats Fleury stick side. Canadiens 2, Penguins 0

20:00: Puck drops. Game on. Second period underway

SECOND PERIOD



FIRST PERIOD NOTES
- Letang has 2 of the Pens' 5 shots in the first period
- Jeffrey is 4-1 in faceoffs
- Niskanen has 7:46 minutes of ice time


0:00: The first period comes to an end. The Canadiens have a 1-0 lead, and have a 9-5 shot advantage.

0:20: Letang hustled to knock the puck off Plekanec's stick from behind him to avoid a Montreal breakaway.

3:31: What a great pokecheck by Fleury. An errant pass resulted in Cammalleri having the puck at the crease one-on-one with Fleury. As Cammalleri tried to settle the puck, Fleury batted it out of danger with his stick.







6:01: Dupuis with a great defensive play, breaking up a Montreal pass in the crease. Good stick work from the Quebec native.

7:34: Fleury is really challenging the Montreal shooters. He's playing way out of his crease to cut down the shooting angle. I love the confidence he has right now.

9:05: The Canadiens have been counterattacking hard in the first 10 minutes of this game. Every loose puck they seemed to be jumping up ice in anticipation for a rush. Let's see if they convert one of those opportunities.

11:51: Fleury makes a great pad save on Plekanec, who was streaking down the near side. Fleury was way out of his net to challenge the shot.

15:30: Both teams traded two-on-one rush chances. On both occasions, the pass over was broken up. Craig Adams with a great job hustling back to eliminate the Canadiens' chance.

19:14: The Habs strike first. Plekanec gets the puck all alone in the slot after an offensive zone faceoff win and lifts a backhander into the net. Canadiens 1, Penguins 0

19:36: First shift and first shot of the game, Jeffrey cranks one off the red painted metal. Great chip pass from Cooke to send Jeffrey in on goal.

20:00: Puck drops. Game on. First period underway.

FIRST PERIOD



2:00 PM: Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start in net for the Penguins. Here is the rest of the lineup.

Neal-Letestu-Kovalev
Kunitz-Staal-Kennedy
Cooke-Jeffrey-Dupuis
Rupp-Talbot-Adams

Martin-Michalek
Letang-Niskanen
Engelland-Lovejoy



12:53 PM: Pics from around the CONSOL Energy Center.


Kegs and eggs? (left); Student rush (right)




Even Santa is feeling festive. Love the New Balance sneakers though.



12:39 PM: Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma...

On if there’s a competitive side of him that would love to get another shot at Montreal in the postseason:
You know, we play them four times. Prior to this game, I hadn’t entertained those thoughts. But this one, with the playoffs around the corner and we’re heading towards April, you start to look at the standings a little more and there’s playoff implications it seems, every night in every game. I did have that thought, and I don’t know if I’ve thought maybe we can get another crack at them, I’m not sure going back into the Bell Centre is where you want to go for the playoffs, that building is a pretty tough place to play. But certainly, I think there’s a few guys in our room that would certainly like to beat them out of the playoffs.
 
On if he was surprised about Montreal trading Jaroslav Halak and if he’s surprised at the way Carey Price has been playing:
The first dose of Carey Price that I got was when Hamilton beat Hershey in the Calder Cup finals. I think we went to three of those games, and I was amazed at the kid in net. The calm demeanor, the positioning, the lack of any kind of substantial rebound, his rebound control was fantastic. I was really impressed back then. There’s been ups and downs and different scenarios for him ever since. He’s had some good times, some bad times and ups and downs. But I’ve always had in the back of my mind that ‘Wow, this guy is an unbelievable goalie and could turn into that in the NationalHockey League.’ So was I surprised to see Halak go? A little bit. But I’m not surprised to see Carey Price be a stalwart back there in net and be a great goaltender. It seems to be a theme for the Canadiens and they have it this year. He’s played outstanding and he’s cool, calm, collected in there. He’s in great position and doesn’t get real rattled, which makes him tough to beat at times. It’s tough to get him out of position. The one thing we’re going to have to be looking for is some rebound opportunities tonight.
 
On the challenge of integrating Alex Kovalev into his locker room:
Alex is the type of player and the quality of player that you hear a lot about from different places, different media outlets, different teams that he played for. But he did play a significant amount of time here and we heard a lot about him from previous teammates and from previous coaches that had him here. The first thing we talked about when we met is the expectations of what we want from him, but really it was him saying I think I can help, I know I can help, I know I can help out guys inthat room. Tell me what my role is; tell me what it is and let me know what I’m doing well and not doing well. I believe I can help. And really, that has set the tone. He has come in and he has worked, he has tried to fit into how we’re playing but he’s also helped out the guys in that room on our power play, his linemates, in different situations and has really fit in really well. We don’t have a lot of older guys on our team, but I think he’s done a good job of coming right in, (has) fit in and he’s made it very clear he wants to be a part of our team and how we play and wants to help and help us win. So the skill package that he brings is still there. Every day you see something that is just amazing with what he can do. He’s getting more comfortable with maybe using that a little bit more than he was accustomed to in the last couple of years. Power play, we’d like him to be a big factor for us there as well and he’s getting comfortable there.
 
On the way other guys have stepped up with all the injuries giving him a different look at his team:
I think it’s changed the focus from the outside, I think, on our team. But the guys on the inside, the work ethic and accountability to how we play has been there regardless of who’s in the lineup. There hasn’t been a big change in our demeanor. We’re not panicking. We’re not changing everything. The guys have done a great job in that room and they’re getting a lot of credit for playing hard and playing aggressive and being difficult to play against and being smothering. It’s a credit to the guys in that room, and it’s good to see our team get rewarded, but also get recognized for the quality of defense and the quality of work ethic the guys in that room have.

Baller: Michelle Crechiolo



12:15 PM: Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!!! Every year people around the world recognize the patron saint of Ireland in a day of solemnity and holy obligation. Well, sort of.

The Pens will battle the Montreal Canadiens at 2 p.m. at CONSOL Energy Center in what will be the 200th consecutive sellout for the club.

Even though this isn't the Penguins Report, I'm still going to start the blog off with a song. In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, we'll open with a pair from Dropkick Murphys. Opening with their version of "Amazing Grace."



And here is Dropkick's "Blood and Whiskey." Happy St. Patrick's Day. Enjoy.



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