MONTREAL -- The Penguins had a 2-1 lead over the Canadiens heading into what proved to be a wild third period. Montreal scored three goals to gain a 4-2 advantage in the final frame. Pittsburgh battled back and netted a late power-play goal but it wasn’t enough as the Penguins fell short, 4-3, at the Bell Center in Montreal.
Pittsburgh had goals from Sergei Gonchar, Evgeni Malkin
and Bill Guerin.
Notable players that participated in the contest were Penguins superstar centers Sidney Crosby
and Malkin, Guerin, Chris Kunitz
, Eric Tangradi
, Luca Caputi, Brooks Orpik
, Gonchar and 2009 first-round pick Simon Despres
Below was the full lineup for the game and the line combinations and defensive pairings.
The Penguins are right back in action Tuesday night with a game in Toronto. Pittsburgh is in the midst of a stretch in which the team plays three games in four nights (all on the road). The Penguins finish that stretch with a bus ride to Columbus on Thursday.
Pittsburgh displayed a strong counterattack in the game. Whenever Montreal had an errant shot on net or misplayed the puck, the Penguins quickly headed the other way.
In fact, the Penguins second goal was scored off of a counterattack rush. A Canadiens’ misfired shot caromed off the backboards and the Penguins stormed the other way. Pittsburgh entered the zone with a three-on-two when Ben Lovejoy
found Malkin trailing the play. Malkin’s shot eluded netmidner Carey Price for the score.
Guerin showed off his patented wicked shot on his power-play tally. The veteran winger collected a pass above the far circle and snapped a laser over Price’s shoulder, off the corner crossbar and into the net.
The contest was a special moment for Despres. The Quebec native played his first game in his hometown as a Penguin, in the arena in which he was drafted in only three months earlier. And his parents, Sylvain and Jessica, were in attendance.
But he is still a rookie and therefore had to endure some rookie hazing.
The team encouraged Despres to lead the group onto the ice for warm-ups. Despres was eager and ready to lead the charge. However, once he took the ice at full speed none of the Penguins followed, leaving Despres on the ice all alone for a lap until the remaining players joined him.
Then, in some more locker room antics, Despres was forced to answer questions from the media barefoot as somehow his socks went missing. As of this writing, they still have not been found.
Montreal’s Jaroslav Spacek received a four-minute double minor for high sticking after catching Crosby in the face. The Penguins captain had blood gushing from the side of his nose as a result but never missed a shift.
Pittsburgh outshot Montreal, 31-28, in the game.
Seven different Penguins registered a point.
Crosby won 60 percent of his faceoffs (15-of-25). Craig Adams
had a game-high five hits.