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Pens-Canadiens In-Game Blog

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins


Here we go...Pens are 7-2 in the shootout this season while Habs are 1-7...

Bourque up first and he SCORES...

Letang MISSES...

Pacioretty is pokechecked by Fleury and the forward MISSES...

Malkin pulls out a sick spin-o-rama and SCORES...

Fleury flashes the right pad on Desharnais and he MISSES...

Neal MISSES...

Cole MISSES...

O'Reilly rings one off the post and MISSES...

Eller SCORES...

Kuni pulls out Ol' Faithful and SCORES!!!

Fleury pulls out another pokecheck on Leblanc and he MISSES!

Sullivan MISSES...

Kostitsyn MISSES...


Plekanec beats Fleury with a hard snap shot. He SCORES...

Williams MISSES and the Habs take this one, 3-2.

0:00: Subban starts taking some liberties with Malkin in a battle on the boards for the puck and Letang has enough. He comes over to defend his teammate and exchanges a couple blows with Subban after the whistle before it's broken up. And we're going to the shootout...

2:20: Wow, this has been one ridiculously awesome OT session. No shortage of chances for either side!

5:00: Puck drops to start the extra period. Don't forget the teams skate 4-on-4. Pens starting with Malkin, Neal, Orpik and Letang.

0:00: And we're going to OT for the third time in the four meetings between these clubs this season!

2:36: Pens able to kill it off!

4:42: And the momentum is stemmed with a penalty call to Neal for high sticking. Needless to say, this is an absolutely huge kill for Pittsburgh here...

5:20: Wow, this pace is fast and furious. It really is just back-and-forth, exciting hockey. What a game.

9:47: Malkin produced a great individual effort on that goal. He carried into the zone through 3-4 defenders and got taken down by Hal Gill. He then got up and shielded the puck from Gill to wrap around the net and put the puck in front for Neal.

     "Congrats to #THEREALDEAL @jneal_18 for reaching a career high of 28 goals!!! :D #Pens"


12:28: Neal gets a pass just outside the blue paint and absolutely snipes one past Price! That's his 28th of the season and a new career high for the 24-year-old. PENS 2, CANADIENS 2
17:00: A funky play puts the Habs back ahead. He carries just inside the goal line and looks like he's going to dump the puck in and Fleury barely leans right to anticipate it...but Eller wires a sneaky shot off the left post and past a surprised Flower. Tough play. CANADIENS 2, PENS 1

18:57: Dupuis produces a great stick check to intercept a Habs pass on the blue line. He hits Joey Vitale with a pass, who carries down and wires a sharp-angle shot from the goal line. Duper's crashing to the net hard -- and it deflects off his skate and in! Play is reviewed and it stands. Shortie for the Pens! PENS 1, CANADIENS 1

20:00: Craig Adams is in the box to start the third. Pens will be shorthanded for the first 2 minutes of this period.

- Cooke has 5 of Pittsburgh's 22 shots. No other Pen has more than 2
- Pens are now 21-8 (72 percent) in the faceoff dot
- Habs' top-ranked PK is looking like just that so far tonight

0:00: First 40 minutes are in the books. Habs hold a 1-0 lead and have a 24-22 shots advantage.

     "Just checked to see of my wallet was still in my pants...Fleury is robbing everybody right now. #Jesus"


1:30: Gorgeous save by Fleury on Erik Cole just now. Cole found a loose puck at the back door and rifled it to the cage, but Fleury somehow gloved it while falling backward!

2:30: Habs kill it off. They got some more quality shorthanded opportunities on that PK...really giving the Pens' PP a hard time.

4:36: And just as the Pens get back to full strength, it's now the Canadiens' turn to be shorthanded as Gomez holds up Letang.

6:43: Neal gets called for cross-checking and Montreal's struggling PP (ranked dead last in the NHL) will go head-to-head with Pittsburgh's PK.

8:39: Leblanc finds himself in almost the exact same breakaway situation as he did in the first (see 6:57 entry), and this time he converts a shot glove side. CANADIENS 1, PENS 0

10:38: Pens catch Price out of position as he goes to play a puck, sends it up the boards to Geno and falls on his way back to the net! But Subban is there to help his goalie out and saves a goal! With that, the Habs are back to full strength.

     "Much better looking PP here. Good movement and pucks around Price's feet. Keep it up #Pens"


12:41: And now the Pens get another PP chance as Plekanec gets busted for slashing.

13:02: Malkin tricks the Habs by winning the O-zone draw forward and quickly passing to Kunitz, whose backhand is barely kicked aside by Price!

15:25: Pens can't get anything going on the man-advantage. The Canadiens, who have six shorthanded goals this season, was actually the team that was getting better chances during those two minutes.

17:27: Eller runs over Fleury as he goes for a puck that the Pens goalie had just pushed in the corner, and he's going to go to the sin bin for it. Pens to the PP against the NHL's No. 1 ranked PK!

20:00: Puck drops and the second period is underway at the Bell Centre!

- There were no penalties called on either team
- Pens have a 9-5 edge in faceoffs
- Entering tonight's game, Pittsburgh had a 101-95 advantage in faceoffs over Montreal (51.5%)

     "Nice first period for the #Pens. No score at the first intermission. Pens lead in shots 11-10."


0:00: That'll do it for a fast-paced, evenly-matched first. We're scoreless and the Pens have an 11-10 advantage in shots.

     "Nice save by the flower #Pens"


6:57: 2009 first-round draft pick Louis Leblanc sneaks down the side of the ice and gets a mini breakaway as a result, but Fleury flashes the pad on his shot!

9:41: Ever wondered why the Canadiens are nicknamed the Habs? Well, let me just tell you...'Habs' is an abbreviation of "les habitants," the informal name given to the original settlers of New France.

According to, the first man to refer to the team as "the Habs" was Tex Rickard, owner of Madison Square Garden, in 1924 when he apparently told a reporter that the "H" on the Canadiens' sweaters was for "Habitants." However, the distinctive C-wrapped-around-H logo actually stands for "Club de Hockey Canadien."

There's your history lesson for the evening!

13:46: The back-and-forth action continues, cumulating with Mathieu Darche about to pounce on a juicy rebound opportunity with Fleury down...but Orpik alertly lifts his stick and thwarts what would have almost surely been a goal!

16:01: After the Pens had been controlling play for the first few minutes, Habs just broke free for a decent scoring chance but luckily Pittsburgh was able to clear.

17:21: Malkin wins an O-zone faceoff back to Neal, who instantly tees it off and rings one off the post! Geno dominated on his draws Sunday in New Jersey, going 14-5 (74 percent).

20:00: Puck drops to start the first. Game on!

7:30 PM:
Both McDonald and Williams are in as Pens scratch Kennedy, Richard Park, Ben Lovejoy. Here are the official lines...



Fleury in goal. Price in net for Habs.

(Good news: Fleury has proven to have a short memory when it comes to being pulled from games. Since the beginning of the 2009-10 season, Fleury has responded from getting pulled from games to go 9-1-1 with a 2.25 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage in his next start. Thanks to PR phenomenon Jason Seidling for the stats!!!)

(Getty Images)

7:00 PM:
Good evening everyone! Welcome to one of our surprisingly rare night games this month. The Pens are in the midst of warmups at the Bell Centre, preparing to battle the Montreal Canadiens for the fourth and final time this season. A win tonight would give the Pens their first perfect sweep of the Canadiens. On two previous occasions – 1998-99 (3-0-1) and 1992-93 (2-0-1) – Pittsburgh has finished with unbeaten records against Montreal.

There is still no update on forward Tyler Kennedy, who left Sunday’s game in New Jersey late in the third period after falling awkwardly into the boards and returned to Pittsburgh to be re-evaluated for a lower-body injury. Colin McDonald will take his place in the lineup.

The Pens also placed forward Arron Asham on IR in order to make room for Jason Williams, who was called up this afternoon. For the rest of the day's coverage out of Montreal, check out the Pens Report.

I haven’t been posting songs in my game blogs lately, but I do have one for tonight as I discovered that indie rock band Arcade Fire is actually based out of Montreal. And I love their song “Wake Up” – I’ve been listening to it all day – so I’m going to play it. Enjoy.

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