We apologize for technical difficulties within the website that lost most of the third period. Alex Goligoski scored on a power play and Bill Guerin added an empty netter while Brian Gionta tallied for the Canadiens. The Penguins won the game, 6-3, to open up a 1-0 lead on Montreal.
And that's all folks! Penguins defeat the Montreal Canadiens 6-3 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals and look ahead to Game 2 on Sunday at 2pm.0:48:
Bill Guerin seals the deal with an empty net goal! Penguins 6, Canadiens 31:25
: Canadiens pull Carey Price and hope for a late surge.19:35
: Fleury is tested early on a quick shot from the left circle by Cammalleri but Fleury stays tight to the post to corral the shot in his stomach.
Pittsburgh is 20 minutes away from opening a 1-0 series lead.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- Sergei Gonchar led the Penguins with 15:36 minutes of ice time.
- Evgeni Malkin
is 3-1 on faceoffs.
- Jordan Staal
will not return with an undisclosed injury.
- Click to read the second period game summary
and event summary
Pittsburgh has a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes, although the Canadiens are outshooting the Penguins, 19-16.
1:24: Craig Adams
, Playoff Star! The feisty forward earns his second goal of the postseason to get back the goal the Penguins just surrendered. Cooke glove a loose puck in the slot out of the air and dished to a wide open Dupuis. The hero of Game 6 last series passed under a Canadiens stick right to the blade of Adams, and he tapped the pass through Halak's legs. Penguins 4, Canadiens 1.
Halak continues to look a bit rattled as he had trouble with another long shot by Gonchar.
Crosby is double-shifting with Cooke and Pascal Dupuis
with Staal still in the Penguins locker room.
Montreal catches the Penguins on an extended shift and the result is Gomez finding Mike Cammalleri in the slot for a one-timer to cut into the Pittsburgh lead. Penguins 3, Canadiens 2.
Constant pressure by the Penguins leads to another quality scoring chance as Talbot deflects a Ponikarovsky shot off the pads of Halak.
Pittsburgh kills off the Talbot minor. Montreal is 0-for-2 on the man-advantage.
Staal is helped to the locker room. We will provide an update.
'Fleury! Fleury! Fleury!' The Penguins netminder just made a huge right pad save to deny Gomez, who had a loose puck roll onto his blade off the rush.
Staal limps to the bench after running into one of the Canadiens at the top of the Pittsburgh blue line.
Montreal will take their second crack at the power play as Maxime Talbot is sent to the box for hooking.
The Penguins nearly tacked on a fourth goal off the rush as Malkin deflected a Letang shot, but the puck went off the outside of the net and not the inside. Pittsburgh is doing a great job getting quality looks against Halak, who appears to have lost a bit of that confidence.
Great glove save by Fleury as he somehow found Pouliot's shot from the slot as a host of traffic built up in front of the Penguins netminder.
Andrei Markov will not return witha lower body injury.
You want to talk about special - the Penguins are 3-for-3 on the man-advantage! Crosby, in typical Crosby fashion, won a puck battle along the far boards from Gomez. Crosby then fed Letang in the slot, and he beat Halak again to the glove side. Penguins 3, Canadiens 1.
The Canadiens get caught with too many men on the ice. Pittsburgh is already 2-for-2 on the man-advantage. Can they make it 3-for-3?
The Penguins hope to build upon a solid opening period.
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- Hits (11-11) and faceoffs (8-8) were dead even during the opening period.
- Chris Kunitz
led the way for Pittsburgh with three hits.
- Jordan Staal
had two shots for the Penguins.
- Click to read the first period game summary
and event summary
After 20 minutes the Penguins have opened a 2-1 lead on the Canadiens thanks to power-play markers from Gonchar and Staal. Both teams registered seven shots.
The Penguins are doing what the Capitals wouldn't - getting traffic in front. Cooke almost tipped a point shot from Goligoski past Halak, who was up to the challenge.
Both teams have six shots apiece as space has been tough to come by in this first period.
An elbow to the head of Crosby by Benoit Pouliot goes unpenalized as the Penguins have brought their hitting shoes once again. Pouliot was retaliating after Crosby got leverage and knocked Gorges to the ice. Seconds later Ruslan Fedotenko delivers a big hit.
The Penguins have already outscored the Washington power play! Jordan Staal
makes a nice play to keep the puck in the zone along the near boards, takes a give-and-go feed from Alexei Ponikarovsky and buries a shot from the slot over the glove of Halak. Penguins 2, Canadiens 1.
8:18: Matt Cooke
is a factor in the series. He just knocked Andrei Markov out in the far corner of the Montreal zone. As Markov is down being looked at Cooke is jumped by Gomez and a couple other Habs. Mark Eaton drops the gloves with Travis Moen. Markov is eventually helped to the Canadiens locker room by Josh Gorges and a trainer. Gomez receives the extra penalty on the play. Gomez, Moen and Eaton all get roughing penalties.
The Penguins talked about having patience and it shows right there. Kris Letang
, Malkin and Gonchar play catch at the top of the Montreal box before Gonchar walks into a Letang pass and rips a shot past the glove of Halak. Penguins 1, Canadiens 1.
Gionta trips Crosby at the Montreal blue line to put the Penguins on the man-advantage for the first time in the series.
Big save by Fleury as he denies Scott Gomez with a left pad save on a rebound from point-blank range.
Maybe we have an early turning point as the Penguins kill off the Malkin penalty by denynig Montreal zone time.
This isn't the start the Penguins wanted as Evgeni Malkin
is given an interference penalty.
Montreal draws first blood as rookie P. K. Subban's wrist shot from the right point off a faceoff win deflects off Mark Eaton's skate and gets through Fleury. Canadiens 1, Penguins 0.
Hal Gill knocked Sidney Crosby
down in front of the Montreal net but no penalty was called much to the chagrin of the crowed.
We have the customary early series feeling-out process right now as these two teams see how the other will play.
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
Jaroslav Halak was chased after 40 minutes in his only start at Mellon Arena back on Oct. 28 of this season. On that night Halak surrendered four goals on 23 shots.
The referees are on the ice and Don Cherry is doing his standup to the right of Marc-Andre Fleury
's cage as the crowd chants 'Let's Go Pens.' The Penguins have now stepped out of the runway and this place is a zoo! What an atmosphere!
Pittsburgh went 3-1 during the regular season against the Canadiens, taking both contests at Mellon Arena (6-1 on Oct. 28 and 3-1 on Nov. 25) and also besting the Habs, 3-2 on Dec. 10 at Bell Centre. Montreal's only win came on Feb. 6, 5-3.
The lineups are in and one change for the Penguins. Ruslan Fedotenko will take Chris Conner's spot on the fourth line. Tyler Kennedy
will miss his third straight game and Jordan Leopold his fifth. Montreal's Jaroslav Spacek is still out with chest congestion.
The Penguins open the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs tonight by hosting the Montreal Canadiens at Mellon Arena. Pittsburgh disposed of the Ottawa Senators, 4-2, in round one, while the Canadiens overcame a 3-1 deficit to eliminate the No. 1-seeded Washington Capitals.
Author: Jason Seidling