Note: The orginial post died once again. This is the new one.
PREGAME-Greetings from a wonderful, amazing day in Pittsburgh. Its in the 70s, kind of muggy and there's not a cloud in the sky. A wonderful day to watch non-NBC programming on a large public screen.
-Consol Energy Center:
-The grill is fired up:
-So is the big screen:
-Beach balls are being knocked around:
-Stanley Cups are out and about:
-Some brave Habs fans:
-PK Subban and Mike Cammalleri each have at least one fan here:
-In case you're wondering, that's a blue throwback Canadiens jersey:
-EN readers Dave and Lu Coutts sends in a photo left Milwaukee at 6:30 a.m. and found a cozy little spot to watch the game:
-T-shirts and towels being given away:
-Some sights around the arena. A Ron Francis fan:
-Lots and lots of red here:
-An Evgeni Malkin All-Star Game jersey from 2009, when they held the game in MONTREAL!?!?
-If you're going to wear an all-star jersey, make sure it's not from the city of that night's opponent.
-And don't wear a player's national team jersey when that night's opponents are quite literally, named after that country:
-Mario Lemieux Wilkes-Barre/Scranton:
-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton St. Patrick's Day jersey:
-We're a little confused here:
-More people showed up outside:
-Surprisingly, Ruslan Fedotenko is in the lineup.
-The Penguins' scratches are Jordan Leopold, Deryk Engelland, Ben Lovejoy, Dustin Jeffrey, Chris Conner, Steve Wagner, Tim Wallace, Eric Godard, Mark Letestu, Nick Johnson, Tyler Kennedy, Eric Tangradi, John Curry and Brad Thiessen.
-The Canadiens' scratches are Jaroslav Spacek, Georges Laraque (He's essentially been banished from the team), Mathieu Darche, Ben Maxwell and Sergei Kostitsyn.
-Marc-Andre Fleury and Jaroslav Halak are your starters in net.
-Jeff Jimerson handles the anthem duties. It sounded like he lost his breath once or twice. Perhaps two years of handling anthems so late into June have worn him out:
18:59: Pascal Dupuis mashes Ryan O'Byrne into the boards in the left wing corner of Montreal's zone.
18:35: Jordan Staal challenges Andre Markov on therigh wing and flicks a backahnder on net from the circle. Halak makes the save. Cooke jumps on the rebound but can't punche it by Halak.
17:11: Fedotenko races up the right wing and directs a backhander on net. O'Byrne blocks it with his stick.
16:32: Travis Moen mashes his former Ducks teammate, Chris Kunitz, into the the right wing corne rin the Penguins' zoen.
16:17: Kris Letang tees up a half slapper from the right point. It hits a leg and deflects to the right corner.
15:45: Roman Hamrlik chucks a wrister on net from the left wing. Fleury fights it off.
15:28: The Canadiens win a faceoff in the right circle in the Penguins' zone. PK Subban controls the puck at the right point. He just snaps off a wrister. Mark Eaton is right in front hoping for a block but appears to accidently re-direct it. He beats Fleury low to his right. Fleury had not chance. Staal was also screening him on that. The goal is unassisted. You could make a case for Eaton or Staal to get one. Canadiens 1-0.
14:46: Malkin and former teammate Dominic Moore mix it up along the boards in the Canadiens' zone. Moore appeared to take out Malkin. No call.
14:31: As both teams change lines, Malkin loses his cool and takes out Moore in front of the benches.That's two minutes for interference. That was really stupid by Malkin. Staal, Craig Adams, Sergei Gonchar and Brooks Orpik take the ice.
12:31: The Penguins kill off Malkin's penalty. Montreal did next to nothing with that chance.
11: 53: On a delayed penalty, Alex Goligoski chops a slapper from the right point wide on the near side.
11:48: Gionta is nabbed for tripping Malkin. As Malkin tried to gain the offensive zone on the right wing, Gionta just hacked his legs out. That's two minutes. Gonchar, Goligoski, Malkin, Crosby and Guerin take the ice.
11:34: Gonchar cranks a one-timer from the top of the slot wide to the left of the net.
11:22: With Gonchar at the top of the slot and Letang and Malkin on the left and right half walls respectively, those three pass the puck around until it comes to Gonchar. He cranks a one-timer. It hits off the stick of a Montreal defender and beats Halak five hole. Tom Pyatt broke his stick on the kill and the Penguins did a good job of taking advantage. Malkin and Letang get assists. The "Hey Song" is played. Canadens 1, Penguins 1.
10:38: Guerin snaps off a wrister from the right point. Halak steers it away.
10:19: Letang gains the offensive zone with speed and snap off a wrister from the right circle which is deflects out of play .
10:12: Fedotenko swoops around the net and from the left of the cage, he puts a backhander on net. Halak fights it off.
8:14: Andrei Makrov plays the puck out of the corner on the left wing in his zone. Matt Cooke absolutely drops him with a clean but rough hit. Markov is down and rolling on the ice in pain. Scott Gomez and Gill each jump Cooke at the Montreal blue line. The nine remaining skaters all gater at center ice. Mark Eaton ends up trying to fight Moen, a very tough dude, but they end up just wrestling. Officials break everything up. Markov is helpd off the ice by a teammate and a trainer. The replay appeared to show him landing with most of his weight on his left shoulder ouch. He's a big loss for Montreal. He's just as valuable to them as Sergei Gonchar is to the Penguins. Perhaps even more so. Gomez, Moen and Eaton each get roughing minors. The Penguins have a power play. Crosby, Guerin, Malkin, Letang and Gonchar take the ice.
6:33: With the power play winding down, Ponikarovsky retrieves a loose puck along the right wing boards, turns and dishes a nice little pass to Staal trailing. Staal moves off the boards, toys with Gionta a little bit and releases a high wrister from the slot. it clinks off the cross bar and into the net by Halak's glove hand. What a pretty goal. What a nice little pass by Ponikarovsky. Ponikarovsky and Goligoski get assists. The "Hey Song" is a nice little song. Penguins 2-1.
5:11: Sidney Crosby runs over Josh Gorges on the right wing wall.
5:03: The Penguins are just taking it to the Habs physically. Fedotenko drops Gorges in the corner.
3:02: Cooke and Dupuis do a nice job of cycling the puck deep in Montreal's zone. Cooke is able to tap a pass to the slot. Malkin is step slow and fans a bit on the puck. That was a nice little play the Penguins had set up.
1:55: On a force check for a puck in the right wing corner, Chris Kunitz drops big Hal Gill.
1:03: With the Penguins just battering the Habs in their own zone, "Search and Destroy" by Iggy Pop and the Stooges is fittingly played:
0:34: Goligoski chops a slapper on net from the right point. Cooke is in front battling a defender. Halak makes the save but has trouble with the rebound Cooke is there but can't get a handle on it.
0:03: Fleury fights off an innocent wrister from the slot by Gionta.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Canadiens 1.
-After coming out of the gates a little slowly, the Penguins just, pardon the cliche, flipped the switch and got physical with the smaller Canadiens. The Capitals never did this to the Canadiens and that's a reason they lost. If the Penguins keep this up, they'll win this thing just through attrition.
-It's amazing how this power play is all of a sudden an asset for the Penguins. Did that unit also all of a sudden flip the switch?
-Cooke has just stepped his game up so these playoffs. After Gonchar, the Penguins might not have a more valuable impending free agent.
-Markov means so much to the Canadiens. He's their defacto captain. He settles them down in every situation. The Canadens can not afford to lose him.
-Shots are tied, 7-7.
-Gomez and Malkin each lead the game with three shots.
-Gonchar leads the game with 9:07 of ice time.
-Gionta leads the Habs with 7:26.
-Faceoffs are tied, 8-8 (50 percent).
-Crosby and Tomas Plekanec are each 3 for 5 (60 percent).
-O'Byrne leads the game with three blocked shots.
-Markov is officially out for the game with... a "lower-body" injury. That's a lie. It was very obvious his left arm or shoulder were in distress.
19:20: After Crosby forces a turnover down low, Kunitz rockest a wrister from the left circle wide to the far side.
18:51: The Canadiens are nabbed for too many men. Andrei Kostitsyn will serve the penalty, GOligoski, GOnchar Malkin, Crosby and Guerin take the ice.
18:30: Gonchar rockes a slapper from teh top of the slot high of the net.
17:55: Crosby rips a wrister from the right circle. Gill blocks it.
17:22: Malkin pushes the puck up the right boards and loses possession of it in a battle with Gomez. Gionta appears to be in a position to recover sthe puck and get it out of the defensive zone. But Crosby lifts his stick, bodies Gomez away from the puck and distributes a pass to Letang at the top of the slot. Letang takes the puck, moves in and rips a wrister by Halak on the glove side. What an effort by Crosby to just dominate Gionta and Gomez physically and distribute to Letang. His game is so complete right now. Crosby and Malkin get assists. The "Hey Song" is always complete. Penguins 3-1.
14:24: You know you're getting beat physically when Alexei Ponikarovsky is dropping people. He knocks O'Byrne to the ice behind the Canadiens' net.
14:20: Attendance is announced as 17,132. It is the 163rd consecutive sellout.
12:45: Kunitz drops Subban in the right wing corner.
12:21: Fleury fights off two chance in the slot by Moore and Maxim Lapierre.
11:55: With Malkin fron ton a slight screen, Letang snaps off a wrister from the right half wall. Halak fights it off. Malkin jabs at the rebound but no dice.
11:30: O'Byrne slams Maxime Talbot to the ice behind the Montreal net.
10:48: Subban and an official trip up Staal on the left wing in the Canadiens' zone. No call.
9:46: Gorges has a wrister from the right point blocked.
9:08: Talbot hooks up GIonta in the neutral zone. That's two minutes. Orpik, Cooke, Staal and Gonchar take the ice.
8:54: Staal forces a turnover at the blue line. The puck leaves the zone but Staal struggles to get to his feet. He limps to the bench. That's not good.
7:42: A shot by Gionta in the slot is blocked to the left of the cage. Gionta pokes the puck with a backhanded shot at a semi-open cage. Fleury is able to lunge to his left and fight off the shot. Tough save.
7:36: Staal skates from the bench to the locker room with trainer Chris Stewart. At the same time, Crosby emerges from the locker room after attending to what we presume was an equipment issue.
7:08: The Talbot penalty ends as Orpik blocks a shot from the right right of the cage.
5:23: Ponikarovsky intercepts a pass in the Montreal zone and backhand flicks a shot on net. Talbot is in front and re-directs it on net. Halak fights it off.
4:33: The Canadiens get the puck down low, outwork the Penguins and cash in. Gomez recovers a loose puck behind the net. With no one pressuring him, he's able to turn and distribute a little pass to Mike Cammalleri just inside the left circle. Cammalleri kneels down and jabs a little shot by Fleury on the stick side. The Penguins were so flat footed on that shift. The Canadiens just out-worked them. Gomez and Gionta get assists. Penguins 3-2.
3:52: With the Canadies controlling play in the offensive zone, Fleury just covers a loose puck with hopes to break up their momentum.
3:17: Goligoski turns the puck over along the boards. From the right wing, Lapierre whips a wrister on net. Fleury covers it up with Moore jabbing away for a potential rebound.
2:39: Moen bashes Eaton into the door leading to the Penguins' locker room. The door actually falls open. Play continues.
1:54: Gonchar controls the puck at the right point, moves towards the slot and lets loosw with a wrist shot. It hits a body or two and deflects on. Halak didn't appear to know
1:24: Gonchar plays a puck from deep in his own zone to Dupuis at the Montreal blue line. Dupuis gains the zone and kind of forces a less than stellar pass to Cooke in the slot. The puck hops up. Cooke settles it with his hand and distributes the puck back to Dupuis. Dupuis takes the puck on his backhand, moves to his forehand and deals across the slot to Adams who is charging the net from the right wing. Adams one-touches it by a helpless Halak. What a beautiful play by the Penguins' muckers and grinders. Dupuis and Cooke get assists. The "Hey Song" is always beautiful. Penguins 4-2.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 4, Canadiens 2.
-That Adams goal was very important. The Canadiens had generate some momentum and controlling the play in the Penguins zone. The Adams goal not-only gave the Penguins another two-goal lead, but it reversed the momentum.
-Staal will not return due to an undisclosed injury.
-Again, where did this power play come from? This is the same Canadiens team which shut down the Capitals' vaunted power play. Yet the Penguins' inconsistent power play is three for three.
-How about Craig Adams. This guy just elevates his play in the postseason.
-The Canadiens actually lead in shots, 19-16.
-Gomez leads the game with six.
-Goligoski, Staal, Talbot, Gonchar and Letang each lead the Pengins with two.
-No shots for Malkin.
-Gonchar leas the game with 15:26 of ice time.
-Gionta leads the Canadiens with 14:36.
-The Canadiens lead in faceoffs, 21-16 (57 percent).
-Gomez is 7 for 12 (58 percent).
-Malkin is 3 for 4 (75 percent).
-O'Byrne and Gill each lead the game with three blocked shots.
-Fire Ray Shero.
-Dupuis and Orpik each lead the game with two.
-EN reader Dave Coutts spotted the Cotton Candy guy getting some sun:
19:17: Fleury turns away a wrister from the left point by Gomez.
18:46: Gionta chucks a puck out of play. That's two minutes for delay of game. Gonchar, Letang, Guerin, Crosby and Malkin take the ice.
17:32: Malkin chops a one-timer from the right circle wide on the near side.
17:12: Gonchar cranks a one0timer from the right half wall to th efar side
17:01: Four-for four!?!? Crosby collects a loose puck on the right wing, turns and snaps off a cross-ice pass to Goligoski sneaking down the left wing. Goligoski one-touches it by Halak on the far side by his glove. What a pass by Crosby. The Penguins' power play has scored on all four of its chances tonight. Wow. Crosby and Guerin get assists. Penguins 5-2.
16:04: Penguins fans begin an "OLE, OLE, OLE" sing-song chant which Canadiens fans offer when their team has a large lead late in games.
15:41: Letang snaps off a wrister from the right cicle. Halak boots out a rebound to the slot. Dupuis is there but can't get a handle on the rebound.
15:01: "HAAAAAAA...... LAAAAAKKKK.......HAAAAAAA...... LAAAAAKKKK......."
14:42: During a stoppage, Halak is pulled for Carey Price. Ouch.
13:22: Moen chops a slapper on net from the right point. Fleury gloves it.
12:59: Dupuis whips a chance from the slot wide to the right of the cage.
12:51: Cooke drops Gill with a shoulder to the chest in the corner.
11:19: Malkin gets loose on a breakaway, slows down to a lurch and snap off a wrister wide to the right of Price. Argh.
10:43: Mike Rupp hits Gomez in front of the Canadiens' bench. Gomez takes exception and gives the business to his former Devils teammate. Another former Devil, Gionta gets in on the act. A full-out scrum in front of the bench develops. Officials break it up. Our math might be a bit off, but Gomez (5-foot-11) and Gionta (5-foot-7) combined are nearly as tall as Rupp (6-foot-5). Rupp gets four minutes for roughing. Gomez gets two minutes for roughing. The Canadens get a power play. Talbot, Cooke, Orpik and Gonchar take the ice.
9:55: Orpik blocks a one-timer by Cammalleri off the right half wall. Orpik is smarting a bit after that.
8:43: The Penguins kill off the penalty. Montreal did very little with that chance.
8:24: Kunitz is called for slashing Lapierre. Talbot, Cooke, Orpik and Gonchar take the ice.
8:14: Hamrlik cranks a one-timer from the top of the slot. It deflects high of the cage.
7:31: Nothingo's ove yet. Marc-Andre Bergeron distributes a pass to Gionta on the right half wall. Gionta tees up a one-timer which beats Flery low by his blocker. It looked like Gonchar might have screened Fleury a bit there but Fleury probably should make that save. Bergeron and Gomez get assists. Penguins 5-3.
5:21: Orpik cranks a slapper from the left point. Price boots it out with a thud.
4:36: GIll ties up Fedotenko as they race for a puck down low in the right corner in Montreal's zone. Gill is called for holding. Fedotenko for diving. Ehhh... we're not buying it. Four-on-four.
4:18: Letang blocks a slapper by Plekanec in the left circle and takes a tumble. He gets up quickly despite being in some pain.
3:42: "GE-NO! GE-NO!"
3:14: Gionta gains the offensive zone on the left wing and lifts a wrister to the far side. Fleury makes the easy glove save.
2:36: Fedotenko and Gill re-join play.
1:25: The Canadiens call a time out. Price is pulled for an extra attacker.
0:48: Orpik taps a loose puck up ice with his hand. Kunitz picks it up in the neutral zone moves up ice, draws a defender and centers the pass. Guerin takes the puck, moves in and punches it into the cage for one of us:
Kunitz and Orpik get assists. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 6, Canadiens 3.
0:10: Everyone still here stands and offers an ovation for the Penguins while waving their towels.
0:00: End of game. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Penguins 6, Canadiens 3.
-First things first. Jordan Staal is listed with an undisclosed injury. He will be evaluated tomorrow.
-Ditto Andrei Markov. But his injury was described as "lower body."
-What a start about the Penguins. They clearly identified parts of the Canadiens' game which they could take advantage, attacked those weakness and came out with a victory.
-Special teams were clearly the difference here tonight. The Penguins pulled out their best effort in ages by getting four goals on four plays. And after only allowing one power play goal to the vaunted Capitals in the first round, the Canadiens were an absolute disaster on the penalty kill. They'll need to make some adjustments to stay in this series.
-Interestingly enough, this was the second time this year Cooke injured Markov on a hit in the corner. Markov took a bad tumble back in February:
-If Markov can't play, we really don't see how the Canadiens have a chance in this series. He's so key for them in so many ways.
-After some inconsistent play late in the regular season, Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski have elevated their play in postseason. Both are a lot more confident with the puck. Letang has re-discovered his shot. Both have cut down on mistakes with the puck.
-There might not be a player on the Penguins who raises his game in the postseason within his role as much as Craig Adams. Not Sidney Crosby. Not Malkin. Adams. Given his role as a fourth-liner, Adams doesn't have many chances to make an impact on a game. But he takes advantage of what relatively little playing time he's afforded and makes each shift count. The fact he has two goals is just a bonus.
-The Penguins were so physical with the Canadiens tonight. The Habs are a smaller team, especially up front, and the Penguins made them pay a price. Heck, even Ruslan Fedotenko and Alexei Ponikarovsky were knocking Habs around.
-It wasn't even just the smaller guys up front who were getting hit for Montreal. The big boys on their blue line were paying a price as well. Hall Gill (6-foot-7, 241 pounds) and Ryan O'Byrne (6-foot-5, 234 pounds) all took a tumble at one point or another.
-Marc-Andre Fleury's game was solid but not spectacular. He played well enough to win obviously. And that's all you can ever ask from a goaltender.
-Jarslav Halak didn't look anything like the goaltender who shut down the Capitals. He was bad. But that said, he was challenged in a totally different way. The Penguins generated a lot more chances just by working hard along the wall. The Letang goal is a perfect example of that. Crosby just knocked Gomez off the puck and won a one-on-one battle. That allowed him to distrute a pass to Letang for his second-period score. The Capitals rarely were willing to pay the price and create offense that way. Washington just wanted to generate scoring chance off the rush. Without much traffic, Halak had a fairly easy time turning aside the 35+ shots he would face a night.
-Talk about secondary scoring. The Penguins got three goals from the defense. When's the last time that happened?
-The anticipated boost from his parents' presence didn't exactly kick in for Evgeni Malkin. He had a fine game with one assist, but he was hardly a difference maker.
-The Canadiens had a 31-24 lead in shots.
-Gomez led the game with seven shots.
-Goligoski, Maxime Talbot, Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang each had three shots.
-Sergei Gonchar led the game with 24:14 of ice time.
-Brian Gionta led the Canadiens with 22:34.
-The Canadiens led the game in faceoffs, 30-25 (55 percent).
-Malkin was 6 for 7 (86 percent).
-Maxim Lapierre was 5 for 6 (83 percent).
-O'Byrne, Gill, Brooks Orpik and Letang each led the game with three blocked shots.
-Letang now has three goals this postseason. He had three in the regular season.
-Letang tied a postseason career-high with two points.
-Goligoski set a postseason career-high with two points.
-We know the goal he got was an empty netter, but Bill Guerin has eight points in seven playoff games. That's pretty good point production for someone whose place on the first line and first power play unit is often questioned.
-Kunitz recorded his 30th career postseason assist.
-Ponikarovsky tied his career high for points in postseason with four (one goal, three assists). He had four points for the Maple Leafs in their 13-game playoff run in 2004.
-Rupp recorded an assist. It was his first postseason point since 2008 with the Devils.
-Gonchar recorded the 20th goal and 75th point of his postseason career.
-Gonchar also scored the 40th postseason point of his Penguins career.
-Letang moved past Jean Pronovost for a tie with Robert Lang for 26th place on the franchise's career postseason scoring list. Lang and Letang each have 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists). Pronovost has 18 points.