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Canadiens at Penguins - 10-09-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

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(We love that montage, we're going to use it for the time being to open live game blog posts.)

-Greetings from a wonderful, sunny, cloudless, bright and amazing day in Pittsburgh. It's in the low 70s and completely clear. It's almost a waste to be inside. Almost.

-A few sights from our walk up from downtown. The etching on the side of the ramp on the Boulevard of the Allies:

-Once Oxford Centre:

-The Frick Building:

-The Mayor Richard S. Caliguiri statue:

-An old map of Downtown:

-If you didn't know all of Pittsburgh's sister cities:

-A Kevin Stevens jersey:

-Consol Energy Center:

-On the lamp posts which line Washington Place, they have players' names and numbers:

-Folks waiting to get in:

-Guess who's here:

-Hockey Night in Canada. You can just smell an amazing pregame montage in the works.

-The ice:

-Guess who else is here:

-Yes, THE Morey Gare of the Edmonton Oilers. Oh... and that Therrien guy too.

-In all seriousness, former Penguins coach Michel Therrien is here as a scout. 

-Some jerseys. An Arron Asham t-shirt jersey:

-Evgeni Malkin Team Russia:

(We're not sure if the Jersey Foul Bill of Rights officially addresses that rolled-up "bun" thing in the back, but we're pretty sure that's a jersey foul.)

-Mario Lemieux Lava Voisons:

-The great Mike Zigomanis:

(Kudos to EN reader Brandon Elliott, the man in the Laval jersey, for spotting this gem.)

-Another Mike Rupp jersey:

-Mike Cammalleri Canadiens "Christmas" throwback jersey:

-Ron Francis not impressed:

-Tom Barrasso:

-Jean Beliveau:

-A very well-kept t-shirt celebrating the 1991 Stanley Cup title:

-We found him:

-They actually have fitting rooms/curtained offed areas in the team stores:

-Ugh:

-First off, who in the heck buys a Pro Bowl jersey? And why would you wear it to a hockey game?

-Martin Straka:

-Darius Kasparaitis:

-Phi Bourque:

-Aleksey Morozov:

-Ruslan Fedotenko has at least one fan here:

-Third-party jersey foul amendment in play here. Mike Richards Flyers:

-Rick Tocchet:

-Dave Burrows:

(We'll have to double check and see if Burrows ever wore that stye of jersey. If so, that's a sharp fan.)

-The Civic Arena:

-Uptown:

-Warm ups:

-The Penguins' starters are Matt Cooke, Mark Letestu, Tyler Kennedy at forward, Zbynek Michalek and Brooks Orpik on defense and Marc-Andre Fleury in goal.

-The Canadiens' starters are Michael Cammalleri, Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Kostitsyn at forward, Josh Gorges and Hall Gill on defense and Carey Price in goal.

-The Penguins' scratches are Deryk Engelland and Eric Godard.

-The Canadiens' scratches are Roman Hamrlik and Mathieu Darche.

-No Jeff Jimerson. No photo of the anthems.

FIRST PERIOD

19:28: Off a faceoff in the left circle in Montreal's zone, Paul Martin sneaks a wrister on net from the left point. Price fights it off.

18:08: Ben Lovejoy, making his season debut, gains the offensive zone on the right wing and whips a rising wrister at the net. Price traps it against his chest and freezes play.

17:55: Rupp crunches Lars Eller along the left wing corner boards in Montreal's zone.

17:22: Rupp is sent off for roughing against Lapierre. Orpik, Michalek, Cooke and Maxime Talbot take the ice.

16:56: Fleury is a bit lost in his slot and gets caught swimming around. Andrei Kostitsyn has a chance with the puck in the crease but chops it high. The Penguins and Fleury dodged one there.

16:40: P.K. Subban cranks a slapper on net from the left point. Fleury is square to the shot and fights it off.

16:23:  Subban touches the puck and gets the Hossa/Jagr type of booing treatment. We know he injured Jordan Staal last season, but is he really worthy of that "honor?"

15:22: As the Rupp penalty is killed, Subban gets dropped behind the Penguins' net by Michalek and Sidney Crosby. Plenty of cheers.

14:06: Maxime Lapierre leaves his feet and hits Kris Letang in the right wing corner in the Penguins' zone. Mike Comrie endears himself to the fans immediately as he preforms a pubic service and fights Lapierre at center ice. They mostly just grab each others' jerseys, wrestle around a bit and fall to the ice with Lapierre on top. Lapierre gets a charging minor on top of his fighting major. The Penguins have a power play. Letestu, Goligoski, Crosby, Malkin and Chris Kunitz take the ice. Letestu on for Comrie? Interesting.

12:52: Malkin controls the puck against the left wing wall and sneaks a pass in front of the net to Kunitz. Kunitz turns, fights off a check and moves it to Crosby in the right circle. Crosby cranks a one-timer. Price is able to slide to his left and juuuuuust barely gets a glove on the puck. The puck deflects out of play. HUGE save.

12:06: The Penguins' power play expires. Not the greatest effort.

9:58: Playoff hero/villan Travis Moen gets a step on Letestu on the right wing and flies towards the Penguins' net. But before he can sneaks a shot on, Fleury poke checks the puck away.

8:49: Talbot out-hustles Subban for a loose puck in the right wing corner in Montreal's zone. He fights off Subban's check, turns and distributes to Rupp above the right circle. Rupp lifts a wrister right into Price's chest. Price hangs on and freezes play. A small scrum ensues. Rupp is nabbed for cross checking Subban. Tonight's officials are calling this game tighter than the zebras did Thursday against the Flyers. Paul Martin, Pascal Dupuis, Talbot and Letang take the ice.

8:09: Jaroslav Spacek strikes a half slapper from the right point. Fleury makes the save but boots out an iffy rebound. Brian Gionta is there and whips it on net. Fleury is scrambling but is able to eat up the shot.

7:27: From the left circle, Kostitsyn slides a pass across the slot to Cammalleri in the right circle. Cammalleri, who is pretty dangerous from that spot, kneels down and pumps a one-timer on net. Fleury is able to move to his right and eats up the shot. Tough save.

6:49: The Penguins kill off the Rupp penalty after a pretty furious challenge by the Canadiens.

5:44: Letang sneaks up the right wing and snaps off a wrister from just outside the circle. Price boots it out. It's an iffy rebound, but thankfully for Price, there isn't a Penguin in the area to pick it up.

4:48: Lovejoy takes a pass from Crosby, goes in deep on the right wing and whips a puck low on Price from along the goal line. Price hangs on and freezes play.

4:36: Plekanec gains the offensive zone going one-one one with Michalek, He moves behind the goal line and from behind the cage, he sneaks a pass through the crease and into the slot for Cammalleri. Tyler Kennedy fails to tie up Cammalleri who snaps off a wrister by Fleury who was pretty  much turned inside out. The Penguins as a team looked awful on that play. Michalek looked like Jay McKee there. Fleury was totally lost and Kennedy was lazy/absent minded. Ugh. That said, fantastic effort by Plekanec. Plekanec and Kostitsyn get assists. Canadiens 1-0.

3:44: During a television stoppage, we're treated to some "Search and Destroy" by Iggy Pop:

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2:52: Subban snaps off a pass across two zones to Dustin Boyd at the Penguins' blue line. Boyd gets behind the defense, moves in and lifts a wrister from the left circle. Fleury fights it off. How do you give up a partial breakaway to Dustin Flipping Boyd?

2:06: Spacek cranks a slapper from the left point. Fleury knocks it down and distributes.

1:20: Martin moves up the left wing and centers a pass to Dupuis in the slot. Dupuis re-directs it into a mass of humanity in the crease. Price fishes the puck out and freezes play. A scrum ensues. Josh Gorges is called for roughing against Crosby. Crosby, Comrie, Malkin, Cooke and Goligoski take the ice. Cooke? Kunitz must have be a little gassed.

0:53: Subban gets clipped in the face in the with a stick by Comrie behind the Montreal net. Subban immediately grabs the area above his left eye. He drops his lid and immediately goes to the bench. A trainer escorts him to the locker room with a towell over the eye. Comrie is given a double-minor for high sticking as he apparently drew blood. The Penguins protest the call and appear to claim Subban pulled the stick into his own face. Penguins fans boo. Not exactly the classiest gesture. Either way, we have a four-on-four situation.

0:32: Off a give and go with Goligoski, Malkin pumps a one-timer from the right circle. Price fights it off.

0:08: Goligoski pumps slapper on net from the slot. Price fights it off. As he battles for the rebound, Malkin is held by Ryan O'Byrne.

0:00: End of period. O'Byrne is called for holding. Canadiens 1, Penguins 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION


-That was a pretty even period for the first 10 minutes, then the Penguins kind of took a break and the Canadiens took advantage of them.

-The Canadiens still look like the same group which upset the Penguins in the spring. They play a simple game and are very oportunistic.

-Price has been outstanding so far. He's rarely out of position and has made most of the saves look easy.

-Fleury has has been a little shaky.

-Cammalleri is still so dangerous.

-The Penguins have a 13-9 lead in shots.

-Martin leads the game with three.

-Spacek and Cammalleri each lead the Canadiens with two.

-Public enemy No. 1 P.K. Subban leads the game with 7:32 of ice time.

-Goligoski leads the Penguins with 7:27.

-The Canadiens lead in faceoffs, 12-7 (63 percent).

-Jeff Halpern is 4 for 4 (100 percent).

-Letestu is 2 for 3 (67 percent).

-Adams leads the game with two blocked shots.

-We joined in on a media scrum with Michel Therrien. We'll transcribe it for tomorrow. He seems to be doing well.

SECOND PERIOD

20:00: Somehow, through this whole mess of penalties, the Penguins have another power play. Four-on-three. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz and Goligoski take the ice.

19:20: All that passing and passing and passing and passing finally pays off. Crosby taps a one-touch pass fromthe left circle across the slot to Malkin in the right circle. Malkin uncorks a vicious one-timer which just barely avoids the top of Hal Gill's big left skate and finds a way under Price's glove-side elbow and into the net. That was a laser. The Penguins tie the game. Crosby and Goligoski get assists. Fire Mike Yeo. Wait... The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Canadiens 1, Penguins 1.

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19:13: Four-on-four, Gionta works his way up the left wing, twists inside a defender and whips a wrister on net. Fleury fights it off.

18:52: After a scrum in front of Price, Scott Gomez decides to make an appearance and is sent off for cross checking. Another four-on-three power play for the Penguins. Crosby, Goligoski, Malkin and Kunitz take the ice.

18:21: Crosby gains the offensive zone on the right wing and dishes a cross ice pass to  Malkin again. Malkin cracks a one-timer which Price punches away.

17:58: Play resumes to four-on-four.

17:51: Crosby sneaks to the right of the cage, gets price to overplay the puck and nearly tucks the puck behind him into the net. The puck falls off his stick and slides across the crease and out of danger.

16:52: All penalties expire. Back to five on five.

16:10: Fleury fights off a slapper by Spacek from the right point.

15:15: Gorges pumps a slapper from the left point. Fleury fights it off.

14:19: Subban snaps off a wrister from the left with which clinks off the post. Lots of "oooohhhhhhh's" rain down.

13:44: Kunitz takes a pass in the left circle and lifts a wrister which clears the net and Price completely.

13:11: Boyd pumps a slapper on net from the left half wall. Fleury boots it out.

12:15: Lapierre gets away with a pretty sneaks slew foot on Orpik in the left wing corner in the Penguins' zone. Hard to believe someone like Lapierre would do that huh?

10:31: Subban does a marvelous job of skating away from two checkers, gaining the offensive zone and distributing a pass to Gionta on the left wing. As Subban drives to the net, Gionta winds up and strikes a slapper on net. Fleury boots it out.

9:40: A faint "Ole, ole ole" chant is drowned out by "LETS GO PENS!"

8:50: Subban snaps off a quick wrister from the right point. Fleury stretches out and kicks it away with his right foot.

8:36: Fleury fights off a wraparound attempt by Moen.

8:07: Price makes a dazzling glove save on Malkin.

7:58: Talbot and Lapierre mix it up a bit. Lapierre shakes his gloves as if to invite Talbot to fight. Talbot accepts and drops his. As he grabs Lapierre and lands a punch. Lapierre just sits the and takes it as an official moves in and break it up. Talbot is called for roughing. Lapierre just skates to the bench with a smirk on his greasy face. Crosby,Cooke, Michalek and Orpik take the ice.

7:42: Crosby high pass to the inside of his right knee and stumbles to the ice in pain. He labors to get up but does.

7:30: Play is halted and Crosby returns to the bench in some discomfort.

5:58: Talbot's penalty is killed. The Canadiens didn't really mount much of a threat there.

5:43: The Outfield's "Your Love" is used for Kiss Cam:

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5:16: Comrie shuffles a bouncing puck in the slot on net. Price boots it out.

4:56: Malkin gains the offensive zone on the right wing, moves towards teh slot and pushes a pass to Comrie rushing in on the left wing. Comrie is hooked down by Eller. Eller is sent off for two minutes. Crosby, Malkin, Letang, Comrie and Kunitz take the ice.

3:59: Gill collects a puck in the right wing corner in his zone. Comrie applies pressure on the forcheck and gets an elbow in the mush for his troubles.

3:26: Goligoski blasts a slapper from above the left circle which totally misses the net.

3:12: The Canadiens are nabbed for too many men on the ice. Kostitsyn will serve the minor. Five on three for 17 seconds. Goligoski, Makin, Crosby, Kunits and Comrie take the ice.

2:56: Comrie controls the puck low to the right of the net an sneaks a pass across the creas to Crosby. Crosby strikes a one-timer. Price is able to slide over and gets a pice. The puck is rolling around. As Kunitz barges in, Price is able to cover it. Crosby holds his hands up as if to signal a goa but an officials waves "no goal." Eller's penalty is killed. Five on for for 1:43.

1:39: Malkin chops a shot from the right circle wide on the near side.

1:12: The bench penalty is killed. Back to five on five.

0:32: Martin kinds of whacks a loose puck at the left point towards the net. It hops in on net. Price fights it off.

0:24: Attendance is announced as 18,106. It is a standing room sell out. It is the team's 168th consecutive sell out.

0:00: End of period. Canadiens 1, Penguins 1.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-Things have kind of settled down, but it's still a pretty entertaining game. Lots of tight checking but some pretty competitive action.

-The Penguins did a nice job of cutting down on the Canadiens' quality scoring chances. That said, they a few power play chances that period which limited the time Montreal could mount an attack.

-Speaking of the power play, how frustrating is it to watch? Someone just needs to be a selfish jerk and take the shot.

-Eric Tangradi has been quiet tonight.

-Crosby is playing much better than he did against the Flyers.

-Love him or hate him, Subban has a world of talent.

-Talbot could have cut up his knuckles with that punch to Lapierre, but thankfully, the grease on Lapierre's face reduced the friction.

-Price is looking pretty good. He has stolen a few goals tonight.

-Fleury has settled down.

-The Penguins have a 25-20 lead in shots.

-Martin, who is quietly having a nice game, leads the game with four.

-Spacek, Cammalleri, Gionta and Subban each lead the Canadiens with three.

-Goligoski leads the game with 15:50 of ice time.

-Spacek leads the Habs with 15:06.

-The Canadiens lead in faceoffs, 20-16 (56 percent).

-Letestu and Gomez are each 5 for 9 (56 percent).

-Adams, Orpik, O'Byrne and Gorges each lead the game with two blocked shots.

THIRD PERIOD

18:45: Subban upends Dupuis at the red line with a high check.

17:34: Tangradi snaps off a wrister from the right half wall. Price boots it to the opposite wall.

17:22: Despite traffic and the loss of his mask, Price knocks down a wrister by Michalek from the right circle. He covers to freeze play.

16:41: Lapierre gets behind defense, settles a high pass in the slot and shuffles a low shot on net. Fleury fights that off.

16:30: Crosby challenges Gill one-on-one off the left wing, moves to the center slightly and snaps off a wrister. Price fights it off.

14:29: Moen tries to maintain possession of the puck along the right wing boards in the Penguins' zone. Malkin drops him with a check to the ribs.

13:35: Plekanec lifts a wrister from the left circle. Fleury punches it away.

12:54: Orpik uses Plekanec to plant a linesman into the Penguins' bench.

11:49: Alexandre Picard drops Malkin from behind at the red line near the penalty boxes.

11:18: And the star of Mark Letestu continues to grow. Martin chips a puck from his own zone up off the left wing boards to Cooke. Cooke collects it at the red line, gains the Montreal blue line and distributes to Letestu. Letestu moves into the left circle and snaps off a wrister which beats Price under his right leg. A pretty pedestrian shot for Price to allow. Cooke and Martin get assists. The "Woo-Hooo!" song is played. Penguins 2-1.

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10:05: Kunitz drops Spacek along the left wing boards in the Montreal zone.

9:56: The ever dangerous Hal Gill puts a wrister on net from the right half wall. Fleury eats it up.

9:37: Dupuis winds up and fires a slapper from the left wing. Either he didn't hit it right or Gill got a piece of it. Either way, it takes an irregular path behind the Montreal net.

8:48: Tangradi hustles the puck up the right wing against Gill off the right wing. From the faceoff circle, he tucks a backhanded shot on net. Price boots it out but gives up a big rebound. Malkin follows up on it and punches the puck on net immediately. Price is able to recover and deny the shot with this right foot. Nice play by Tangradi to create that chance. Bad rebound by Price, but great effort to deny Malkin.

7:05: Cammalleri snaps off a wrister from the right  circle wide to the far side.

6:28: Goligoski collects a loose puck at the right point with his backhand, moves to his forehand and cranks a slapper. Price sees it all the way and eats it up.

5:18: Dupuis chases after a loose puck along the left wing boards in the Canadiens' zone and makes the safe, careful play with it. Yeah right! He blasts a wild slapper well wide to the far side.

3:16: Adams steals a puck at the Montreal blue line and backhands it back into the  Habs' zone. The Canadiens have had some trouble for about a minute even getting play out of their zone. The Penguins are playing some serious defense. Cammalleri ends up getting credit for the goal. Halpern  and Gorges get assists. Canadiens 2, Penguins 2.

2:27: Halpern cranks a slapper from the left half wall

2:12: Kostitsyn steals a clearing attempt inside the Penguins' blue line and dishes to Gorges at the right point. Gorges cranks a slapper on net. Halpern is in front and re-directs itby Fleury on the stick side. What an effort by Halpern. Good job by Kostitsyn to keep that puck in the zone. Malkin slams his stick algon the boards.

1:48: Un. Be. Liev. A. Ble. Gomez gains the zone going one-on-one with Letang on the left wing. He gets to the outside and from along the goal line, he pushes a weak little wrister on net. Fleury simply fails to keep it out and lets in a tissue-soft goal. Inexcusable. Benoit Pouliot and Gorges get assists. Canadiens 3-2.

1:25: Fleury is pulled for an extra attacker.

1:12: Boyd chips it down ice from the right wing in the neutral zone looking for the empty cage but misses wide.

0:14: Goligoski touches a puck cleared down ice behind the Penguins' net for icing. Jacques Martin calls a time out to get his team rested.

0:09: Off a faceoff in the right circle, Martin snaps off a wrister into traffic. Price comes up with it somehow.

0:03: Gill smothers a puck in the right wing corner in his zone and freezes play.

0:00: A last second blast by Martin from the left point is off the mark. End of game. Canadiens 3, Penguins 2.

0:00: End of game. Canadiens 3, Penguins 2.

POSTGAME

-Ouch. Just ouch. That was eerily familiar. The Penguins' defense and goaltendering let them down once again.

-How frustrating must this result be for Penguins' management. The team went out and heavily addressed the defense in the offseason and this happens?

-Marc-Andre Fleury must stop the goal Gomez scored. Any NHL goaltender, let alone a franchise netminder, must stop that goal. Period.

-Of the goal, Dan Bylsma said, "Obviously the third goal was not a good goal. To this point, Marc's played very well and looked very sharp. It was not a good goal but that should't let other players off the hook."

-Gomez had an interesting quote on the goal:

"It is baseball (playoffs) right now. I think he was facing some pretty heavy shots. I think the last one he faced was by Andrei (Kostitsyn). Like (Roy) 'Doc' Holliday, I just threw a 2-2 pitch for a change-up in there. It's hard to beat (Fleury) any way and we got a little lucky."

-On the flip side, Carey Price responded well after allowing his own bad goal to Letestu. His save on Malkin off a rebound of a shot by Tangradi kept his team in a position to tie and ultimately win the game. 

-With roughly five minutes left, we were planning on writing a gushing review of how the Penguins defense was clearly improved and how Fleury claimed a 2-1 win. Ugh...

-Someone might want to tell Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle about this, but Mike Cammalleri owns the Penguins right now. Including playoff games, he has nine goals in his last eight contests against the Penguins.

-Why can't this power play succeed more? It went 0-for-6 with a brief five-on-three chances and at four-on-three chances.

-Note: We incorrectly said Malkin's goal was a power play goal. The clock on Eller's penalty had just expired when Malkin scored.

-Sidney Crosby needs to do more. He played better than he did against Philadelphia, but he needs to play like the MVP candidate he is.

-Perspective: There are still 80 games left.

-We continue to love what Martin brings. He's such a good skater and just always seems to know what to do in any situations. He reminds us of Gonchar in that way.

-Michalek has been a bit underwhelming after a solid preseason.

-Mark Letestu has been one of the Penguins' best players so far through two games.

-We just found out he grew up a Canadiens fan.

-Subban said Comrie apologized to him for the high stick in the first period and called Comrie "classy."

-When told Penguins fans normally reserve constant booing for the likes all-stars such as Marian Hossa and Alex Ovechkin, Subban laughed and said "Good."

-Fleury, normally very media friendly in any situation, did not talk after the game.

-The Penguins led in shots, 38-27.

-Martin and Crosby each led the game with five shots.

-Cammalleri led the Canadiens with four.

-Orpik, Picard and Gorges were the only skaters who failed to record a shot.

-Subban led the game with 24:20 of ice time.

-Goligoski led the Penguins with 21:56.

-The Canadiens had a 28-25 edge in faceoffs (53 percent).

-Halpern was 8 for 10 (80 percent).

-Crosby was 13 for 24 (54 percent).

-Gorges led the game with three blocked shots.

-Adams and Orpik each led the Penguins with two.

-Letestu scored his second career NHL goal.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

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