Canadiens at Penguins - 01-20-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


{youtube width="465" height="266"}hH5uCnhDZHM{/youtube}

-Greetings from a chilly, cloudy January day in Pittsburgh. This is a real hockey night based on the weather. Tonight's barn:

-If you haven't seen it, they've cracked open the old barn:

-It's like they've cracked open an Egyptian pharaoh's tomb. Or just an old dilapidated public arena.

-Tonight's ice:

-The rink:

-Steve Sullivan is your coverboy for IceTime:

-Surprising news as Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start a night after a tough win against the Rangers. Dan Bylsma suggested Brent Johnson would get a start this week with four games in six days. And tonight's game was the obvious candidate. If Johnson can't play against this dogmeat Canadiens team, who can he play against?

-A few jersey sightings. Rick Tocchet:

-Jean Pronovost:

-This guy just let Travis Moen score a goal. Sergei Gonchar:

-Fans walking in off Centre Avenue:

-The Canadiens have a few fans here. The original Flower, Guy Lafleur:

-It takes a special kind of person to willingly leave the house in a PK Subban jersey:

-Sidney Crosby Team Canada:

-Mario Lemieux Team Canada from the 1987 Canada Cup:

-Evgeni Malkin Team Russia from the 2006 Olympics:

-Ryan Whitney:

-Martin Straka:

-A brave Jaromir Jagr fan:

-Jersey Foul of the Night: Ray Bourque from the 2001 All-Star Game in Colorado:

-Jersey of the Night: Michel "Miss the Net" Ouellet:

-Warm ups:


-The Penguins' starters are Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Their scratches are Arron Asham, Ben Lovejoy and Jason Williams.

-The Canadien's starters are Rene Bourque, Travis Moen, Tomas Plekanec, Hal Gill, Josh Gorges and Peter Budaj.

-Their scratches are Raphael Diaz and Yannick Weber.

-Jeff Jimerson cranks out both anthems:


19:26: What a fluky goal. Subban hustles up the right wing boards on a loose puck and chips a wrister towards the net. It hits off the skate of Engelland in front of the crease and deflects to the left circle. Lars Eller is in the right place and right time and punches the loose puck into the cage by a helpless Fleury. What a lucky hop for the Canadiens. Subban gets the only assist. Canadiens 1-0.

19:03: Everytime Subban touches the puck, he gets the Hossa/Jagr/Ovechkin booing treatment.

18:22: Bobby Orrpik is in deep and chips a backhander on net from the right wing. Budaj holds it out.

17:46: Erik Cole zips up the left wing and snaps off a wrister. Paul Martin goes stick on puck and deflects it out of play.

17:18: Kunitz backhand swats a puck from inside his own blue line up the left wing. Neal picks it up, coasts up the left wing and snaps off a wrister to the far side.

17:03: Kunitz runs over Cole in front of the Penguins bench. A scrum develops in the neutral zone with Subban getting knocked around. Kunitz and Pacrioretty drop the gloves. Kunitz lands on big right initially. They mostly wrestle around as Kunitz wiggles out of his jersey partially. With his right arm free Kunitz is able to lands another wild punch. They mostly wrestle around before allowing the officials to step in. Pacioretty should be square with the house for his hit on Kris Letang in their last meeting. The Penguins end up with a power play as Pacioretty is given an additional roughing minor. Mike Blunden will serve the minor. Neal, Malkin, Steve Sullivan, Letang and Eric Tangradi take the ice.

16:44: There's goes the Penguins' power play as Sullivan collides with Moen in the neutral zone. That's interference. Four on four for 1:40.

15:58: Wow. Wow. Wow. Letang controls the puck in the offensive zone, skates by a flopping Tomas Plekanec in the right circle mdances along the goal lin on the right wing and tucks in a backhander off the left leg of Budaj and into the cage. What a goal. What puck control. Dupuis and Jeffrey get assists. That's Jeffrey's first point of the season. What a display by Letang. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Canadiens 1, Penguins 1.

{youtube width="465" height="345"}iRyO26H3GhM{/youtube}

15:03: The Pacioretty minor expires. The Canadiens will have a power play for 20 seconds.

14:44: Sullivan's minor is killed. Back to five on five.

14:19: From the left wing boards, Brooks Orpik deals a cross ice pass to Michalek in the neutral zone. Michalek fumbles the puck badly and ends up kicking it to Tomas Kaberle at the Montreal blue line. Kaberle taps it up to Cole at the Penguins' blue line. He gains the offensive zone and deals to Andrei Kostitsyn in the slot. Kostitsyn releases a low wrister which Fleury kicks out. Cole drives to the cage and taps the rebound by Fleury's right skate. What a brutal goal all around. Bad pass. Bad turnover. Bad rebound. Kostitsyn and Kaberle get assists. Canadiens 2-1.

13:38: Neal is called for tripping Gill in the right wing corner of the Canadiens' zone. Cooke, Craig Adams, Zbynek Michalek and Orpik take the ice.

13:13: After Subban fumbles a puck behind his own net, Cooke backhands a pass to Adams in front of the crease. Adams jabs a little wrister which Budaj boots out. Subban owes Budaj a beer.

11:39: The Neal minor is killed. The Canadiens did next to nothing with that chance.

9:49: Tyler Kennedy chases after a puck in the right wing corner of the Montreal zone and slams Chris Campoli into the boards.

8:35: On a delayed panealty, Malkin snaps off a wrister from teh slot. It hits a cluster of bodies in the crease. Vitale has a chance with the rebound but no dice.

8:23: Subban is called for roughing Vitale. That's two minutes. Vitale tries to retaliate against Subban but officials hold him at bay. He needs to keep his head there and take the power play. Kunitz, Malkin, Neal.

7:25: Sullivan fumbles a puck at the right point and allows Plekanec, one of the NHL's most dangerous shorthanded players, to race up ice on a partial breakaway. Neal gives chase but he can't keep up wth Plekanec. Letang sprints from the left point like he was shot out of a slingshot and catches Plekneakec. Before Pkelanec can shoot, Letang dives and knocks the puck off his stick. What speed!

6:23: The Subban minor is killed. The Penguins did nothing with that chance.

5:02: Subban fumbles another puck at the right point of the Penguins zone. Tangradi chases after it and sprints up the right wing. A defender closes in and Tangradi deals a pass to the top of hte slot. Adams takes the puck and rips a wrister on net. Budaj gloves it.

3:47: Kunitz snaps off  awrister from the left circle which gets blocked.

2:50: Cooke deals a little pass from behind the Montreal net to Sullivan in front of the crease. Sullivan snaps off an immediate wrister wide of the cage.

2:28: Petteri Nokelainen guns a wrister from the left wing wide on the near side.

2:14: Tangradi snaps off a wrister from deep on the left wing. Budaj covers it up. Tangradi and Alexei Emelin slam into the end boards and dislodge a piece of glass which falls out completely onto the ice. A small scrum develops in the net but nothing comes of it. It takes attendants a few minutes to replace the glass.

1:20: Kunitz retreated to the dressing room for unspecified reasons.

0:43: Cole races up the right wing with a step on Orpik. Orpik ends up hooking him up in the right circle. That's two minutes. Cooke, Adams, Michalek and Martin take the ice.

0:25: Scott Gomez hustles into the offensive zone and lifts a wrister from above the right circle. Fleury punches it away.

0:00: End of period. Canadiens 2, Penguins 1.


-That was a pretty sloppy period by the Penguins. They gave the Canadiens' way too much space to work with and committed far too many mistakes. The Canadiens took advantage and claimed a 2-1 lead.

-We're not sure if starting Brent Johnson would make a difference here, but Fleury hasn't been all that sharp.

-Letang has done everything this period for the Penguins. His goal was pretty spectacular and the effort he made to deny Tomas Plekanec a shorthanded goal was special.

-The Penguins' power play has looked rather ordinary thus far.

-Eric Tangradi has his best period of the season. He was a force in all three zones and created a little offense.

-The Penguins have a 10-6 lead in shots.

-Tangradi leads the game with three shots.

-Gomez leads the Canadiens with two.

-Letang leads the game with 9:52 of ice time. Yeesh.

-Campoli leads the Canadiens with 7:37.

-The Penguins have a 13-8 lead in faceoffs (62 percent).

-Malkin is 5 for 8 (63 percent).

-Lars Eller is 2 for 3 (67 percent).

-Martin leads the game with three blocked shots.

-None of the Canadiens has more than one blocked shot.


20:00: The Canadiens will have 1:17 of power-play time on fresh ice.  Michalek, Martin, Adams, and Cooke take the ice.

18:51: Whoa. What a shot. Kaberle controls the puck on the left wing and deals a pass to Kotitsun all alone in the slot. Kostitsyn takes the puck, turns to the cage and rips a disgusting wrister by the glove hand of Fleury. That was a massive structural breakdown by the Penguins on their penalty kill. You can't give someone as talented as Kostitsyn that much time to shoot. Kaberle and David Desharnais get assists. Canadiens 3-1.

17:45: After Budaj turns the puck over, Neal snaps off a quick wrister from the right wing. Budaj kicks it out.

17:08: Sullivan taps a little feed from the right wing with his backhand to the right circle. Park is there and jabs a backhander at the cage but Kaberle

16:38: After a long stretch pass from Michalek from his own zone, Pascal Dupuis cranks a slapper from the right circle. Budaj kicks it out.

15:43: Kunitz gains the offensive zone and taps a feed to Engelland streaking up the right wing. Engelland pumps a slapper from above the right circle. Budaj fights it off. Kunitz drives to the cage and chops it over the net.

14:46: Adams is called for holding Cole in the neutral' zone. Jeffrey, Cooke, Michalek and Orpik take the ice.

14:28: Welcome back Dustin Jeffrey. Subban tosses a sloppy backhanded pass from behind the Canadiens net to the right point. Michalek takes the "pass" and drives a slapper towards the crease. It glances off the stick blade of Subban and deflects to Jeffrey in the crease. Jeffrey re-directs it by the right skate of Budaj. The Penguins get their own fortunate bounce involving Subban. It's Jeffrey's first goal of the season and it's an important one shorthanded. Michalek gets the only assist. Subban could claim one. He's been a turnover machine tonight. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Canadiens 3-2.

{youtube width="465" height="345"}iRyO26H3GhM{/youtube}

12:40: Paul Martin races into the offensive zone and drives a slapper from the left point. Budaj gloves it.

12:04: Letang drives a slapper from the left point. Malkin re-directs it on net with his forehand. Budaj kicks it to the side of the cage.

11:18: Kennedy circles around the offensive zone and from the left wing, he taps a feed to Matt Niskanen at the top of the slot. Niskanen drives a slapper on net. Buday kicks it out.

10:54: Park taps a pass from the slot to Kennedy at the right wing. Kennedy snaps off a wrister. Budaj fights it off.

10:25: Dupuis sweeps a quick wrister on net from the left of the crease. Budaj eats it up. The Penguins have controlled play for the past five minutes.

9:55: Nokelainen pushes the puck up the right wing and BOOM! He's blasted into the boards in front of the scorers booth by the great Joe Vitale. Nokelainen is slow to get to his feet and lumbers to the bench in discomfort.

9:26: More sloppy defense by the Penguins. On a bad line change by the Penguins, Cole moves up the right wing on a two-on-one against Orpik with Pacioretty. Orpik is all twisted around. Cole deals a pass to Pacioretty in the left circle. Pacioretty snaps off a wrister into the net by a helpless Fleury. That was just horrendous by the Penguins. Cole and Budaj get assists. Canadiens 4-2.

6:40: Attendance is announced as 18,388. It is the team's 232nd consecutive sellout.

4:56: Kostitsyn snaps off  wrister from the right circle. Fleury traps it against his chest despite a screen by Desharnais.

3:53: From the left point, Orpik tees up a slapper which hits Adams in front and drops him.

0:34: Letang weave his way into the offensive zone with speed  and whips a wrister on net juuuuust as officials blow the play offsides.

0:15: After Letang fumbles a puck in his own zone, Moen steals the puck and snaps off a wrister which Fleury challenges with a poke check. Fleury's right leg gets a piece of the puck. Letang is called for slashing Plekanec on the play. A bad time to take a penalty. Adams, Cooke, Michalek and Orpik take the ice.

0:00: End of period. A scrum develops in the Penguins' zone. Adams ends up with a 10-minute misconduct. This just keeps getting better for the Penguins. Canadiens 4, Penguins 2.


(We had to steal our first intermission photo. Sorry)

-As bad as the first period was, the second period was even worse for the Penguins. They were incredibly sloppy. Too many mistakes. Too little discipline. And they once again gave the Canadiens way too much time and space to work with.

-The scary thing is that the Canadiens aren't even playing that strong of a game. They're just taking advantage of the Penguins' foul-ups.

-Brooks Orpik has had a brutal game. A few turnovers and just some bad positioning on some plays.

-Dustin Jeffrey has been a rare bright spot for the Penguins tonight.

-The Penguins have a 22-18 lead in shots.

-Dupuis leads the games with four shots.

-Plekanec and Kostitsyn each lead the Canadiens with three.

-Letang leads the game with 17:20 of ice time.

-Gorges leads the Canadiens with 14:53 of ice time.

-The Penguins control faceoffs, 25-18 (58 percent).

-Malkin is 7 for 11 (64 percent).

-Desharnais is 6 for 10 (60 percent).

-Martin leads the game with four blocked shots.

-Gill leads the Canadiens with two blocked shots.

-Fire Ray Shero.


20:00: The Penguins will have 1:46 of power-play time on fresh ice to kill. Park, Cooke, Michalek and Orpik take the ice.

18:18: Cooke pushes the puck up the right wing and snaps off a backhander from the right circle. Budaj holds it out.

18:15: Letang's penalty is killed. That was a must for the Penguins.

17:00: Jeffrey takes a pass from above the right circle, he snaps off a wrister to the far wide. Budaj punches it away with his blocker.

16:37: After turnover by Letang in the right circle, Kostitsyn snaps off a wrister which Jeffrey goes stick on puck and blocks.

16:28: Dustin Jeffrey to the rescue. Sullivan hustles into the offensive zone on the left wing, cuts across the offensive zone and gets high stick int he face by Eller. No call. Sullivan loses the puck but Jefrey recovers it on the right wing boards, slides towards the slot and from above the right circle, he rips a wrister which toasts Budaj over his left shoulder by his glove hand. What a shot. What a game by Jeffrey. Kennedy gets the only assist. The "Woo-Hoo!" song is played. Canadiens 4-3.

{youtube width="465" height="345"}iRyO26H3GhM{/youtube}

15:19: From behind the Penguins' cage, Desharnais taps a pass to Pacioretty to the right of the crease. Paciroretty whips a wrister into Fleury. Fleury hangs on to freeze play.

13:21: Pacioretty coats up the right wing  on a  partial two on-one against Michalek with Cole. Michalek slides down to take away the pass. Pacioretty flings a wrister to the far side. Fleury swats it way with his glove hand.

13:05: A big chance here for the Penguins as Cole is called for slashing Malkin. Malkin, Martin, Letang, Neal and Kunitz take the ice. No Sullivan? Hmmm.

12:54: Malkin chops a slapper from above the left circle which hits a stick and hops out of play.

12:09: Malkint takes a pass at the right point, fakes a slapper, pulls his stick down moves towards the left circle and chops a slapper. It hits a stick and once again sails out of play.

12:02: Sullivan takes the ice in place of Martin on the first power-play unit.

11:17: Sullivan winds up and cranks a slapper from above the left circle wide to the far side.

11:05: The Cole minor is killed. A wasted opportunity for the Penguins.

9:23: Neal snaps off a wrister from above the right circle to the far side. Budaj punches it away.

8:29: Niskanen collects a loose puck at the left point and rips a wrister through traffic. Budaj manges to fight it off despit traffic.

8:07: Malkin chrages his way through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone. He tries to go one-on-three with the Canadien's defense but Pacioretty and Kaberle knock him off the puck.

7:48: Malkin chips a pass from his own blue line to Dupuis at the Montreal blue line. Dupuis takes the pass, gains the zone on his backhand and whips a shot on net. Budaj fights it off.

7:18: Another chance for the Penguins. They can't waste too many of these. Cole trips up Letang at the Penguins' blue line. That's two minutes for interference. Letang, Malkin, Neal, Kunitz and  Sullivan take teh ice.

6:51: From the top of the slot, Letang taps a pass to Malkin in the right circle. Malkin rockets a one-timer wide on the near side.

6:45: Malkin cranks another one-timer from Letang from the left circle. Gill blocks it.

6:35: There goes that power play. Kunitz is called for boarding Gorges on the left wing wall of the Penguins' zone. He did hit Gorges a few seconds late. Not a disciplined play. Four on four for 1:17.

5:58: Dupuis chops a slapper from the left win on net. Budaj fights it off. Jeffrey crashes in on the rebound but kicks it wide.

5:16: As the Cole minor expires, Neal flies into the offensive zone on the right wing and rips a wrister from teh slot. Budaj fights it off. There's a scramble for the rebound but Niskanen and Adams can't punch it by Budaj.

4:35: The Kunitz minor is killed. Back to five on five.

2:43: Oh. Wow. Just... stunning. Malkin leads a rush up through the neutral zone and deals a pass to Neal on the left wing. Neal takes the puck, moves off the left boards and deals a pass to the right wing boards. Malkin has set up shop there and launches a burner of a one-timer. Budaj misplays it horribly and is toasted ont he far side. He didn't even know where that puck was. Just wen the Penguins need their best player to come through, he delivers. Nal and Letang get assists. The "Woo-Hoo!" song and the "Malkamania video are played. This place is rocking. Canadiens 4, Penguins 4.

{youtube width="465" height="345"}iRyO26H3GhM{/youtube}

{youtube width="465" height="266"}g_z4Pt-s0AI{/youtube}

1:43: Bourque chops a slapper from the left wing aboards. Fleury knocks it dead and covers.

0:27:  Malkin flings a backhander from the left circle. Budaj fights it off

0:01: Just as the whistle blows. Bourque cnaps off a wrister from the slot. Fleury fights it off.

0:00: End of period. Canadiens 4, Penguins 4.


-How is this game even in overtime? The Penguins have stolen a point at least tonight.

-The Penguins have a 36-25 lead in shots.


4:20: Letang shuffles a wrister from the right circle on net. Budaj fights it off.

3:21: Malkin pokes a puck by Kaberle at the right point of the Pengins zone and coats up the right wing. He tries to deal a pass to Neal in the slot but Emelin slides down to break it up. Malkin recovers the puck and whips a backhander wide of the cage.

2:36: Subban dumps Kunitz with a pseudo slew-foot in the left wing corner of the Canadien's zone. No call.

2:28: Pacioretty snaps off a wrister from the right. Fleury turns it away.

2:21: Eller steals a puck off of Niskanen in the rigtht circle of the Penguins zone, and snaps a little wrister off from the right circle. Fleury knocks it dead and lunges out to cover the rebound. What a save. Niskanen owes a him a beer.

1:28: Gorges snaps off a low wrister from the left circle. Fleury kicks it out.

0:12: Moen air mails a slapper from the neutral zone. Fleury punches it away.

0:00: End of period. Canadiens 4, Penguins 4.


-The Penguins have a 38-29 lead in shots.


-Letang is up first.  He goes straight at Budaj, slows down between the hash marks and shoots a wrister which Budaj fights off with glove.

-Desharnais gets the call for Montreal. He flies right down the slot right at Fleury. He trie sto sneak in a backhander through the fivve hole but Fleury cloes thes gates.

-Malkin goes sligly to the right, glides to the slot and lifts a wrister by the blocker of Budaj. Penguins 1-0.

-Kotstitsyn moves in on net and rips a wrister. Just as he follows through, his stick breaks. Fleury stops the partial shot with his left leg.

-Neal can win it. He mimics Malkin's move going to the right then to the slot. He shoots a wrister on the blocker side. Budaj denies him.

-Gomez needs to score. he goes directly af Fleury and shoots low. Fleury's left leg kicks it out. End of shootout. Penguins 1, Canadiens 0. End of game. Mike Lange informs us of Elvis' whereabouts. That lame "PIIIITTTSSSBURRRGH" song is played. Penguins 5, Canadiens 4.


-The Penguins did not deserve this two points. They absolutely stole this win. But what a win. What a wild, crazy, improbable two points.

-What a wild, crazy, improbably three-point game by Jeffrey.  His line had been a non-factor every since he came back to the lineup and took over the second line. He was working his way back into the lineup slowly and pretty much exploded tonight. And it wasn't just the points for him. He was stellar defensively. Roughly 10 seconds before his second goal, he had a key block on Andrei Kostitsyn form the left circle after a turnover by Kris Letang. He had a very complete game beyond his points.

-What do you say about Evgeni Malkin righ now? He's just tuned in. His line was bottled up most of the game but just when the Penguins needed him the most, he comes through in regulation and in the shootout.

-Don't discount Marc-Andre Fleury's game tonight. It won't look great statistically, but he made several key saves late and put his team in a position to win. He doesn't have the sexy numbers like a Tim Thomas, but he makes key saves at important times.

-Defensively, the Penguins were a wreck for the first 40 minutes. They gave the Canadiens way too much space to work with. And even if the Canadiens stink, they have tons of quick skilled players who can exploit that space. And they took advantage of it for the first two periods. The third period started and they clamped down for the most part on Montreal, mainly with superior puck possession.

-How big was the Penguins' penalty kill at the start of the third period? They had nearly two minutes of a five on four to kill on fresh ice and with Craig Adams, one of their best penalty killers, in the penalty box. That might have been the turning point in the game.

-Discipline was an issue for the Penguins tonight. They took way too many penalties and even allowed a goal to Montreal's woeful power play.

-Conversely, the Penguins' power-play was 0 for 4.

-The Penguins led in shots, 38-29.

-Pascal Dupuis led the game with six shots.

-Zbynek Michalek, Richard Park, Brooks Orpik and the great Joe Vitale were the only Penguins skaters who failed to record a shot on net.

-Max Pacioretty led the Canadiens with five.

-Kris Letang led the game with 28:14 of ice time. Yeesh.

-Josh Gorges led the Canadiens with 24:45.

-The Penguins controlled faceoffs, 37-27 (58 percent).

-Park was 7 for 9 (78 percent).

-David Desharnais was 9 for 15 (60 percent).

-Hal Gill led the game with five blocked shots.

-Fire Ray Shero.

-Paul Martin led the Penguins with four.

-Letang recorded his 150th career point.

-Dupuis (142 points) moved past Keith McCreary (141) for 55th place on the franchise's all-time scoring list.

-Neal now has 49 career points with the Penguins.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.


Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.