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Penguins at Canadiens - 02-07-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

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-Root Sports busts out a pretty solid statistic in the pregame show:

-The Penguins' starters are Craig Adams, Pascal Dupuis, the great Joe Vitale, Deryk Engelland, Matt Niskanen and Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Their scratches are Tyler Kennedy, Ben Lovejoy and Richard Park.

-Scott Gomez, Andrei Kostitsyn, Max Pacioretty, Hal Gill, Yannick Weber and Carey Price.

-Their scratches are Raphael Diaz and Ryan White.

-The Canadiens have dressed seven defensemen.

-Root Sports provides your lines and defensive pairings:

-We'll be interested to see what Colin McDonald does with a role more suited to his abilities.

FIRST PERIOD

18:32: Kris Letang takes a pass from Malkin on the right wing wall and flings a wrister wide on the near side.

17:31: Steve Sullivan circles from the behind the net to the slot and whips a backhander on net. Price kicks it out.

17:21: Off a faceoff win by Malkin in the right circle, James Neal flings a wrister off the far post.

16:28: Tomas Plekanec booms a slapper from above the left circle. Fleury kicks it out. Louis Leblanc is there for the rebound but can't really get a stick on it.

15:46: Matt Cooke motors up the right wing and flings a wrister from the right circle. Price bodies it away.

13:51: Josh Gorges sneaks a wrister on net from the left point through traffic. Fleury is able to kick it out.

13:46: Travis Moen has the puck right to the left of the crease but can't beat Fleury.

12:12: Rene Bourque snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Fleury fights it off.

10:07: PK Subban picks up a loose puck in the neutral zone, hustles into the offensive zone, fights off a check and chucks a wrister to the far side. Fleury gets a piece of it with his right shoulder.

9:10: As Sullivan controls the puck behind the net, Dupuis goes to the crease for positioning and is hit from behind into the left post by Alexei Emelin. No call.

6:58: From left wing in the neutral zone, Max Pacioretty snaps off a wrister to the right wing. Leblanc picks it up, gets behind Martin and Michalek and motors in on net and snaps off a wrister. Fleury fights it off. Martin made a bad play there and allowed Leblanc acres of ice to work with.

4:56: McDonald hustles into the offensive zone, fights off a check and puts a wrister on net. Price kicks it out.

3:30: Plekanec snaps off a wrister from the left circle. Fleury kicks it out with his left skate.

2:49: Erik Cole lugs the puck into the offensive zone on the right wing with one hand on his stick. He spins off a check from Niskanen and flings a wrister to the far side.

1:46: Martin controls the puck, winds up and cranks a slapper from the left point. Price fights it off.

0:34: Vitale controls a loose puck in the right wing corner, turns and snaps off a quick wrister which Price steers away.

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

FIRST INTERMISSION

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-There was plenty of skating that period, but neither team really pressed the issue offensively. There weren't a great deal of quality offensive chances.

-McDonald looked a little bit more comfortable playing on a line with players who possess a little bit more offensive skill. He's a goal-scorer at the AHL level. He's never going to excel in the NHL mucking and grinding on the fourth line.

-Officials continue to appear to be continuing to keep their whistles away.

-The Penguins have an 11-10 edge in shots.

-Deryk Engelland, the great Joe Vitale, Plekanec, Leblanc each lead the game with two shots.

-Pacioretty leads the game 8:26 of ice time.

-Letang leads the Penguins with 7:50.

-The Penguins have a 9-5 lead in faceoffs (64 percent).

-The great Joe Vitale is 4 for 6 (67 percent).

-Plekanec is 2 for 3 (67 percent).

-Subban leads the game with two blocked shots.

SECOND PERIOD

17:58: Sullivan and Emelin race for an iced puck behind the Canadiens' zone. Emelin makes a nice subtle stick lift to prevent Sullivan from nullifying the icing and gets to the puck first.

17:27: Play is halted as Eller bumps Fleur to the ice while racing after a puck. Engelland takes exception and give Eller some grief. Eller is called for goaltending interference. Malkin, Neal, Sullivan, Letang and Kunitz take the ice.

16:43: The Penguins manage to allow a three-on-one. Sullivan, a forward is the only one back to defend as Plekanec coasts up the left wing. He puts a wrister on net. Fleury kicks it out. Darche follows up on the rebound but is denied by Fleury.

15:20: After a turnover by Niskanen, Plekenec pushes the puck up the right wing one on-one with Martin. Martin blocks the shot with a stick on puck. Jason Williams recovers the rebound behind the cage but loses it to Bourque who puches a quick shot on net. Fleury gloves it. The Penguins' dreadeful power play comes to an end. Ick.

14:10: After fighting off the power play, the Canadiens build up some momentum and dominate play in the offensive zone for over half a minute. Hal Gill punches a slapper from the right point. Fleury eats it up.

13:44: Engelland appears to trip up Cole behind the Penguins' net. No call.

13:04: Off a faceoff in the left circle, Malkin wins the puck to himself going forward and deals a quick pass to the slot. Kunitz beats Georges to the slot and jabs a backhander on net.  Price is able to slide to his left and kicks it out.

12:41: Plekanec, one of the league's best penalty killers, is called for slashing Neal. Malkin, Neal, Sullivan, Kunits an dLetang take the ice.

12:18: Malkin has a wrister from the left circle blocked.

12:08: Letang booms a slapper from the right point wide on the near side.

11:44: From the top of the slot, Letang taps a pass to Kunitz on the right wing. Kunitz cranks a slapper wide of the cage.

10:41: As the Plekanec minor expires, Price plays a puck to the right wing right to Malkin. Malkin flings it on net as Price scrambles back. Subban is Johnn On The Spot and blocks the shot. Cooke is there for a rebound but cant' get a stick on it.

10:36: Emelin playes the rebound up ice off the right wing boards. Plekanec steps out of the penalty box and is off ona  breakaway. He moves in on net and snaps off a forehand shot. Fleury kicks it out.

9:13: Kaberle settles a bouncing puck in the right circle and taps a pass to Kostitsyn in the slot. Kostitsyn puts a heavy wrister on net. Fleury is square to the shot and fight sit off.

8:39: Chris Campoli controls the puck in his zone zone. He snaps off a wrister which hits Kostitsyn's stick in the neutral zone and hops right to Leblanc who gets behind Letang on the right wing, motors in on net and snaps off a wrister which sneaks under Fleury glove hand. What a great play by Kostitsyn. Kostitsyn and Campoli get assists. Penguins 1-0.

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7:27: Off a turnover by Engelland, Plekanec pounds a slapper from the left wing boards. Fleury kicks it out of play.

6:43: Things get better for the Penguin as Neal is called for cross checking Plekanec in front of the benches.  Michalek, Oropik, the great Joe Vitale and Cooke take the ice.

5:59: Cooke pressures Subban into a turnover at the right point, takes the puck and lifts it down ice with a backhander. Great defensive play.

5:32: Subban chops a sharp slapper from the right point through traffic. Fleury juuuuussstttt gets a piece of it.

4:43: Neal's minor is killed. Excellent effort by the Penguins.

4:36: Scott Gomez is called for holding Letang in the left wing corner of the Penguins' zone. Malkin, Neal, Kunitz, Letang and Sullivan take the ice.

2:49: A turnover by Niskanen in the offensive zone leads to another odd-man rush for the Canadiens. Off a three-on-two, Bourque has a clean chance from the slot fought off by Bourque. Cooke wasn't very strong on his back check on that play.

2:36: The Gomez minor is killed. The Penguins were pretty awful with that power play chance.

1:46: Kaberle booms a slapper from the left wing. Fleury punches it away.

1:42: The rebound hops to Cole in the right circle. Fleury and Michalek scramble to the ice and one of them gets a piece of it. Replays show Fleury falling on his back and fighting it off with his glove hand. Wow.

0:43: Off a drop pass, Eller winds up and cranks a slapper from above the right circle high of the cage.

0:19: Adams hooks up Eller to the left of the net. Eller falls a little too easily.

0:00: End of period. Adams will be called for tripping. Eller did a nice job to sell that. Canadiens 1, Penguins 0.

SECOND INTERMISSION

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-That was a pretty lousy period for the Penguins. If not for Fleury, they probably are down by a few more goals.

-The Penguins had plenty of power play chances and failed to convert. When officials aren't calling much in terms of penalties, you need to convert the few chances you do get.

-Matt Niskanen has had better nights. He's had a few turnovers and has been out of position a few times.

-Tomas Plekanec is a really good, underrated player.

-The Canadiens have a 24-22 edge in shots.

-Plekanec leads the game with six shots.

-Cooke leads the Penguins with five.

-Subban leads the game with 15:57 of ice time.

-Letang is right behind with 15:41.

-The Penguins are dominating faceoffs, 21-8 (72 percent).

-Malkin is 8 for 10 (80 percent).

-David Desharnais is 2 for 3 (67 percent).

-Gorges and Subban each lead the game with three blocked shots.

-Martin and Orpik each have one.

THIRD PERIOD

20:00: The Penguins will have to kill a full two minutes of a power play on fresh ice. Orpik, Michalek, Dustin Jeffrey and Cooke take the ice.

19:19: Jeffrey pushes the puck up ice into the offensive zone one-on-one with Tomas Kaberle. He deals a pass to

18:57: The great Joe Vitale coems to the rescue. After Dupuis forces a turnover by Cole at the right point of the of the Penguins zone, he taps a feed to Vitale in the neutral zone. Vitale pushes the puck into the Canadiens' zone, fends off Kaberle and goes deep on the right wing. From along the goal line, Vitale sweeps the puck into the blue pain. Dupuis drives to the net and re-directs the puck into the net by Prices' right skate. What a play by Dupuis and Vitale. Officials review the goal to see if Dupuis kicked it. Video confirms the call on the ice. Vitale gets the only assist. Canadiens 1, Penguins 1.

-Who needs hands?

18:00: The Adams' minor is killed. Great effort by the Penguins.

17:00: What in the world was that? Eller pushes the puck into the offensive zone one-on-one with Michalek. Instead of dumping it behind the net. He chips a pedestrian wrister. Fleury is completely unprepared for the shot and is beaten on the far side. What a brutal goal to allow. Inexcusable. Emelin gets the only assist. Canadiens 2-1.

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15:17: Letang is in deep on the right wing and flings a wrister on net. Price kicks it out.

13:15: Darche has a chance in the slot. He winds up and chops a slapper. Dupuis slides into the slot feet first like he's on a Slip'N Slide and blocks it. Nice play.

12:28: The Penguins get busy on their forecheck and cash in. Kunitz fight off Yannick Weber from apuck in the right wing corner and allows it to slide behind the cage. Malkin beats Gill to the puck behind the cage and deals to Neal in the left circle. Neal is able to lifts a wrister over the glove hand of Price on the far side. What a play. Kunitz created everything by bodying Weber off the puck. He won't get an assist but he was vital to that play. Malkin and Martin get assists. Canadiens 2, Penguins 2.

9:52: Niskanen cross checks Desharnais away from the puck. No call.

8:12: Malkin and Emelin mix it up in the offensive zone. EMelin appears hold him. Malkin appears to slug him. No call.

6:23: Weber controsl ap uck at the right point and strikes a slapper wide on the near side.

5:45: Jeffrey gains the offensive zone on the right wing, drives to the left circle and leaves a drop pass for Kunitz. Kunitz snaps off a wrister which Price fights off.

4:43: Neal and Darche mix it up in front of hte benches. Neal elbowes Darche in the face. A pretty selfish penalty. Adams, Michalek, Orpik and the great Joe Vitale take the ice.

4:32: Michalek pushes the puck to the neutral zone and chops a dump-in down ice. It hits something and takes a forunate bounces to the slot. Adams is there and pounds a one-timer on net. Price makes the easy save.

3:50: Pacioretty gets loose on the right wing off a bad line change by the Penguins. Martin husltes over and appears to force a bad shot by Pacioretty who puts a wrister over the cage.

3:11: Gomez makes a poor turnover in the offensive zone. Martin chips it down ice to kills ome time.

2:46: Michalek flings a backhander down ice with a backhander and essentially kills off the rest of Neal's penalty. Great effort by the Penguins.

0:42: Cooke gains the ofensive zone on the right wing and puts a knuckle puck on net to the far side. Price is jammed up for a moment but is able to glove it.

0:39: Off a faceoff win in the left circle, Martin chops a slapper which hits Darche and drops him.

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

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THIRD INTERMISSION

-The Penguins have a 31-27 lead in shots.

OVERTIME

4:18: Letang has a chance in the slot but snaps off a wrister wide of the cage.

3:35: After Michalek forces Kaberle the puck over in the left wing corner of the Penguins' zone, Martin turns it over to Desharnais behind the net. Desharnais sweeps around the right of the cage. Fleury fights it off. Martin owes Fleury a beer.

2:03: Gorges pushes the puck deep on the right wing, pulls up, creates some space away from Neal and deals a pass to Subban trailing on the right point. Subban unleashes a rocket of a slapper. Fleury fights it off. Tough save.

1:51: Neal has a chance in the slot and rips a rister wide to the left of the cage.

1:12: Weber air mails a slapper from the neutral zone. Fleury gloves it and frezzes play. Kunitz drops Weber with a hip check. Weber is on the ice in a heap.

0:18: Neal goes one-on-three in the right circle and snspa off wrister. Price gloves it. The Canadiens call a timeout to get organized.

0:00: End of period. Malkin and Subban mix it up. Letang jumps Subban and slams him to the ice. Penalties are doled out but they obviously won't impact the shootout. Canadiens 2, Penguins 2.

FOURTH INTERMISSION

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-The Penguins have a 34-30 lead in shots.

SHOOTOUT

-Bourque gets the first shot. He goes right at Fleury down the lsot and lifts a wrister which toasts Fleury over his glove hand. What a shot. Canadiens 1-0.

-Letang take the ice too boos. He approaches the net, dekes a few times and goe with the backhand. Price's blocker denies him.

-Pacioretty goes wide to the right approaches the net and tries to go backhand. Fleury poke checks the puck away.

-Malkin also takes the ice to boos. He goes wide to the right, approaches the net, pulls up in the blue pain and sweeps a spinning backhander into the cage. Wow! Canadiens 1, Penguins 1.

-Desharnais goes slowly in on net and shoots with a forehand. Fleury's right leg says no.

-Neal can win it. He also goes wide to the right, approaches the net and tries to jam up Price. Price doesn't bite and fights off Neal's wrister easily.

-Cole goes slightly to the right, holds up in the right circle and snaps off a low wrister. It clunks through Fleury's five hole and slides to the right of the cage.

-Cal O'Reilly? Okay. He lumps in on et weaving from the right to the slot. He snaps off a wrister over the blocker of Price whch clances off the cross bar.

-Eller gets the not. he goes to the right slightly, attacks the net and snaps off a wrister by Fleury's blocker. Canadiens 2-1.

-Kunitz needs to score. He goes right at Price, fakes a wrister, james up Prices and sneaks a forehand shot through PRice's five hole. Canadiens 2, Penguins 2.

-Leblanc goes to the left in the left circle, attacks the net and loses the puck off a poke check by Fleury.

-Sullivan can win it. He goes right at the net slowly, gets Price to flop down but can't get the puck by Price's right leg.

-Kostitsyn, motors in right down the slot. He whips a wrister which Fleury fights off with his glove hand.

-Dupuis goes slightly tot he right, slides to the slot and snaps off a wrister which rings off the left post.

-Plekanec weaves his way down the slot and snaps off a pretty wrister by the glove hand of Fleury. Canadiens 3-2.

-Jason Williams is up. He has good career numbers in shootouts. he attacks the net right won the slot, gets Fleury jammed up and attacks the five hole. Price is able to kick it out with is left pad. End of shootout. Canadiens 3, Penguins 2. End of game. Canadiens 3, Penguins 2.

POSTGAME

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-This was a weird game. Neither team was all that sharp. Both squads made a ton of mistakes. The Canadiens won it in a mega-long shootout.

-The Penguins' power play was pretty lousy. That said, the Canadiens do have the best penalty kill in the NHL with a ranking of 89.7 percent before the game.

-Fleury allowed on ugly goal but stole several goals. Kind of a weird game for him.

-Lots of people are complaining to us via Twitter about Dan Byslma using Cal O'Reilly before Chris Kunitz in the shootout. First, if you thing there's any sort of strategy in the shootout beyond using who is hot in practice, you're thinking about it too much. Second, O'Reilly is 5 for 11 in his career (45.5 percent) in the shootout before tonight. Kunitz was 10 for 29 (35.5 percent). Unless you think Dan Byslma to have a case of plutonium and a Delorean, expecting him to "know" Kunitz would score is absurd.

-The Canadiens got strong efforts from Tomas Plekanec and Lars Eller in all three zones. Those two were terrors for the Penguins.

-Can you expect more out of the Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal more than one goal. Yes. Especially on the power play.

-Matt Niskanen had a rough night. A few turnovers and some bad positioning. He has had better nights.

-Paul Martin was up and down. He had a bad turnover in overtime to David Desharnais which led to a scoring chance. But he had several great defensive plays such as a blocked shot against Max Pacioretty.

-The Penguins had a 34-30 lead in shots.

-Matt Cooke led the game with seven shots.

-Kunitz, Malkin and Neal combined for eight.

-Not good.

-Plekanec led the Canadiens with six.

-Letang led the game with 27:31.

-PK Subban led the Canadiens with 26:09.

-The Penguins led in shootouts, 31-14 (69 percent).

-Malkin as 11 for 14 (79 percent).

-Desharnais was 4 for 7 (57 percent).

-Martin, Brooks Orpik, Josh Gorges and Subban each led the game with three.

-Neal set a new career high with 28 goals.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

-Highlights:

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