Head coach Pat Narduzzi:
Head coach Pat Narduzzi:
-The Post-Gazette's recap from last night's game. "He’s a very cerebral man. I’m sure [his talk] was very calculated. You could tell he was disappointed in the way that second period went.” - Defenseman Ben Lovejoy on head coach Mike Johnston's speech during the second intermission.
-The Montreal Gazette's recap. “You have to give credit to the Penguins. They played really well and they were tough to defend in the third. This is a quality hockey team.” - Canadiens coach Michel Therrien.
-The Associated Press' recap. "We're still winning." - Right winger Patric Hornqvist.
-Mike Lange's goal calls.
-A few good looks at left winger David Perron's shootout goal against Canadiens goaltender Mike Condon:
-A good look at goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's poke check against Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk in the shootout:
-The Canadiens' crease was crowded:
-Right winger Pascal Dupuis led a rush up ice:
-Patriotic times at Consol Energy Center:
-Fleury and the Penguins wore camouflage jerseys for warm-ups in recognition of Veterans Day:
-Therrien doing his thing:
-Owner Mario Lemieux watched from his perch:
-Head coach Mike Johnston speaks:
-“It gives you chills. Obviously keeps you alive." - Dupuis on the cheers he received for his goal after missing two games for precautionary reasons related to blood clot-like symptoms.
-“I was just worried for a [second] because I felt my eye going down. My dad lost an eye, too, with a stick in his face, so I was a little worried.” - Fleury on being poked in the face by the stick of Lovejoy.
-Goaltender Brian Foster made 22 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 2-1 loss to the Reading Royals.
-Happy 66th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Paul Hoganson. A sixth-round pick in the 1969 draft, Hoganson's Penguins career amounted to two games, a 0-1-0 record and a 7.37 goals against average in 1970-71. After two more seasons with Penguins minor league affiliates, Hoganson signed with the WHA's Los Angeles Sharks as a free agent in the 1973 offseason.
-Happy 40th birthday to former Penguins center Chris Wells (right). A first-round pick in 1994, Wells' Penguins career amounted to 54 games and four points in 1995-96. Early in the 1996-97 season, Wells was traded to the Panthers in exchange for center Stu Barnes.
-Happy 67th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Bob Johnson. Acquired prior to the 1973-74 season in a trade which sent right winger Nick Harbaruk to the Blues, Johnson's Penguins career amounted to 12 games, a 3-4-1 record and a 5.04 goals against average that campaign. After spending all of 1974-75 with Hershey of the AHL, Johnson signed with the WHA's Denver Spurs in the 1975 offseason as a free agent. His son, goaltender Brent Johnson, spent three seasons with the Penguins.
-After the Jump: Justin Abdelkader gets paid.
What can I say?
Johnny Rotten (Lydon) just likes to hang up on me.
He did it five years ago, at the end of a 20-minute conversation, and he just did it again last week in a phone interview to talk about the new Public Image Ltd. album, "What the World Needs Now…," and the tour coming Altar Bar Nov. 12.
I take it a little personally, but not TOO personally, because this is just something that Lydon does. In this case, I was able to get him back on the phone a week later, without him knowing (at least I think) that we had talked the week before.
The full story ran in the Post-Gazette on Nov. 12. Here is the raw Q&A:
Hello, John, how are you?
Alright, but you’re going to have to talk louder!
Is this better?
OK. Yeah, yeah. I can hear you now. Otherwise, I’d just be screaming into a vacuum.
Good to talk to you.
I wanted to ask you about the record. I really like the new album. Much of it sounds like it could be an early PiL record. Do you take that as a good thing?
I disagree with you entirely, and of course that’s not a good thing. Hmmph.
I mean in the sense of it sounding young, hungry, crossing the line between punk and post-punk.
If you mean it’s high energy, yes, that’s exactly right. The way I run my life, I don’t take the easy way out. With me, it’s always one hundred percent commitment. Even going to sleep requires a hundred percent commitment.
Maybe what I hear is certain chord progressions and guitar and bass sounds that were prevalent in that era.
God. I think you wasted your time and forgot to actually listen to what it is you’re supposed to be paying attention to. What is this: Are you trying to give me a music lesson or something? You’re way f---ing off the mark, fella. You’re talking daft sh*te to me. Chord progressions...what?!
Would you say you’re more confident now as a singer than you’ve ever been?
Is there any point to me answering questions like that? I mean, you’ve predetermined what your assumptions are. Really, do you want me to just back you up or something? Really, fucking O. What a nice time this is as an interview. You’re not going anywhere with me here, are you? You might be the problem with the music business as it is today. These predetermined nonsenses and assumptions, I can’t be f--ed with ya.
Let me ask you this then ...
No, I know you’re wasting my time and I certainly don’t want to waste yours. You’re just down a dead end there. Dull as dishwater … click
PHONE CALL TWO ONE WEEK LATER
Hello, how are things in Florida?
Uh, the same as usual.
Do you ever step out on the beach?
How are the shows going on this tour?
Very responsive and a very varied audience. It’s what PiL has always attracted but it seems to be now even more diverse than even I could have hoped for. And for me that seems to be the ultimate sign of success when your audience is so varied, from different backgrounds, different classes, different sexes, different sexual beliefs, different race, creeds and colors. It’s quite an achievement to see that combination of human possibility all in one hole and not hating each other.
The one thing you didn’t say is different ages.
Well, I’m not an ageist, am I?
Are you doing a lot of the new album on this trip and how does it fit with the older material?
Yeah, yeah, sometimes we do four, five, six songs, and it’s all PiL so it’s all very different from each other and all jolly good fun. Some songs are sadder than others, but they’re all poignant and relative to human experience. That might be the difference. We don’t just write songs for songs’ sake. They’re part of my life. I can only write from what I experience and that I try to do as accurately as possible. And I think the audience knows that and respects that. Certainly, many of them know every single word. Sometimes better than I do.
They can help you out if you forget the words.
It’s always great when someone raises their finger and goes, ‘Haha, you forgot the words.’ It’s always done with the greatest sense of fun. It lets you know your audience is attentive. It’s what my family and friends do, really. They let you know when you make an error. And I like that. I like to be kept up to the mark.
Is anger still a driving force for you, musically?
It always was, emotionally, and it was the very substance I needed to use to regain my memories when I came out of a coma when I was young. It’s all in the last book, for anyone who’s interested. It took me four years to recover my memories fully but anger is what the hospital recommended my parents use to not make my life spoiled or comfortable, but to keep me on a constant edge so things would return, so yeah,anger’s always there, but it’s a positive force. I never used it in violence or hate. I don’t have violence or hate in me.
You may have seen that in the crowds below you though.
No. Certainly not. Violence and hate is always left outside the building when we’re playing.
So, when you’re writing songs you can tap into those feelings from back then?
Well, I would hope so. When your memories have been stolen from you for such a long time, when they come back you’re never going to exaggerate them, change them, shape-shift them. You’re going to maintain them as accurately as when they first returned. It was a both a reward and a terrible pain that your personality could be stolen off you and for it to happen at such an early age. And then me keeping that a secret for most of my adult life.
Do you think it’s almost necessary for punk rock singers to overcome obstacles like that?
I don’t care what punk rock singers want. I care for my life and doing things as accurately and as best as I possibly can. Why on earth would I give a damn about an idiocy like a genre when I’ve spent my whole life avoiding categories?
Well, I guess people put that on you then.
Don’t blame me for the rest of them terrible sobs! It wa’nt me that did that, your honor!
What made you write a song about Bettie Page?
Because she is something of a hero. She stood up against an enormous amount of, uh, shall we call it religious moralizing and, of course, the mafias running the nightclubs. And she endured, and I think her legacy is rather excellent. She brought forth that the human body is nothing to be ashamed of, and that’s quite some time before we know it today when the way most people treat their bodies they’ve got a lot to be ashamed of.
Are you having to explain to people who she is?
No. She’s there in the heartbeat and pulse of America, really. Since I’ve become an American citizen now, this is what I’m doing, I’m exploring being an American and what it means. And it’s wonderful. There’s some good stuff here.
“Double Trouble” stands out as an thrashy rocker. Do those types of songs come to you often, or is it mostly the slower and more midtempo ones?
“Double Trouble” is about an argument I had with my wife over the repair of a toilet. Quite literally, and I translated it into a song. It was quite a full-on argument at the time and now my wife and I, when we listen to that song, we both burst out with laughter. What a knife’s edge a relationship can be and if we take it too far, you can insult each other to the point of no return. That is what the song is trying to deal with: double trouble. You take it so far but you must be able to recover from the brink, and Nora and I are very much like that, we’re very volatile. [laughs] There is always a resolve and there’s is always a possibility which we both love of being able to laugh at ourselves and realize that it’s not worth being so serious over something so silly. And I should have just have just repaired the toilet in the first place, because, as you know, a woman is always right.
How did “Shoom” take shape. Were you improvising in the studio over the riff?
The drum machine was broken and it was making that peculiar shoom noise. And just one thing led to another and we just experimented with that one sound. We’ve done something of a documentary on it which will explain it better when it comes out on YouTube. Basically, you take any opportunity and you fill it with enthusiasm and it will lead to something wonderful, and in this case, it led to what I call a requiem for my deceased father because that was very much his working-class approach to social behavior. Very witty, very up front and allegedly full of foul language. But no one in my family understands what anyone could mean by foul language. Every word ever achieved by a human being is worthy of adoration just by the creativity of it, which is what separates us from the animals.
Deep Purple and Yes were just nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You went into the Hall of Fame, reluctantly ...
I didn’t go, at all! In my case this is a record industry that created nothing but problems for me, from my first band onwards. And even as Public Image, I had to spend nearly two decades out there struggling to raise enough money to buy myself off those record labels. How on earth am I gonna go cap in hand and say thanks to you, for anything? And it’s all so corrupt. It’s a secret ballot and it doesn’t do anything for anybody in any way other than stroke their ego. And then they ask you to pay for the privilege! You have to buy your own ticket to get in. What kind of craziness is that? That’s an insult!
Do you think it’s gotten any better with record labels, for you or for young bands?
No. There was so much good that came about of the large labels, initially, when people who owned them and ran them were very enthusiastic music lovers. Then, after the ‘70s, into the ‘80s, accounting started to take over, and they handed everything over to the accounts dept. and creativity just ceased to exist. From there on in, it was just a cold indifference and a lack of investment in the future, so we ended up with very bland bands and anyone who had any creative idea was pushed to the side and passed off as too expensive or difficult to work with. And these were the monikers that applied to people like me. And I contributed highly to the record industry. I certainly saved a couple labels over the years, but no appreciation came, so when things like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are waved at you, I didn’t see it as a carrot, I saw it as an insult. I don’t know they are. No one does. It’s a mystery. So as far as I’m concerned, it’s a mystery novel I don’t want to be in.
As an aside from that, were you ever a Deep Purple fan?
What on earth has that to do with anything? I know Sid liked ‘Fire on the Water’ or whatever that song was. That’s about as far as it goes. That was before he became Vicious. Ha ha.
I was curious about whether you were rebelling against those ‘70s bands.
Uh, no. A lot of those bands were coming from a rhythm and blues background and there was a bit of ethnic forgery going on in all them and us, we did not like that too much. We formed our own sense of rhythm and tune and based it basically on English working class music, rather than these progressive rock bands that were really fiddling around with Bo Diddley and the like and disguising it with volume. So we were seeing them as fake. That’s what a punk was, initially, a refreshing retake of our own culture and not trying to rip off something from the Deltas or the Mississippis.
No Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis in there?
Oh, I loved Little Richard, only because he was a nutter. So, I would never sit down and say, ‘Oh, that’s how I want to sound.’ Have never done that with anything in my whole life. I never wanted to look like anyone else or sound like anyone else. That had a lot to do with finding my own identity after losing my memories when I was young, and once I found my true identity, nothing’s going to alter it, least of all the influence of another human being.
Did you ever get to meet Little Richard because I bet the two of you guys together would be something.
I have no idea. No, I don’t really get to meet too many people in bands, but the few I have seem to be all right.
Oh, well, thanks so much for talking to me …
Please, may the road rise … and let’s get as many people to come along and experience something truly good in music as opposed to all the hatred and bias and nonsense that seems to be very prevalent these days, as indeed they were way, way back in my early past.
Tomorrow night's live blog will come from the Central Catholic-North Allegheny game in the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals. Look to the right of this blog for scores and updates via @PGVarsityXtra on Twitter.
Below are predictions for this week's WPIAL quarterfinals. Was 30-2 in WPIAL first-round games last week, but got the City League championship game wrong. Record of 30-3 (.909 percentagte) brings season record to 116-23 (.834 pct.).
Woodland Hills vs. Bethel Park - This game was moved from Baldwin to West Mifflin because of some problems with the lights at Baldwin. Bethel Park gave Woodland Hills a good game early in the season. Look for the same in this one, but look for the same outcome, unless Bethel Park's run defense is exceptional and can slow Jo-El Shaw (pictured) and Miles Sanders. Winner: Woodland Hills.
North Allegheny vs. Central Catholic - This is Root Sports television's game of the week and can be seen after the Penguins game tomorrow night. Can North Allegheny topple Central Catholic twice in one season? I say no. Winner: Central Catholic.
Penn-Trafford vs. McKeesport - Penn-Trafford beat McKeesport earlier this season, but McKeesport QB Tymar Sutton wasn't 100 percent. Even so, Penn-Trafford does well against McKeesport's flexbone offense. Winner: Penn-Trafford.
Pine-Richland vs. Mt. Lebanon - Will we see the Mt. Lebanon team that almost beat Woodland Hills? Or the one that struggled a little against some inferior opponents? Winner: Pine-Richland.
Central Valley vs. Hampton - The tough Talbots have overcome a slew of injuries to make the quarterfinals. But Central Valley just has too much for the Talbots. Winner: Central Valley.
Mars vs. Ringgold - Lot of trouble picking this game. Keep going back and forth with the team I like. The key is Ringgold's run defense against Mars' Isaiah Johnson (pictured). Winner: Mars.
Belle Vernon vs. Franklin Regional - This is the Comcast Game of the Week with Chris Shovlin and Ellis Cannon. The game can be seen "On Demand" starting Saturday. Belle Vernon is demanding a spot in the semifinals for the first time in 15 years. Winner: Belle Vernon.
West Allegheny vs. Thomas Jefferson - Remember a few weeks ago when seemingly everyone, including myself, was saying Class AAA was West Allegheny - and then everybody else. After losing to Central Valley in Week 9, and then having a so-so performance in the first half against Hollidaysburg, what are we to think of West Allegheny? I still say they could win it all. It's not an overstatement to say two of the best coaches in the history of the WPIAL are meeting in this game - Bob Palko and Bill Cherpak. Winner: West Allegheny
South Fayette vs. Beaver - Beaver needs another tremendous performance from QB Darius Wise to be in this game. South Fayette's defense will be tested, but the winning streak will reach 43. Winner: South Fayette.
Beaver Falls vs. Steel Valley - This one might be the best matchup in Class AA. Steel Valley's only loss was to South Fayette. Steel Valley has as much speed as Beaver Falls. But Beaver Falls' size on the lines could be a difference. Winner: Beaver Falls.
Aliquippa vs. Seton-LaSalle - If Paris Ford makes some big plays again, Seton-LaSalle will be in the game. But there will be no keeping Aliquippa from a ninth consecutive semifinal appearance. Winner: Aliquippa.
Washington vs. Freeport - Freeport has a strong running game. Washington has a strong team overall. Winner: Washington.
Bishop Canevin vs. Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic - North Catholic defeated Bishop Canevin earlier this season. It will take a monumental effort by Bishop Canevin to win the second meeting. We all know first-year North Catholic coach Jason Gildon used to play at Heinz Field with the Steelers. He might find out what it's like to coach at Heinz in a few weeks. Winner: North Catholic.
Clairton vs. Avonworth - Avonworth has the WPIAL's leading passer in Zach Chandler (pictured), but Clairton's defensive backs are excellent. Plus, Avonworth will have its hands full with Clairton's offense. Clairton's Aaron Mathews is pushing for Class A player of the year. A win will put Clairton into the semifinals for the 10th consecutive season. Winner: Clairton.
Jeannette vs. Neshannock - Kareem Hall, Jeannette's leading rusher, did not play last week because of an injured ankle. Jeannette needs him. But even more important is how Jeannette will deal with Neshannock dual-threat QB Frank Antuono. No matter what happens in this game, a huge shoutout to the job Fred Mozzocio has done as Neshannock's coach. This was a bad program for years. Then Mozzocio took over and now the Lancers are one game away from a fourth consecutive semifinal appearance. Winner: Neshannock.
Frazier vs. Shenango - Frazier won a WPIAL playoff game last week for the first time since 1983. The Commodores led the entire WPIAL in scoring defense during the regular season, but you have to wonder after Frazier gave up 32 points to South Side Beaver last week. Shenango is better than South Side Beaver. Winner: Shenango.
Observations from the Penguins' 4-3 shootout win against the Canadiens:
-A few weeks ago, head coach Mike Johnston called the team out for not having composure after a 4-1 home loss to the Stars Oct. 22. Some bad hops kind of gave the Stars an early lead and the Penguins folded their tents.
-Tonight, they had another meltdown in the second period when things didn't go their way, particularly with the officials. As a result, they found themselves down by a goal after two period. During the second intermission, Johnston barked at his team for losing its cool, a few players aired some grievances and they approached the third period with clear heads. In the span of 65-plus minutes tonight, they started well, melted down, recovered mentally and rebounded to stage arguably their most important win of the season.
-In the process, they were able to win a game when they trailed following the first two periods. As documented in this space, the Penguins had not done that since Jan. 5, 2014, midway through former head coach Dan Bylsma's last season. Tonight's win snapped a wretched 37-game losing streak when trailing after 40 minutes. In addition to being a big win against a strong team, they Penguins got a demonic monkey (Does that make sense?) off their backs tonight.
-The Penguins wasted little time in scoring. Just 13 seconds in fact. After right winger Beau Bennett drove a puck up the left wing, captain/center Sidney Crosby ended up with the puck on the Montreal end boards, backpedaled to the right corner and snapped a pass to right winger Pascal Dupuis on the backdoor of the crease. Dupuis tapped the puck by goaltender Mike Condon's right leg. Center Tomas Plekanec was there to defend but sort of seemed to be asleep on the play and didn't have his stick down to break up the pass.
-The Canadiens used a power-play score to tie the game. After cetner Evgeni Malkin was called for slashing Canadiens right winger Dale Weise, Montreal trotted out a unit of Plekanec, center Alex Galchenyuk, captain/left winger Max Pacioretty, defensemen P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov. After having his wrister from the left circle blocked by defenseman Ben Lovejoy, Plekanec recovered his rebound in the left corner and moved it to Subban at the left point. Subban then slid it to Markov at the right point. Markov cannon blasted a one-timer which may have hit off a stick. Regardless, it beat goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's blocker on the far side and tied the game, 1-1, at 4:12 of the second period.
-Things got a little scary with 8:09 left in the first period. After a save by Fleury, Lovejoy tried to box out right winger Devante Smith-Pelly but ended up clipping Fleury in the face through his mask. Fleury was down for a few moments before getting to his skates and heading to the dressing room. Backup goaltender Jeff Zatkoff entered the game and made a tidy three saves before Fleury returned during a stoppage with 2:37 remaining in the first period.
-The Penguins were able to reclaim a 2-1 lead with 44 seconds left in the period. Defenseman Olli Maatta gained the offensive zone and left a drop pass for right winger Phil Kessel. As Maatta drove to the net with Subban, Kessel took the puck above the left circle, allowed the play to develop and ripped a wrister through Maatta's "five hole." The puck glanced off Maatta's leg and sneaked by Condon's right leg. Maatta got credit for the goal.
-The Canadiens tied the game at 7:47 of the second period thanks to some luck and some iffy refereeing. Defenseman Kris Letang pinched in deep on the left wing, won a race to a puck and tapped it around the Montreal end boards. For his troubles, Letang was slammed from behind on an awkward, borderline hit by Markov into the boards. As Letang was slow to recover to his skates, Pacioretty claimed the puck on Montreal's right half wall and let it up ice in transition. Pacioretty attempted a stretch pass but defenseman Ian Cole was in the neutral zone to block it. Unfortunately for the Penguins, Cole tied to kick the puck and ended up deflected it backwards right to right winger Brendan Gallagher. Gallagher raced in from the left wing on a two-on-none with Plekanec. As Dupuis raced back in vain, Gallagher ripped a wrister by Fleury's glove hand.
-The hit in question:
-Letang didn't react well to the sequence of events and ended up taking a stupid interference minor at 9:23 when he shoved left winger Paul Byron to the ice at the Canadiens blue line. He was called for interference and while the Penguins killed the penalty, the Canadiens were able to pump a ton of shots on net and generate some additional momentum.
-That momentum manifested itself in a go-ahead goal for the Canadiens with 5:48 left in the second period. Center Brian Flynn took a feed on the right wing and took advantage of the ample space Cole afforded him. From the right circle, Flynn flung a pedestrian wrister on net which squeaked through Fleury's right arm and ribs into the cage. It was a leaky goal for Fleury to allow.
-To make matters worse, Crosby had a meltdown after the fact when he socked Canadiens left winger Tomas Fleischmann near the bench prior to the ensuing faceoff. Crosby was given a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Penguins ended up having to kill another penalty. Fortunately for them, the Canadiens could not convert it.
-The Penguins came close to tying the game when left winger David Perron put a backhander from the left circle off a post but by the time the second ended, the Penguins could only muster one official shot on net during the period. And even then, it was only a bad pass by defenseman Brian Dumoulin which had dribbled in on net.
-The third period was much different. At first, it was a really tame period. It seemed like the Canadiens were willing to sit on the lead and play a conservative game while the Penguins were trying to regain their composure. It was actually fairly boring for the first half of the third period.
-The Penguins were able to generate some quality chances later on. With 8:45 remaining, the third line of right winger Patric Hornqvist, center Nick Bonino and Chris Kunitz had a strong shift down low but couldn't beat Condon in tight a few times. An offensive zone steal by Malkin led to him firing a wrister from the right circle to the far side which Condon denied with 8:04 left in regulation.
-With the Penguins pressing and taking chances, that opened up a few things for the Canadiens. None bigger than a three-on-two with 7:54 left. Fleury was able to dive to his left and deny Pacioretty with a chest save.
-The Penguins reunited an old line for one shift and were able to tie the game with 6:25 left. After Bennett crashed into the boards and appeared to be shaken up a bit, Hornqvist took his spot on that line. Crosby was able to make an impressive backhanded pass off the right wing wall of the neutral zone to Hornqvist driving up ice. Pushing the puck up the left wing, Hornqvist created a two-on-two situation. With Dupuis driving the slot, Hornqvist lifted a wrister from the left circle. It glanced off a kneeling Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry and sailed by Condon's glove hand on the far side.
-The feeling in the building for the Penguins and their fans felt like a huge sense of relief. They were able to come back from their own boneheaded-ness and tie the game against the mighty Canadiens.
-But the task at hand wasn't complete just yet. They almost pulled out a win in regulation. Center Eric Fehr chased a puck up the left wing and was clotheslined by defenseman Tom Gilbert. After Gilbert was called for holding, the Penguins were granted a power play with only 2:17 left in regulation. The Penguins were able to generate three shots but didn't pose a great threat to take a lead before the third period came to an end.
In overtime, each team played things safe for the most part and it was kind of a timid one-on-one game with three skaters on each side. Things opened up midway through. Gallagher tapped a re-direction on net with 2:52 left but was denied by Fleury. In transition, Perron tried to feed a pass from the left wing to Crosby driving to the net but they failed to connect.
With 2:26 left in the overtime period, the Canadiens were nabbed for too many men after a sloppy line change. That gave the Penguins a four-on-three situation with Letang, Crosby, Malkin and Kessel. After controlling the puck in the offensive zone with little issue, their best chance came with 1:18 left as Kessel danced in off the right wing and lifted a wrister. Condon made the save but allowed a rebound in the slot. Letang jumped on it and put a shot off the left post.
After that, the Canadiens killed the penalty and even generated a a quality chance down low for Markov but couldn't get a goal. The game headed to a shootout.
-Galchenyuk was up first, he meandered down the slot at a slow pace. As he approached the net, he failed to get a shot off as Fleury snapped out his stick for a poke check.
-Perron was first for the Penguins. He zipped down the slot, went to the backhand and tucked in a shot by Condon's right skate.
-Center David Desharnais went wide with the puck to the left wing, leveled out, approached the net and was denied on a forehand shot by Fleury's mid-section. Fleury appeared to attempt another pokecheck but ended up making a sprawling save with his body.
-Crosby got the nod to win the game. He veered slightly to the left, leveled out, approached Condon very slowly then snapped to the backhand and lifted a puck by his glove hand to finish the game.
-The fact the Penguins did have another meltdown and that two of their leaders - Crosby and Letang - were at the forefront of it has to be concerning, even if they did settle down and win this game. For two players so vital to this team on and off the ice to lose their cool like that, it just can't happen.
-The new first line of Bennett, Dupuis and Crosby looked fairly competent. They created the game's first goal early on and seemed to all be on the same page most of the night.
-The second line of Malkin, Perron and Kessel didn't have nearly as much chemistry with those nice little touch passes as they had in recent games. They did look pretty cohesive on the play which led to Maatta's goal.
-The Kunitz-Bonino-Hornqvist line sort of looks like a traditional third line in that Kunitz and Hornqvist willl bang and crash while Bonino provides some playmaking. There were some positive signs but it remains a work in progress.
-If the fourth line of Fehr, Matt Cullen and Daniel Sprong made an impact, it wasn't apparent to us.
-The top defensive pairing of Cole and Letang continued to struggle. They were on the ice for both of the Canadiens' even strength goals, albeit one in a weird situation off the Markov-Letang hit. Still, the numbers and visuals for those two just look bad.
-The Penguins' power play actually looked somewhat threatening with Hornqvist, Crosby, Malkin, Kessel and Letang. Crosby continues to inhabit the right circle while Malkin works low near the net. They controlled the puck and got shots on net.
-The penalty kill didn't look very impressive on the Markov goal but beyond that, it was solid on its other four kills.
-Fleury was not sharp, at least early on. Perhaps he was a little off from the mishap with Lovejoy, but he allowed a few soft goals in the second period. But when the game was on the line in the shootout, he closed the game out.
-Lovejoy had an interesting night in that he injured Fleury but also took out two Canadiens, albeit temporarily. He knocked over Weise by falling into his legs (by way of a shove) during the second period. Weise went to the dressing room for a few minutes but returned to the game. Additionally, Lovejoy had a one-timer in the third period blocked by Gallagher. Gallagher limped to the dressing room but he too returned to the game.
-The Canadiens have a ton of just annoying little players like Flynn, Byron, Subban and Plekanec. Don't dismiss their antics when talking about the Penguins' lack of composure in the second period. Additionally, the Canadiens seem to know how to draw officials' attention anytime someone takes a shot at them.
-Condon was okay. He gave up three goals but it would be a stretch to say they were soft. One came with a player alone on the back door while two were deflections off body parts. He played well enough to win.
-Markov might not be very mobile these days, but he can still do some wonderful things with the puck. It's a lazy comparison given their Russian heritage, but he really reminds us of former Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar.
Fleury, who had three stitches under his eye as well as a little swelling:
"I was just worried for a second because I felt my eye going down [on the play]. My dad lost an eye too with a stick in his face so I was a little worried. It was good."
-Fleury later expanded on his father's accident by saying he was hit by a stick as a kid.
-Fleury also said he felt sorry for Lovejoy.
-Lovejoy on the mishap:
"I was trying to pick up sticks in front of the net on the other team and I clipped him in through his mask in his cheek. I felt awful."
-Lovejoy may have been asked some version of what happened with Fleury three or four times. He calmly answered each question. We have a feeling if we were in his shoes, we would have poked someone in the face with a fist after the second question.
-Lovejoy on the team mentality after this game:
"We feel we're turning the corner. We had a tough first four, five games when we went 1-4 then we really started to build. In past seasons, things have come easy for this team early in the year. It hasn't really forced us to focus on details because we could lean back on the fact that, 'Oh we were winning at the beginning of the year.' We didn't play our best game against Calgary. There are a ton of excuses we could use but we need to be a mentally tough team and be ready for an 'end-of-a-road-trip' game. We all knew that was a trap game. That was a difficult game and we didn't rise to the task mentally. Tonight, we had a great first period. We came out, we struggled in the second period. A couple of plays didn't go our way, a couple of calls didn't go our way and a couple of our guys lost their composure. We can't let that happen. That derailed us a bit at the end of last season. We came in during the second intermission. Guys were upset. We were [ticked] off at ourselves. Mike came in and you could tell he was upset. We went out and responded in the third period and picked up a huge win against the best team arguably in the NHL so far."
-Lovejoy on the 37-game losing streak when trailing after two periods:
"It's nothing guys in this room talk about. I didn't know that, that that as true. But I know we've done it twice this year [comebacks in general] in our 15 games we've played. This is a new season. You could throw out things that happened last season. We need to be a mentally tough team this year. And I feel we're getting there."
-Johnston had a different response to the same question:
“We talked about it as a team though too. In talking about it as a team, we talked about the next time we're in that situation, there's an opportunity there. In Calgary, we missed it. We didn't get it in the Calgary game. But every game, that's been our goal; 'Okay, let's seize this opportunity. We're down here now, let's do things the right way and come back in this game.' The belief of coming back comes from games like this. So the next time we're faced with a situation like that, then you call upon, 'Hey remember how you played in the third period against Montreal.' So at least you have something to draw on that way.”
-Lovejoy on the second period:
"We definitely lost our composure in the second period and things like that can't happen. We were disappointed in ourselves. Guys came in that lost their composure, they apologized to the group. Said it wouldn't happen again. We went out and had a great third period and overtime and were able to pick up a huge win in a shootout against arguably the best team in the league so far."
-Johnston credited Bennett with finding a way to get off the ice after being shaken up in order to let Hornqvist jump on the play leading to his game-tying goal:
"He was the next line up and the next right winger going. Beau got stuck on a longer shift. He was the first guy to change on that line. So I credit him. He got off the ice at the right time. Then we got Hornqvist. We talked a lot about changes. Putting the guy in a good position that changes. So he put Hornqvist in a really good spot. He was fresh then he jumped into the play."
-Hornqvist was impressed by Crosby's backhanded pass leading to his goal:
"I don't know how he does it. He got a straight blade so... He's a great player and he can make those plays. "
-Dupuis had an interesting response when asked about how he felt at the start of the game (We've added emphasis):
“It felt great. Starting lineup, got a big cheer there. Got a big cheer when I scored and then when they announced [the goal]. Obviously, gives you chills. Obviously, keeps you alive. It was great to obviously get a big shift right away.”
-The Canadiens led in shots, 38-34.
-Hornqvist and Kessel each led the game with seven shots.
-Pacioretty led the Canadiens with six shots.
-Letang led the game with 28:15 of ice time.
-Subban led the Canadiens with 25:42 of ice time.
-The Canadiens led the game in faceoffs, 36-34 (51 percent).
-Malkin was 10 for 17 (59 percent).
-Plekanec was 14 for 27 (52 percent).
-Dupuis led the game with three blocked shots.
-Defensemen Nathan Beaulieu and Gilbert each led the game with two blocked shots.
-The Penguins are 8-0-0 when scoring first this season.
-Fleury has now allowed 1,500 goals in his career.
(Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)