PITTSBURGH 2 – MONTREAL 1 (OT)
Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins pounced on one big mistake by the Montreal Canadiens to come away with a 2-1 overtime victory on Saturday night .
Crosby in the midst of the worst scoring slump in his career, scored a power play goal 3:41 into overtime, as the Penguins capitalized on the power play for the first time in the game, after going 0-3 in regulation. Evgeni Malkin (19) also scored and added an assist for the Penguins, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves for his 21st win of the season.
“We were fortunate to get a power play,” Crosby said, via the Canadian Press. “Guys were moving around, and I got a good look there. It was a great pass from Geno (Malkin).”
The Canadiens were hit with a too-many-men penalty in overtime and the 4-on-3 man-advantage for the Penguins pretty much turned into a 4-on-2 as Tomas Plekanec broke his stick as Pittsburgh worked the puck on the left side and Malkin setup Crosby for the one-timer goal. The goal was Crosby’s seventh career overtime goal.
“It came down to a penalty and a broken stick,” netminder Carey Price said of the Canadiens loss.
Max Pacioretty (18) scored the lone goal for the Canadiens at 18:10 of the first period, blistering a shot past Fleury off the rush. Pacioretty who has scored in four straight games, nearly put the Canadiens up 2-1 with under three minutes left in the third period, missing a wide open net off a beautiful setup by PK Subban.
“I’ve got to find a way to bury that,” Pacioretty said.
The Penguins took home the season series, 2-1, but Saturday night’s game showed how tight a potential seven game series could be between the Penguins and Canadiens. Carey Price was phenomenal in the loss, making 35 saves.
The Penguins with the win improve to 25-10-6, 56 pts, second in the Metropolitan Division. Montreal is 26-12-3, 55 pts on the season.