Habs power played by Penguins

MONTREAL CANADA - JANUARY 12: Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins makes a glove save on the puck in front of David Desharnais #58 of the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on January 12 2011 in Montreal Quebec Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)


Well you just knew that if the Pittsburgh Penguins won tonight against the Montreal Canadiens, that there would be some response to Carey Price's pose from last week's win. Well it happened and Marc-Andre Fleury struck his own pose, albeit 200 feet from the puck after a 5-2 win.

I kind of enjoy the taunting and showboating that we've been seeing in the NHL of late, but the difference between the two poses was that Price was the factor in last week's win, and Fleury was not in his.

If anyone should have struck a pose, it should have been the referees, who called six straight minor penalties on the Canadiens, giving the Penguins six power play opportunities.

The Penguins capitalized on four of them, and it was the first time the Canadiens allowed four power play goals since 2002.

Usually a tired team, as the Habs probably were after arriving home at 1 a.m., will make a lot of mental errors that will lead to foolish penalties.

But it doesn't help when two referees totally get sucked in on a "high stick" call on Benoit Pouliot that appered to have never even made contact with the Pens player. By game's end, Pouliot had three minors to his credit, despite a hard working game on his part.

Things did look good briefly for the Canadiens who briefly held a 2-1 lead on goals from Tomas Plekanec and David Desharnais, who scored his first career NHL goal at 2:15 of the second period.

"I hit the puck and I didn't even realise it was in until I heard the crowd," Desharnais said, on his goal that deflected off a P.K. Subban point shot.

Another entertaining moment was an exciting back and forth period of play, that went without a whistle for four minutes during the second period, that saw some All-Star quality saves from both Price and Fleury.

By the time the third period was underway though , it was clear the Canadiens were not about to make yet another come from behind victory.

Canadiens coach Jacques Martin however ruled out fatigue as part of the loss. "I think tonight certain people didn't do the job on penalty killing. It's that simple," said a very short worded Martin. "It (fatigue) is not an excuse. It happens during the season that we play back-to-back games and it's part of the job for the players to be ready."

Montreal had 18 giveaways last night with six of them by Jaroslav Spacek, who just the night before had played one of his better games of the season. An offsetting stat is that the veteran defenceman led the team in hits and blocked shots, 5 each.

It is likely the team will get a chance to rest tomorrow and be back at practice on Friday in preparation for a visit from the New York Rangers on Saturday.

Hey, did you know? Sidney Crosby did not play in tonight's game, even though his team managed four power play goals. I don't know how many times TSN had to bring up the fact that the face of the NHL was out of action. I guess they were trying to get the message to the two girls holding the "Marry me, Crosby" sign at the Bell Centre.

One thing TSN seemed to step around was the fact that the Canadiens were without two key penalty killers Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges, for not just this game, but for the whole season.

Not the only pose: CJAD's Rick Moffat noted that he saw Kris Letang also mimmick Price's pose from last week.

More on the game from the Pens side at PensBurgh

 

   SCORERS
  First period
12:57 PIT Alex Goligoski, 8 (Chris Kunitz, 16 Mark Letestu, 10) (PIT: 7 14 29 3 18 10   MTL: 44 11 21 20 31 67)
13:15 MTL Tomas Plekanec, 13 (Mathieu Darche, 9 Benoit Pouliot, 11) (PIT: 17 7 4 29 48 10   MTL: 6 52 14 57 31 68)
  Second period
02:15 MTL David Desharnais, 1 (P.k. Subban, 11 Tom Pyatt, 3) (PIT: 45 27 5 25 29 3   MTL: 75 31 94 58 76 81)
04:12 PIT Tyler Kennedy, 7 (PP) (Kris Letang, 31 Jordan Staal, 1) (PIT: 29 71 3 48 58 11   MTL: 44 6 15 31 94)
19:49 PIT Jordan Staal, 1 (PP) (PIT: 29 71 3 48 58 11   MTL: 44 21 6 14 31)
  Third period
02:33 PIT Alex Goligoski, 9 (PP) (Jordan Staal, 2 Kris Letang, 32) (PIT: 17 29 71 3 58 11   MTL: 44 6 15 31 94)
11:29 PIT Chris Kunitz, 14 (PP) (Kris Letang, 33 Alex Goligoski, 17) (PIT: 14 29 71 3 58 11   MTL: 44 21 6 32 31)
 
   Team Shots Faceoffs
 
Penguins
Canadiens
1 2 3 Total
9 14 13 36
6 9 7 22
Won Lost
28 33
33 28
 
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