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Canadiens vs Penguins Top Six Minutes: Habs cough up a lead, fall in the shootout

After being off since Sunday, the Habs took their dads to Pittsburgh to play a hockey game. The rest seemed to do the team well

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For our new readers and members, the Top Six Minutes is a continuation of the discussion in the game thread. We try to keep it light and entertaining. Full recaps are up the morning after every game.

Pre-Game

  • The Pittsburgh Penguins are wearing their best uniforms, making this game one of the best uniform match-ups of the season.
  • The Canadiens have their dads with them in Pittsburgh for the bi-annual Father's Trip, so hopefully they give them something to cheer for.

First Period

  • The period got off to an ominous start when the Habs conceded the first goal of the game just 13 seconds in, but they remained undeterred and started to put some offensive zone pressure on, but it was a penalty drawn in their own end that led to the power-play that led to Andrei Markov's goal. The Habs improved power-play this year has been a part of their improved scoring from last season.
  • Watching the Habs it is striking to see how active the Habs defencemen are. They are constantly jumping up in the offensive zone and helping support the puck offensively. It helps create some confusion down low and will hopefully lead to more scoring in this game.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury got gouged by his own teammate Ben Lovejoy and had to leave the game to get patched up. If a stick can get through a goalies cage is the cage really doing its job?

Second Period

  • Paul Byron was a really smart waiver pick-up for the Habs. Small and fast with just enough skill to be a useful fourth liner, but not so skilled that he prices himself out of the NHL. You could say he is a unique fourth liner as he does do a lot of things useful, he just does not fit the stereotypical fourth line profile.
  • Lars Eller must have been quite happy with the short Dale Weise injury as it meant he got to spend some time on the second power play unit and he looked good there. He has a higher skill threshold then Weise and it makes him more effective on the power play.
  • Mike Johnson is a joy to listen to as the colour man on the broadcast and it is little things like his notes on how the Canadiens are playing good defence by doing little things and then he also points out little plays in the defensive zone that leads to good plays in the neutral and offensive zone. Those things led to the Habs holding the Pens to only one shot in the second.

Third Period

  • Max Pacioretty has an insane ability to get shots off when he should have no space. His release is a thing of beauty and should be studied even if he does not score on a shot because he manages to create shots out nothing, which is obviously an asset to the Habs.
  • With the one goal lead they are playing much more passive in the third which is most apparent with the defencemen as they are significantly less aggressive than in the first two periods. It is leading to more chances against and more shots against in general. It is not working that well for the Habs and it is showing in how tilted the ice feels in the third.
  • And after it seems like the entire third was played in the Habs end right around the net, the Pens finally score on rush and then have to kill off a late penalty to Tom Gilbert that they kill off to send the game into overtime.

Overtime

  • There was an exceptionally neat sequence of three on three cycling where Markov, Galchenyuk, and Gallagher cycled the puck in the middle of the ice to create multiple chances. It was all for naught and then Tom Gilbert ruined everything for everyone and stepped on the ice way too early and took a penalty.
  • And shoot-out. Peace out homies.

Three Stars

1. They're sneaky like that.

2. Good point

1. Always blame Lee.

Highlights are on their way...