It’s Jeff Petry’s return game, and the reaction will probably be mixed to his return. We also have some new lines to watch, and Sean Monahan with Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki should be interesting.
- Garry Galley twice in three days is too much Garry Galley.
- There are the boos for Petry, but he had to know those were coming.
- The game gets off to an inauspicious start as Danton Heinen beats Samuel Montembeault from a sharp angle.
- But it hit the crossbar and then the post, so we’ll just continue on.
- Chris Wideman gets a chance, then Josh Anderson makes a power move to the net with another, but those don’t turn into goals.
- A lesser man probably would have fallen to ice with the contact Anderson took, but the Powerhorse just wanted a goal.
- More sustained pressure from Montreal, getting zone time on every shift now. This time it’s a strong shift from Cole Caufield all over the ice. A good offence really is the best defence.
- Petry gets his video tribute and a cool ovation — quickly followed by more boos.
- Sidney Crosby launches what starts a promising Penguins rush, but Kaiden Guhle’s stick quickly puts an end to that, and it’s another great chance for Caufield at the opposite end. Is he going to make it back-to-back multi-goal games at home this season?
- Nice play by Arber Xhekaj to win the pull along the half-wall and then look cross-ice for a scoring chance. Last season that would have just been fired at Casey DeSmith’s crest by a Habs blue-liner.
- A really impressive start for Montreal. Now they need a goal to show for it.
- Dadonov nearly knocks in his own rebound on yet another rush to the net.
- Caufield is a man possessed in this period, winning pucks along the boards and slinging them out front. He must have read Jura Slafkokvský’s scouting report and decided to try out that style.
- Or he wants to entice Crosby to come join his line in a year or two....
- Great toe save by Montembeault on Pittsburgh’s first real chance since the double doink.
- Caufield may get to 10 shots in this game.
- The last time Caufield looked this good he scored 30 seconds after the first intermission. Will he do that again?
- The first chance goes to Brendan Gallagher, who hits the post and sees the puck pushed out by an oblivious DeSmith.
- A lazy cross-ice pass is given a kick in the butt by Evgeni Malkin’s release, and Montembeault is beaten far-side after sliding too far.
- Now the Penguins power play that’s operating at 40% goes to work trying to double the lead.
- Habs are playing keepaway so far. Good plays from Kaiden Guhle and Jordan Harris to keep the opponent at bay.
- Now Malkin scores again as we get back to five-on-five. Too many unchecked Penguins at the top of the crease.
- A nice shift from Kirby Dach, Jonathan Drouin, and Anderson nearly gets Montreal on the board. There’s been a lot of “nearly” the last three games.
- Gallagher gets robbed by DeSmith’s glove. They will score at some point.
- Penguins power play/Montreal’s penalty kill back to work
- Harris just misses Suzuki for a short-handed breakaway chance
- Now Suzuki draws a penalty just as their own comes to an end, as he forces Petry to haul him down after a toe-drag.
- We’ll finish that thought after this 18-minute break
- It wasn’t on the power play, but the Habs do get their early goal, thanks in large part to Kaiden Guhle. The rookie’s excellent zone exit directly led to Suzuki’s first chance, then the captain skated around to the opposite side of the net to put it in.
Nick Suzuki sticks with the play, cashes in on his own rebound to make it 2-1!— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 18, 2022
First NHL point for Kaiden Guhle too! pic.twitter.com/x3LricSssF
- Arber Xhekaj heads to the box for a high stick.
- More excellent penalty-killing from the Habs. First a chance for Jake Evans, then Sean Monahan. Massive improvement from what it looked like last year. All it needed was a few defencemen who had never played an NHL game before.
- On a third short-handed rush, Petry is forced to take another penalty.
- Maybe Montreal should play the whole 60 minutes down a man?
- Ryan Poehling goes for a short-handed chance, splitting the D, but Montembeault is there.
- The Habs just aren’t as good with more than four players on the ice. Bobbles from Drouin and Hoffman bring the power play to an end.
- Josh Anderson comes close to tying it up with under three minutes to go, but DeSmith saves it with his toe.
- A timeout to get a look with the best offensive players on the ice with an O-zone faceoff.
- And it works! Caufield gets his goal on a perfect cross-crease pass from Drouin.
- And it’s another point for Guhle. He probably should be the first star of the game tonight.
- Habs don’t quit looking for the winner, and come close on a couple of occasions, but can’t find one.
- Habs get a well-deserved point for their effort
- Now we get to see Guhle at three-on-three, out there for the first shift.
- I think he skated two full lengths of the rink there, making several critical plays.
- Habs to the power play as Petry gets a hat trick of penalties in his return.
- Caufield gets a perfect pass but hits the left elbow.
- And Kirby Dach wins it! What an overtime performance from Montreal.
- Undefeated at home. Next they host the Coyotes on Thursday.
EOTP 3 Stars
3) It’s always nice to have an expert opinion
2) Superb placement
1) Break out the cloning machine.