Final Score: Pittsburgh 5, Montreal 1
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jussi Jokinen lit the lamp twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins dominated the Montreal Canadiens, 5-1, at CONSOL Energy Center.
Evgeni Malkin tallied a goal and an assist, while Sidney Crosby and Taylor Pyatt supplied Pittsburgh's two other goals. Matt Niskanen had two assists and Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves as the Penguins won for the third time in their last four tries.
"We definitely buckled down, especially defensively, and didn't give them a ton," Crosby said. "When we did, Fleury made some good saves and we generated some good chances and capitalized on them. I think it was a good game to respond."
Rene Bourque had Montreal's lone goal, while Daniel Briere and Brandon Prust picked up the assists. Carey Price allowed all five goals on 21 shots before being pulled late in the second period.
Peter Budaj entered in relief and stopped all 10 shots fired his way in Montreal's second straight loss.
Jokinen opened the scoring nearly nine minutes into the opening stanza. Malkin skated down to the right circle and dished a pass across the ice to a wide- open Jokinen, who easily tapped in his 14th of the season.
Niskanen fired a shot from the point through a maze of the players and Pyatt was present in front of the net to deflect the puck in on the power play to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead with 3:35 remaining in the first.
Montreal made it a one-goal game 1:15 later. Briere gathered the puck off the boards and slid a pass from the side of the net to Bourque, who wristed the puck over Fleury. The puck skipped out of the net so quickly that it was not ruled a goal until it was reviewed after the play concluded.
Olli Maatta skated up from the point to send a cross-ice pass over to Jokinen, who connected on the one-timer from the right faceoff dot 5:46 into the second, making it a 3-1 game.
Pittsburgh tallied another goal with the man advantage. At 11:43 of the second, Crosby tipped in his 26th of the season following a P.K. Subban holding penalty.
Malkin glided past the Montreal defense, cut to the front of the net, and slid the puck past the pad of Price to give the Penguins a 5-1 advantage with close to five minutes left in the second.
A scrum formed after Bourque made contact with Fleury close to five minutes left in the third. Budaj came out of his net to challenge Fleury to a fight. The Pittsburgh netminder accepted, but the referees quickly broke the two up before any punches were thrown.
"We lost the game; that's the key for me. That's what's disappointing for us. We didn't play a good game and they were the better team," Budaj said.
Niskanen has a career-high five-game point streak ... Pittsburgh is 7-1-1 in their last nine regular-season games against Montreal ... The Penguins have won five straight against the Canadiens at home.
01/23 01:52:32 ET
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