NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Montreal
(Thursday, February 21st)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 5, Montreal 4
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Sergei Gonchar's goal with 9:02 left in the third period lifted Pittsburgh to a 5-4 win over Montreal at the Bell Centre.
Ryan Whitney and Evgeni Malkin had a goal and a pair of assists each while Jarkko Ruutu, Ryan Malone all lit the lamp for the Penguins, who have now won three games in a row. Dany Sabourin won despite stopping only 17-of-21 shots.
"A lot of guys have stepped up with Sidney at home," said Whitney. "We have been on fire on power plays, making the percentage plays. Shooting more, like on Gonchar's winning goal."
Saku Koivu, Chris Higgins, Michael Ryder and Roman Hamrlik all scored while Cristobal Huet allowed all five goals on 30 shots for the Canadiens, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
"I think it was a case of not being ready," said Koivu. "Maybe it was the emotion of the Rangers game. It wasn't the physical part, because we wanted to battle one-on-one, but they wanted the puck more."
Malkin tied the game at 4-4 with 9:38 remaining, when he received a pass from Malone that put him on a breakaway. The Russian phenom took a wrist shot that went through the five-hole of Huet.
Only 36 seconds later, Gonchar notched the game-winner when he blasted a slap shot from the blue line that beat Huet, for Pittsburgh's second power play goal of the game. The goal was Gonchar's 600th point of his career.
Huet was called to the bench with 1:18 to go, but unlike Tuesday's miracle five-goal comeback against the Rangers, Montreal was unable to net an equalizer.
Pittsburgh opened the scoring 6:46 into the first period. Whitney fired a wrist shot from the blue line that deflected off the stick of Montreal's Mathieu Dandenault, and the puck slipped past Huet for the goal.
Ruutu gave Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead with 1:13 left after he picked up a loose puck in front of the net and shot it. The puck ricocheted off the stick of Montreal's Josh Gorges and went through Huet's legs.
Koivu put Montreal on the board 3:27 into the second period. Koivu was skating towards the net, he received a pass from Sergei Kostitsyn from behind the goal and he beat Sabourin with a quick wrist shot.
With the Penguins on the power play, Whitney shot the puck into the front of the net, Malone picked up the loose puck and slammed it home to increase Pittsburgh's lead to 3-1 with 13:01 left to play in the second. The Penguins have scored a power play goal in 10 straight games.
The Canadiens came back on their next power play opportunity. Alex Kovalev ripped a shot from the right boards that deflected off the stick of Higgins and went over the blocker of Sabourin to make the score 3-2 with 1:53 to go in the period.
A spirited third period began as Ryder fired a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that bounced off the skate of Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal and into the back of the net to tie the game 21 seconds in.
The Canadiens took their first lead at 3:25 on their second power play goal of the night. Koivu made a cross-ice pass to Hamrlik, who ripped a wrist shot from the left face off circle over the right shoulder of Sabourin.
Pittsburgh has won four of its last six at Montreal...Each club won two games in the season series...Montreal will host Columbus on Saturday...Pittsburgh will host Ottawa also Saturday.
02/21 22:59:36 ET