After this past Sunday (Black Sunday as I’ve been calling it) it was clear that the Habs were going to have to bring it against Pittsburgh tonight. The loss of another two bodies, including our leading scorer, Robert Lang, is obviously adding to the pressure on an already slumping team.
The game opened at a frantic pace by the Habs with everyone on the ice moving at top speed, especially Alex Kovalev. The Pens did open the scoring on a bit of a defensive breakdown in front of Carey Price but Montreal got that goal back short minutes later on a great effort by Sergei Kostitsyn and a perfect finish by Roman Hamrlik. The pressure from the Habs continued throughout the first period, culminating in a powerplay earned with only 14 seconds remaining, sending them into the second period with a man advantage and tied 1-1.
Montreal broke out the guns in the second with Christopher Higgins scoring shorthanded on a breakaway and then Maxim Lapierre giving the Habs a 3-1 lead. Evgeni Malkin brought the Pens within a goal on the powerplay in the third before Andrei Kostitsyn reclaimed the two goal lead, giving the Canadiens a much needed two points with a 4-2 victory.
Standouts tonight were Sergei Kostitsyn, Alex Kovalev, Maxim Lapierre, Roman Hamrlik with an honorable mention to Andrei Markov (save for the two penalties). Price really wasn’t tested much (we outshot the Pens 35-25) but looked solid when the puck was around the net.
Onto the Sabres on Friday; expect to see the same lines and Price in net.