Surprisingly, the Habs downed the Pens 6-5 in a shootout at the flightless bird barn, thanks to David Desharnais solving Marc-Andre Fleury and Peter Budaj stopping James Neal, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeny Malkin.
That’s what it came down to after an odd game that saw Montreal win even though Budaj, before the shootout, was often shaky and visions of Carey Price danced through my head.
Lots of scoring from both sides, the boys replied whenever the Pens took the lead, and I’ll take these two points in a New York minute, even though once again, it wasn’t the most impressive display.
Weird and mildly entertaining, but not overly impressive.
Brendan Gallagher broke the ice in the first period following early pressure by the Canadiens, but James Neal tied it when the puck trickled by Mr. Budaj.
Then, when a shot sailed over Budaj’s shoulder for a 2-1 Pens lead, the future didn’t look bright. In fact, I was wondering if backup Dustin Tokarski would be up to the task.
But Budaj stayed in and the game unfolded.
In the second frame, Daniel Briere, playing on the fourth line with Moen and Parros, tied things at two, but the seesaw battle would continue.
Pittsburgh went ahead with Lars Eller was in the box, but Max on the power play evened it again. It was going good. Then P.K. found himself in Michel Therrien’s bad books for about the tenth time this year it seems.
Of course, P.K. screwed up magnificently.
A Habs power play.
P.K. dangling with the puck.
P.K. getting stripped of said puck by Brandon Sutter..
Sutter scoring a shorthanded breakaway goal to put his team ahead 4-3 and PK in the doghouse.
Fodder for Michel Therrien to sit P.K. down for the rest of the game.
But all was not lose. Alexei Emelin, with his second goal of the year, sent a wrist shot from the blueline to tie the thing at four apiece.
And the weirdness kept on coming.
With Emelin in the box on a truly borderline call, the Pens went ahead 5-4, but then Tanner Glass was sent off for five minutes for elbowing Emelin, and Daniel Briere, with his second goal of the night, tied it at five.
After a scoreless overtime, it took DD to end it and give his team two big points.
Was it a good game? It had more stuff, the scoring was there, and they pulled it out. So I suppose, after my whining about lack of effort and no shots or goals, this was a stunning success.
Only seven more tough games in a row to go.
The Pens outshot the Habs 32-29.
Throughout the five minute overtime, P.K. watched from the sidelines. I think Galchenyuk and Briere too. Galchenyuk was hustling and Briere had two goals and an assist, so the coach’s reasoning is a head-scratcher.
I hate all the freaking so-called lessons Therrien likes to teach different players. In fact, I’m sick of it. Especially when they’re trying to win a big game and these guys have the tools to do it.
In other news, Lars Eller was not Jean Beliveau on this night.
Jarred Tinordi hasn’t made the impact so far that Nathan Beaulieu did in his pre-Olympic stint.
Leafs in town on Saturday. No predictions here. Predictions are for gypsies.