The Pittsburgh Penguins may have had their way with the Canadiens back on November 18th when they blanked the boys 4-0, but Saturday night in Pittsburgh was a different story.
4-1 Habs. A well-deserved win.
Montreal punched the clock and played a solid, hardworking, hard checking, all round fine game as they bottled up the Pens in impressive fashion, found themselves with meaningful scoring chances sprinkled throughout, and now sit in the Eastern Conference penthouse with 54 points, one ahead of both the Pens and Islanders, and two in front of Tampa Bay, the team they face on Tuesday evening in Montreal.
Max would slam one home in the first period to open the scoring, then a Desharnais slapshot made it 2-0, Tom Gilbert was wide open in the second frame and it was 3-1, and Alexei Emelin blasted a laser through a crowd in the third to put the thing out of reach.
A nice little run Les Glorieux have going now, winning 6 straight and 9 of their last 10. No wonder they’re king of the hill.
I’m back watching and typing in our little house in Powell River, after a year and a half of living in Montreal. It feels unusual, with the game coming on a 4 pm instead of 7, and in a completely different place than the one I was in just over a week ago.
I also hadn’t seen the team play the previous three games because we were in the process of driving across the country.
It’s great to be back, but I also loved Montreal. It was a grand adventure, and now returning to PR is strange and also fresh and comfortable. The old couch, the bigger TV, the kitchen table where I am now. The fence in the back yard that blew over during a recent storm.
And the Canadiens ruling the roost. All they gotta do now is take out the Lightning at the Bell on Tuesday. Widen the gap a touch.
Canadiens outshot Pittsburgh 33-31.
They also went 0-4 on the power play, which puts them in 27th place in the man-advantage category. But they’re on a serious run so now’s not the time to complain.
Carey Price was in the nets for back to back games, only the second time this year that Toker didn’t play in one of them. Price was between the pipes on Dec. 5th against the Hawks and the 6th against the Stars, losing both. But that was then, this is now.