Andrei Kostitsyn scored three goals and Carey Price made 32 saves - including 17 in the third period - as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins last night at the Mellon Arena.
The loss was the Penguins seventh in the last eleven games. The team has not won back-to-back games since winning six in a row in mid-November.
Pascal Dupuis and Sidney Crosby scored for the Penguins. Crosby's goal was only his second in the last 13 games.
Last night was definitely a case of two players beating the entire Penguins team. Kostitsyn's three goals were the only ones scored by Montreal and Carey Price was unbeatable in the third period. He made several nearly impossible saves to win the game for the Canadiens. Malkin and Crosby were buzzing around the net for nearly the entire final frame and they were not able to get one past the Habs goaltender.
Marc-Andre Fleury had a decent game. The third Montreal goal was one he should have stopped, but the first two goals were caused by the Penguins defense collapsing around the net and allowing the Canadiens to jam the puck in. Fleury can not be faulted for either of those goals.
A good sign for the Pens was that the effort was definitely there. They worked hard all night and were simply beaten by a hot goaltender. The frustration was evident at the end of the game as Ryan Whitney smashed his stick against the glass as time ran out in the third period.
I would much rather have the Penguins lose games like this than how they lost last Saturday against the Leafs. It must be tough for the players however, to know they put in the strong effort that was needed and they still were not able to get the win.
The loss sent the Penguins into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, only three points ahead of ninth place Carolina.
The Penguins now head into a home-and-home against the Eastern Conference leading Boston Bruins.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
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