The Pittsburgh Penguins lost an intense pre-season opener in Montreal tonight after scoring late in the third period to force the overtime. In the end, the Penguins gave up a goal late in overtime to lose the game by a score of 3-2. The intensity and speed of the game was not indicative of an inconsequential pre-season game. At one point, the Montreal CJAD announcer commented that the game felt more like a post season game, than a pre-season game.
Scoreless after the first period, the Canadiens posted the first goal on a 5-on-3 power play chance by Kastsitsyn (from Kovalev and Streit) at 6:41 of the second period. The power play goal came with Malone (hooking) and Crosby (slashing) in the box. The Penguins evened the score near the end of the period on an even strength goal by Crosby (from Talbot and Armstrong) at 17:04.
Entering the third period in a 1-1 tie, the Penguins gave up an even strength goal to Locke (from Kovalev and Katsitsyn) at 11:43. The Pens quickly tied it back up at 2 a-piece on a 5-on-4 power play goal by Malone (from Crosby and Recchi) at 14:50. The score remained knotted through the end of regulation and forced the overtime frame.
Unfortunately, after making numerous phenomenal saves throughout regulation, Fleury had trouble moving across the goal mouth and gave up the game winner to Kovalev (from Streit) at 4:31 of overtime.
All in all, a very fast paced, intense game that included a brutal fight between Pens’ Laraque and Canadiens’ Archer that put Archer out of the game with a bloodied nose and left eye. He subsequently was sent to the hospital for X-rays, with no health report by game’s end. Hopefully he will be alright. Nonetheless, it was good to see that Laraque may have recalled one of the key reasons he is playing in Pittsburgh.
The teams were fairly even with the Canadiens outshooting the Pens 22-21, and each team getting 13 penalties/29 penalty minutes each. The Canadiens had the edge on face-offs at 54%. The Penguins and Canadiens will match up again for a repeat performance in Montreal tomorrow night.
Click HERE for Phil Bourque’s Post Game Rink Rat Report, 3:38 Minutes, on the Pittsburgh Penguins.com.