Friday, February 02, 2007

Penguins 5 - Canadiens 4 (SO): Sidney's Little Helpers

Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins managed to hold on and eek out a 5-4 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens last night on a nationally televised game (TSN).

Sidney was, once again, the catalyst with 3 assists and a lot of inspired play.

The game wasn't without a bit of embarassment for El Sid. Besides missing in the shootout, AGAIN, Sidney seemed to think he was a Habitant.


Well, check out Mr. Reality Check for le details.
How can you forget that your team has just one moments ago?

If I recall correctly Sid did shoot at the Habs net in the shootout didn't he?

Crosby: "Yeah, well it would have been nice to get the two, but you know, things happen sometimes, you just have to roll with it and make the best of the situation. I think we did that tonight"

Reporter: "You did get the two by the way."
o_0 *facepalm*

Sid's totals on the night: 1 post-game slip-up, 3 assists, -3(!), and 10 for 18 on faceoffs in 21:29 of ice time.

Game recap from
The Pittsburgh Penguins were introduced to playoff-style hockey by the Montreal Canadiens. The youthful Penguins like the way they responded against an opponent that looked to be trying to intimidate them from the start.

The Penguins squandered a two-goal lead late in the third period, but Evgeni Malkin won the shootout by deftly faking out David Aebischer with an inside-out move as Pittsburgh beat Montreal 5-4 on Thursday night for its fifth consecutive victory.

Erik Christensen also put the puck past Aebischer as the Penguins won their second shootout in a row - they beat Dallas 4-3 on Friday - after losing five of their first six. Montreal dropped its fifth in nine shootouts as Marc-Andre Fleury stopped the final two Canadiens shooters, Chris Higgins and Tomas Plekanec, after Alex Kovalev had matched Christensen's score. Fleury made 40 saves in regulation and is 9-1-2 in his last 12 starts.

"I've never seen the (Eastern Conference) playoff race so close, five or six teams are so close, and it was a playoff atmosphere," said Sergei Gonchar, who scored twice on the power play and had another slap shot deflected in by Malkin. "You could see their intensity was there. But we're playing with more confidence."

The Canadiens trailed 4-2 after Gonchar scored twice during a rare seven-minute Pittsburgh power play in the second period. But Montreal tied it on goals by Mike Johnson and Mathieu Dandenault in the final 5 1/2 minutes of the third, with Johnson's shot deflecting in off Gonchar and Dandenault's shot bouncing in off defenseman Rob Scuderi's skate.

"Those were tough bounces to take, but we stuck with it and got the two points," Penguins forward Sidney Crosby said.

Crosby, drilled in the midsection by Maxim Lapierre immediately after the opening faceoff to set the tone for a physical and feisty game, assisted on each of the Penguins' first three goals. Crosby became the first player to break the 80-point mark this season with 82, including 25 goals.

Montreal tried to establish its toughness from the start. But the Canadiens' aggressiveness cost them when Sheldon Souray was ejected for jumping on Colby Armstrong, punching him several times and slamming him to the ice after Armstrong leveled Saku Koivu behind the Montreal net.

"You expect teams to be intense, and they had that (checking) line out there to start the game and wanted to set a tone early," Crosby said. "That's part of playing in the second half of the season. Teams want to win hockey games and we're more than willing to play and do whatever we have to do to win games, too."

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