PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 9: PK Subban #76 of the Montreal Canadiens has words with Chris Kunitz #14 of the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on October 9, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Canadiens defeated the Penguins 3-2. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Habs Blog - Habs Eyes on the Prize
Ever watch one of those games where the outcome just completely alters your mood? Maybe it's not just the act of losing, but instead the method of it. You know, like watching the Pens hang on to a small lead and then allow the opponent to tie AND surpass in the span of about 30 seconds.
Yeah, that kind of a game.
The Pens had a good number of chances to get one past Carey Price in the first period but just couldn't make it work. 13 shots not hitting the mesh in the Canadiens' end resulted in a scoreless Pens team heading into the dressing room after Mike Cammalleri buried one with just under five minutes remaining. The dominant thought at the time: It's OK, there's still plenty of time to get that one back.
And sure enough, the Pens came out firing in the second period and capitalized within the first minute when Evgeni Malkin notched his first goal of the season on a sweet one-time pass from Sid. That would be it for the scoring in the second period. Of course, that was also the period when the Canadiens' Maxim Lapierre decided to draw a two-minute penalty out of Max Talbot when he hinted that he wanted to drop the gloves. Apparently wiggling your mitts as if you're going to drop them isn't an instigator penalty. Duly noted.
In the third period Mark Letestu struck first and gave the Pens a 2-1 lead, sadly the team's first lead of the season. For a few minutes after that goal it seemed as if the Pens were going to put this one away with a 'W,' seal that much-desired win at Consol Energy Center and at least have a 1-1 record before they hit the road for Monday's date with the Devils.
Nope. That didn't happen.
Roughly nine minutes later the Pens forfeited the tying goal to Cammalleri, who managed to tip-in a shot past Fleury with just a little over two minutes remaining. Thought at the moment: All right. Fine. If it has to go to overtime, so be it.
Again, that didn't happen.
The Habs charged down the ice roughly 20 seconds later with speedy Scott Gomez leading the way. He got around Kris Letang as if he was standing still and let loose a weak shot that squeaked between Fleury's pads for the game winner.
For the second game in a row Letang has marked himself as a liability. He did it in the first game against the Flyers when he flubbed a drop pass to Paul Martin and he did it again Saturday when he allowed Gomez to skate around him. Although, to be fair, you can only give him half the blame on that one. The other half goes right on Fleury's back for letting in the soft goal.
Now the Pens head off to New Jersey Monday night to take on the Devils, the same team that held them to a winless 0-6 last season.
- Cammalleri kills the Pens. There's no other way of saying it.
- If Letang is still playing through illness then he has to pull himself together on Monday
- Fleury may not have necessarily cost the Pens the game, but he did cost them a point in OT
- Sid picked up his first point of the season with an assist on the Malkin goal
Comment of the night comes from SuMac. Here's a short clip, but the full one can be read here:
Personally, I still like what I saw. It was painful to watch those last 3 minutes, of course, but as I said earlier I did like what I saw in the game. Some excellent exits from the zone and good control in the offensive end. Definitely people with timing off cost us goals as the pass was a little hard or soft or the shot not quite on or the hit not quite complete. But, I see a system of play that I like.