Habs Hand Pens Sixth Shutout of Season

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 12: Goaltender Brent Johnson #1 of the Pittsburgh Penguins reaches out with his leg to make a save on March 12, 2011 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Montreal defeated Pittsburgh 3-0. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Habs Blog: Habs Eyes on the Prize

For all intents and purposes, this game was over less than a minute into the first period.  But for the sake of writing up a semi-interesting recap, we can at least agree the Pens managed two solid periods of hockey in a 3-0 loss to the Canadiens.

Tomas Plekanec scored less than a minute into the first period, putting the Montreal Canadiens up 1-0 in what many Pens fans hoped would remain a close game.  Unfortunately that was not the case, as the Pens gave up another two goals before all was said and done, en route to a 3-0 shutout loss to the Habs.

If anything, the Pens at least had some opportunities on hand in today's loss.  Dustin Jeffrey hit the post in the first and the team managed to muster up the proverbial "buzz around the net."  Unfortunately none of that transferred to goals or, in the bigger scheme of things, points on the board.

Props to Carey Price as he continues to find ways to beat the Pens, sprawling saves or not.  James Neal had a prime opportunity in the second period to at least crack the goose egg, but a bouncing puck made it difficult for him to settle it down and lift it quick enough to register a goal.  Price went on to stop all 26 of the Pens' shots for his eighth shutout and 33rd win of the season.

It was no doubt a rough outing for Marc-Andre Fleury, who was pulled midway through the second period after allowing three goals on 12 shots.  Although Brent Johnson went on to stop all eight shots faced, the Pens' offense was unable to pad his effort and muster out - at the least  - a point in today's game.

Rest assured Pittsburgh is back at it again on Sunday against the Oilers.  If I had to guess I'd say Fleury will be back between the pipes for the Pens, although Johnson did at least show signs of stability in his half-game effort.  Edmonton is in last place in the west and is currently on a three-game losing streak.

Puck drops at 3 ET.

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