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Penguins defeat Canadiens 3-1, Evgeni Malkin claims Art Ross Trophy

Tonight's game was a goaltending duel at its best. Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Carey Price. Two teams already in the playoffs playing in a game that, for all intents and purposes, held very little meaning other than home ice. Judging by the hits and speed out there on the ice, you'd think it was Game 7 of the Finals...

  • A little over a minute into this one Evgeni Malkin wasted very little time picking up a goal and extending his lead over Alex Ovechkin.
  • Jordan Staal left the ice in the first period, later revealed to be a cut above the eye.   He came back a few stitches later and looked more determined than ever.

Wow, Staal should get stitches more often. He's a beast on this shift.

-Holiday Park-
  • Shortly after, a clean-shaven Max Talbot tried to knock one out of mid air past Carey Price. His attempt put the puck in the net but unfortunately the War Room ruled that his stick was above the crossbar. No goal.
  • Hal Gill should start positioning himself in front of the other team's net. Apparently the Canadiens decided to use him to score a goal of their own as Roman Hamrlik launched a slapper that nicked Gill's chest and slipped past Fleury. No way he was picking that one up.
  • The second period came and went with a few good PP chances that just didn't produce anything. Typical story of overpassing and undershooting. Even when Pitt did get a shot off Price was there to stop it or the Montreal D was quick to clear the zone.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury was solid in net but Carey Price robbed Matt Cooke at the end of the second period during a 2-on-1 breakaway with a save that will likely contend for top play on ESPN. He repeated the same save less than a minute later on Bill Guerin. Same play - same save. Speechless.
  • Fleury and Price continued to go back and forth throughout the first half of the third period. Easily one of the better goaltending duels of the year.
  • Georges Laraque sold a Brooks Orpik cross-check in the third that put Montreal on the PP. Before you could even register what was going on Talbot and Dupuis broke away on a shorthanded chance and beat Price to make it 2-1.
  • Speaking of shorthanded goals - same PK, one-minute later, Kris Letang picks up another shorty to make it 3-1. Game. Set. Match.
  • Evgeni Malkin's goal gives him a season total of 113 points. Alex Ovechkin picked up a goal and an assist in a 7-4 loss to Florida, putting his total at 110 and officially making him first to lose in the race for the Art Ross.

In case you haven't heard it's Flyers vs. Penguins in the first round.  Hooks and I will have more on that soon...