Holy hell Montreal celebrates their season opener and a 7:30 official start turns into a 7:52 puck drop.
Sadly for the Pens at 7:53 they were losing 1-0. After a miscommunication handling the puck or passing the puck between Marc-Andre Fleury and Brian Dumoulin almost causes a goal, Dumoulin is rushed to a poor clear that Jeff Petry steers to Max Pacioretty. Pacioretty rifles it by Fleury to open the scoring just 23 seconds into the game.
Marc-Andre Fleury already doing Marc-Andre Fleury things as Pacioretty scores 23 seconds into Montreal's home opener pic.twitter.com/gn4xmhfuID— Jordie (@BarstoolJordie) October 18, 2016
Shots end up 17-13 Penguins, a bit more than met the eye for this observer as it seemed Montreal had a more dangerous period through.
After a couple of power plays fail, the Penguins go down 2-0 when Pacioretty finds David Desharnais wide open in front of the net for a quick one-timer.
A great pass by Pacioretty finds Desharnais, who makes no mistake. 2-0 Habs pic.twitter.com/L6MNKe8LkJ— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) October 19, 2016
Pens can't get much going at this point and what chances they do generate aren't going in.
Early in the third, tons of penalty calls 5 in less than 2 minutes. Montreal strikes with Radulov scoring on a PP. Pittsburgh challenges for goalie interference, but much like the rest of the night it doesn't go their way. 3-0 Habs.
Great individual effort by Radulov to score here. *(play under review) pic.twitter.com/1Lcr5vz09A— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) October 19, 2016
Then as if things couldn't get worse, Kris Letang gets checked late and shows immediate discomfort and goes straight to the locker room.
Montreal tacks on one more for the road, catching the Pens running around in their zone big time, and once again Desharnais (who's hardly a power forward) gets wide open at the front of the net and Dumoulin can't pick him up before the puck gets there and in the net.
Markov ---> Petry ----> Desharnais— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) October 19, 2016
That's Desharnais' sixth career two-goal game. pic.twitter.com/ssx04hsxbA
Mercifully the game ended soon after a bunch more whistles.
- Tom Kuhnhackl temporarily left the game after blocking a heavy Petry shot which sent him to the ice in a heap. He got checked out and was back on the ice and his very next shift he went out and blocked a Shea Weber shot. Big time guts there.
- In the second an even scarier injury when Alexander Radulov carelessly chopped his stick upward and cut Conor Sheary in/near the eye area. He would obviously leave and wasn't able to return, hopefully the damage wasn't as bad as it looked.
- The decreasing ice-time for Olli Maatta continues, at one point in the second period he had 6 minutes played, all 5 other defensemen had at least 10:28. Not too sure what the coaches are thinking there dwindling his role, at this point why not scratch him and give Derrick Pouliot a shot?
- Penguins didn't help their cause by instantly taking away 2 power play chances by committing penalties right off the opening faceoff. Just that kind of MEH night through 40 minutes. First Nick Bonino hand-passed the puck after a faceoff (which is half the penalty of tomahawking a guy in the eye in NHL punishment logic) and then Evgeni Malkin blatantly hooked an MTL defenseman off a different opening of a power play.
- 7 minor penalties tonight, team is too sloppy right now with their sticks, line changes (a too many men call in the 3rd) just all around yuck.
- An 0 for 7 power play (albeit some of them self-sabotaged or short) isn't going to cut the mustard either. Only 3 shots on goal
- Not a banner night for Dumoulin, on ice for all 4 goals against and his play on the first and last definitely won't be making the end of season highlight reel. He'll look to bounce back next time out, like so many other of the guys in those pretty white jerseys.
Ugh, just one of those nights where nothing goes all that right. Hopefully some good news comes from Letang and Sheary and this one won't end up stinging for a while to come.