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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens Recap: Listless Pens fall

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Terrible effort results in a 5-1 loss

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Lineups

No changes for the Penguins from the first game.

1st period

The Pens are flat early, get a power play but don’t do anything with it. They take a penalty but the Canadiens are also quiet on it.

Montreal opens the scoring when Jack Johnson turns a puck over in the neutral zone and can’t track back in time on Brendan Gallagher. 1-0.

More trouble for the Pens second pair as Olli Maatta gets clean skated past by Paul Byron who gets hit on a nice pass. Looks like Maatta thought he had inside support from his partner in Johnson, who peeled off to the right and....no Canadien was to the right. And Maatta is flat-footed. Byron finishes a breakaway on Matt Murray. 2-0. Yikes!

Not a very good period for the 2nd pair.

Shots 9-7 Montreal. Don’t think Pittsburgh had many above average ones, if any.

2nd period

Early in the second period it doesn’t get better, it gets worse. All the Pens get lost in space and no one puts an effort forward, pucks bounces to Byron out front all alone, and Murray is left on an island and beaten to make it 3-0.

Later in the period the Pens get a power play but the might lax play continues as Montreal goes 2-on-2 the other way and Byron centers a pass for Joel Armia and Evgeni Malkin stops moving his legs from the blueline in and...does not tie up Armia’s stick as he drives to the net. Whoops. 4-0

The Pens finally get one back, Carey Price makes one of the only mistakes he maeks all night when he leaves a rebound from a Kris Letang point shot that Riley Sheahan is able to corral and punch in on the forehand. 4-1.

3rd period

The Pens are so disinterested they don’t even get the benefit of scoring effects against a bad team who is on the road and clearly in control of the game. Montreal carries a 59% Corsi in the 3rd period, because why not.

Murray stops Jesperi Kotkaniemi from point blank because I guess someone is still nominally trying. But then again, 5 minutes later Charles Hudon is afforded all the space in the world from the Pens defense (this time Justin Schultz and Jamie Oleksiak) to operate and he power moves to his forehand on a wraparound and the puck slips by Murray. 5-1.

And that’s about it.

Some Thoughts

  • The Penguins didn’t care about this game, so neither should you. No need to overthink it, they didn’t bother to show up and it’s early in the year and that will be a real challenge for the coaching staff to try and catch the interest of this team at this time of year.