It was a disappointing one in Pittsburgh tonight, as the Penguins had their chances, but failed to make good on them. Instead the story was Carey Price's NHL debut for the Canadiens, making 26 saves on 28 shots in the 3-2 victory.
Sidney Crosby's bruised foot kept him out of practice Tuesday, but it didn't seem to be a problem during the game. Crosby assisted on the Penguins first goal, which Ryan Malone scored over a sprawling Carey Price, who had been knocked to the ice.
The Canadiens answered back with two goals in the six minutes of the 2nd period, taking the 2-1 lead.
Andrei Markov increased the lead in the 3rd, scoring off a rebound from an opportunity created by a Penguins defense-zone face-off loss.
Work horse Maxime Talbot put the Penguins within one, putting a no-look backhanded Evgeni Malkin behind-the-net pass behind Price. Malkin destroys me with his no-look backhand passes. I'll give him this one, but for every one that works out, he makes 9 that turn the puck and start rushes down the ice.
The Penguins spent the rest of the 3rd in the Canadiens zone, but were unable to wear down Price, who played very positionally sound throughout the game.
Fleury stopped 35 of 38 shots tonight, but continued to give up big rebounds. If the Penguins want to thwart opposing offense, they are going to have to cut down the amount of shots allowed, and Fleury is going to have to settle down. I'm pulling out hair every time I see him needlessly out of the net playing the puck.
One thing that catches me off guard from time to time is just how much of a monster Gary Roberts is. Of course he's in incredible shape and skates hard up and down the ice, but he can really throw a mean check. And he does, almost at random. I never see it coming, and neither did Kastsitsyn tonight. The hit really fired up the crowd as the Pens were battling to tie it up in the 3rd.
With his 2 assists tonight, Mark Recchi moved past Mike Gartner to 25th in all-time points.
The Penguins play the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday at 7:00 pm.