MONTREAL — If the previous two wins were the Pittsburgh Penguins fitting the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, the game Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens was scrambling them all over again. The Penguins admittedly lacked urgency, certainly lacked structure, and yet had victory minutes away.
Montreal erased the last two Penguins’ leads in less time than it takes to cook Minute Rice.
Fittingly, Montreal earned an OT win when Mike Hoffman raced past Evgeni Malkin on the rush and buried the game-winner. Montreal was the better team from the hop and carried play for most of the night in a 5-4 OT win at the Bell Centre.
“I just didn’t think we were as good tonight. … We had our moments,” Sullivan said. “I thought we were (playing better) in the first half of the second period. We really started to establish the game. And then, we took that first penalty. The second half of the second period, we were on our heels.”
Yet the Penguins capitalized on the few chances they had. They took three leads, beginning early in the second period at 2-1, then 3-2, then 4-3 later in the third period.
The chalkboard should be washed clean. Though a few Penguins rose to the challenge and continue to show well, one Penguins leader certainly did not.