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Penguins Blow 2-Goal Lead, Lose in OT to Canadiens 3-2

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Casey DeSmith

MONTREAL  — It looked like a sure goal. Pittsburgh Penguins (2-0-1) winger Danton Heinen’s shot hit the post and crossbar behind Montreal Canadiens goalie Sam Montembeault early in the first period. After a review, officials overturned the goal because it didn’t cross the line, and Montreal dominated the remainder of the period and the game.

Montreal looked like a team much better than one expected to be a high lottery pick. Montreal forward Kirby Dach scored a power-play goal in overtime for the 3-2 Montreal win.

Jeff Petry took three minor penalties, including the cross-checking minor which led to the game-winner.

Technically, the Penguins have a three-game point streak, but no one was talking about that in the locker room.

The Penguins were opportunistic and led for most of the second and third periods. However, Montreal tied the game with just over two minutes remaining when Cole Caufield was uncovered in the left-wing circle. Caufield (3) quickly snapped the shot into a yawning cage to force overtime.

“I didn’t (see Caufield) either. I didn’t even see the pass get made. There were a lot of bodies between me and the puck, and I think it went through (Kris Letang’s) legs,” DeSmith said. “I didn’t even see the pass. And then, all of a sudden, it’s in the net.”

Overtime was full speed and wild. The Montreal crowd couldn’t contain themselves, especially when the Penguins took a penalty.

“I don’t know about difficult but (the building is) definitely fun,” DeSmith said. “This is a treat for any player to play here. The fans are always passionate. They definitely drive the team here.”

The Penguins were not at their best Monday night, but good teams find a way to create moments. Bryan Rust intercepted a clearing attempt, and Evgeni Malkin (2) blasted a one-timer past Montembeault early in the second period to break the scoreless tie.

Malkin (3) buried Rust’s rebound midway through the second period for a two-goal lead. Casey DeSmith made difficult saves look easy for most of the game.

DeSmith stopped 33 of 35 shots in regulation.

Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki slipped one past DeSmith early in the third period to begin the comeback. DeSmith stopped Suzuki’s first shot, but the save dribbled behind DeSmith. Suzuki (2) swept around the net and poked it into the open net.

Sidney Crosby, who had three points in each of the first two games and was the NHL’s No. 1 star last week, was scoreless. Defenseman P.O Joseph, playing his first game in Montreal, had an assist on Malkin’s second goal, and Rust had a pair of apples.

Malkin and DeSmith were the Penguins’ stories. DeSmith stopped all 20 even-strength Canadiens’ scoring chances in the first 40 minutes. Stats, according to NaturalStatTrick.com.

Josh Archibald wasn’t an offensive factor, but the gritty winger led the Penguins with five hits.

2022 first-overall pick Juraj Slafkovsky had a few standout moments in the first period but could not maintain his early push. Chatter persists that Montreal will send Slafkovsky to the AHL later this week. He didn’t have a shot on goal in the first two periods.

Penguins winger Jason Zucker escaped injury in the third period. Arber Xhekaj’s high stick felled him. Zucker fell to his knees, face to the ice. He remained in the game.

The Penguins’ power play was a weak 0-for-3. The Canadiens had three scoring chances on the third opportunity midway through the third period, including a two-on-one.

When asked if the Penguins power play struggles were a microcosm of the poor game, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan had a succint response.

“Yes.”

Immediately following the Penguins’ final power play, the Canadiens received their third opportunity, but Penguins center Ryan Poehling had the best chance with a short breakaway chance.

Montreal outshot the Penguins 35-27 in regulation.

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bigredbaer
bigredbaer
1 month ago

DeSmith DeServed DeBetter

Dave Heyl
Dave Heyl
1 month ago

When will Sullivan not leave the # 1 PP unit on for 1:30 min. They turn into a turnover machine.

Dan N
Dan N
1 month ago

My question is…Why does Carter get so much playing time ? Especially in 3 on 3 OT…Then he puts him out to kill a penalty…Hope this isn’t a trend but young legs of the Canadians took over late..Pens D really struggled

Ric jefferies
Ric jefferies
1 month ago

Here we go again, style of play reverting to last season, hope not. First game pens displayed a different style of offense ( high puck circulation) and team defending the net . Too soon to tell however and please don’t blame De Smith, excellent job.

Uros
Uros
1 month ago

Well, at least we’re set as far as goaltending is concerned. At least untill the playoffs where Tokarski and Lindberg will play. After 3 games, plus the pre season, i see just some minor things to be ironed out. First of all, teach Petry some discipline. Talk about wild Friedman all you want, but even he wouldn’t take all these penalties plus a fine before the season started. 4th line, hence also PK, is a huge step down from the last season. Let’s hope Teddy’s return can get things in order there. I understand the cap problems, but Poehling isn’t… Read more »

VanTresvant
VanTresvant
1 month ago

I watched Letang58 turn the puck over 3 times in one sequence and all three led to Montreal scoring chances ….. some things never change

Last edited 1 month ago by VanTresvant