The Pittsburgh Penguins (6-6-4) did not let the Montreal Canadiens (4-13-2) off the mat. The Penguins jumped on Montreal early as captain Sidney Crosby scored his first goal of the season, and the Penguins scrambled Montreal through the rest of the first period.
The Penguins cruised to a 3-0 lead after the first period and won 6-0.
Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry did not face a high volume of shots, but Montreal got a bit too many quality looks. Jarry was stellar and turned aside all 24 shots he faced and earned his eighth career shutout.
“It was a bit of a sour taste coming from Washington. You never want to give up six goals. That’s something I kind of took personally and something I wanted to improve upon.”
Jarry was good against Buffalo on Tuesday and unbeatable on Thursday.
Early in the first period, Crosby broke the ice on the game and his season. Crosby created a turnover at center ice, then filled the middle of a three-on-one. Linemate Jake Guentzel was the tac in a tic-tac-toe play and laid the easy goal on Crosby’s stick. Crosby (1) boxed out the chasing defensemen and tapped in his first tally this season.
The Penguins power play again failed to score, but Danton Heinen scored in the second immediately following their first chance. John Marino’s shot echoed off the back wall and back into the slot. Primeau didn’t play it well, and Heinen (5) snapped the puck off Primeau into the net.
Later in the period, the Penguins got another stoppable marker. Jake Guentzel’s (6) long, turning wrister from the high slot eluded traffic and Primeau. 3-0.
The usually boisterous Montreal crowd has seen that show too many times this season and was subdued.
The Penguins were on the short end of the stick for most of the second period. Jarry made a few more saves to keep the 3-0 lead. Then the Penguins third line chipped in a pair of late goals, too.
Zach Aston-Reese and Teddy Blueger drove the play.
Later in the second period, a Montreal defensive gaffe created a two-on-none break. Aston-Reese fed Blueger (4), who ripped it past Primeau. 4-0.
A couple of minutes later, and a couple of Aston-Reese chances later, linemate Brock McGinn deflected a shot past Primeau. 5-0.
Montreal coach Dominique Ducharme swapped Primeau for Sam Montembeault at the beginning of the third period.
The last period was primarily a free skate as both teams were prepared to pack it in. However, Teddy Blueger (5) scored his second goal on a breakaway in the final 11 seconds.
Aston-Reese, John Marino, and Rust each had two assists, too.