About Last Night: Rested Habs show inexperience vs. Crosby and Pens

Jansen Harkins scored the shootout winner to give the Penguins a 4-3 win over the Canadiens at the Bell Centre on Wednesday night.

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Jansen Harkins scored in Round 12 of the shootout to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on Wednesday night.

Sidney Crosby had three points for the Penguins in the win. His club was down two goals before coming back and forcing the extra period.

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Sam Montembeault started in goal and made 27 saves. At the other end, Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 39 of 42.

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It was a great night for the Penguins dads, who attended the game and grabbed some Schwartz’s beforehand. Not a bad combo.

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But it was the Habs who jumped out of the gate. In his second game back from injury, defenceman David Savard intercepted an Erik Karlsson giveaway and opened scoring with his first of the season.

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The defence kept rolling on offence. Jayden Struble scored his second as a Hab after jumping into the rush undetected. Montreal lead 2-0.

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Before the first period was out, Crosby took advantage of a Kaiden Guhle turnover to put Pittsburgh on the board.

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Montreal restored its two-goal lead with a power-play goal with less than five minutes remaining in the first period. Sean Monahan’s ninth goal gave the Habs a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.

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Crosby and the Pens completed the comeback in the second, starting with a Jake Guentzel blast on the power play.

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The Pens power play kept rolling. Crosby tied it up with 17th of the season to tie the game 3-3.

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The Habs outshot the Pens 11-3 in the third period, but they couldn’t solve Nedeljkovic. Off to overtime we went. Montreal got a golden opportunity when Evgeni Malkin was sent to the box, but Monahan whiffed on a tap in into a wide open net 4-on-3, and that’s as close as the Habs got to ending it.

No repeat heroics for Juraj Slafkovsky in the shootout. In the 12th round, Harkins squeaked one past Montembeault to secure the win for the road team.

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The Canadiens had been off since Sunday, so they were the young, rested team taking on the tired Pens, who played Tuesday. The extra rest didn’t matter in the end, as the forwards mostly remained quiet on offence, besides the Monahan power-play goal.

Caufield had six shots and played 23:07, but the only twine he bulged was in the shootout. Anderson continued to frustrate with another four shots and nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. Hockey Stat Cards is thrilled about the return of Savard alongside Matheson on the top defensive pairing.

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The Liveblog commenters don’t think the Penguins have much of a chance of winning another Cup for Crosby, but the ageless wonder continued to feast on the Habs with his three-point performance. Sid has 62 points in 47 career games against Montreal. And that’s also what the commenters feel the Habs are missing at the moment: that key player or players who can carry the team in times of need. Montreal needed a third period goal, and it never came.

3. “No creativity on the shootout after the first 3 or 4 players. Blow 2 2 goal leads. Lack of finish. Low offensive skill. If MSL needed an evaluation of offensive talent this was it, Pezzetta on the shoot out, give me a break.” -Derek Stevens

2. “Superstars win hockey games. Crosby won the game tonight. The Leafs-with 4 injured defencemen and their 3rd string goalie destroyed the rangers last night 7-3. Why? Matthews 4 pts. Marner 3 pts. Nylander…Tavares. you get the point. We have ZERO. As the late Guy Lafleur said we have 4 4th lines.” -Mark Reaume

1. “Pens deserved to win. You can’t come up empty on a game ending power play, and a full power play in OT. The kids need a little more desperation in their game when they have opponents on the ropes. It will come.” -Justin Miller

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