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Penguins Vs. Canadiens: Alex Goligoski, Penguins Pile Up Points In Sidney Crosby's Absence

Sports Network | January 12, 2011

Montreal, QC (Sports Network) – Alex Goligoski scored twice with an assist as Pittsburgh topped Montreal, 5-2, at Bell Centre.

Kris Letang and Jordan Staal each posted a goal and two helpers for the Penguins, who recorded four power-play goals en route to their first win in four games.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 20-of-22 shots for his 19th win of the season as Pittsburgh moved within a point of idle Philadelphia (59-58) for top spot in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

Tomas Plekanec and David Desharnais tallied for the Canadiens, who saw their three-game win streak come to an end.

Carey Price was tagged for all five goals on 36 shots in the setback.

“When the game is on the line, our penalty kill just didn’t do it,” said Montreal captain Brian Gionta. “We weren’t sharp. We took too many penalties. We were out of the rhythm of the game, and out of the flow. We didn’t generate any offense, either.”

Pittsburgh went ahead by a 4-2 count at the 2:33 mark of the third period, when Goligoski followed up behind a scramble at the side of the net and pushed a loose puck over the goal line.

Letang added another man-advantage score with 8:31 left in regulation and the Canadiens had no fight left.

Price came up big to stop Pascal Dupuis on a breakaway with just over eight minutes to play in the first period, snatching away his backhander with a quick flash of his glove.

Goligoski then ripped a shot under the crossbar to put the Penguins on the board with 7:03 left in the first period, but the Habs knotted the game when Plekanec converted a Mathieu Darche feed in front just 18 seconds later.

Montreal led 2-1 at 2:15 of the second period as P.K. Subban’s floater from the right point was deflected in by Desharnais for his first NHL goal.

“I didn’t know it was in, and what happened was, I saw the crowd go nuts,” Desharnais noted. “It’s tough luck now. I wanted to feel good about my first goal, but when it comes during a loss, I figure I’ll score the next game.”

Tyler Kennedy tied the game at 4:12, one-timing a Staal dish from the left circle, and both teams flew at each other until Staal snuck a short-side shot by Price for a power-play goal with 11 seconds to play. The goal was set up when Canadiens defenseman Jaroslav Spacek tried to pass between the circles but the puck found Staal’s stick instead.

“Sitting out watching 40 games wasn’t fun,” Staal said. “I got an opportunity to get out on the power play and it was nice. I got my first goal and contributed elsewhere as well. My legs, hands, and my shot were all coming together. It was just a matter of time.”

Goligoski’s season-high was four points, in Pittsburgh’s 8-1 win over Tampa Bay on January 5 (1G, 3A)…His last two-goal effort came on December 22, 2008 at Buffalo…Penguins captain Sidney Crosby missed his fourth straight game with a mild concussion…Pittsburgh heads to Boston on Saturday, and Montreal hosts the Rangers also on Saturday.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.