Fleury, Vokoun Team-Up and Power Pens to 13th Straight Victory

Goal

Charles LeClaire – USA TODAY SPORTS

The much anticipated rematch of the NHL’s best Eastern conference teams was about as entertaining a 1-0 hockey game could get. As the Penguins looked to continue their dominance over the little sisters of the unfortunate, the Habs looked to gain some mojo and start their own winning streak after losing their last game.

It didn’t take long for the action to start, when Marc-Andre Fleury miscued a slow and bouncing puck that careened into the corner, only to find Michael Ryder. Fleury, back to the puck, sprawled in his crease to protect the cage making an awkward save.

2:26 into the game Tyler Kennedy dropped the gloves with Gabriel Dumont, which turned out to be what appeared as two, midget T-Rexes flailing their tiny arms toward one another, resulting in a disappointing fight. Aside from the mediocre fight, it really got the Pittsburgh crowd going.

The first period came to an end in a scoreless affair that sought a 10-5 shots edge for Montreal.

Montreal’s play for the first 30 minutes of the hockey game could be classified as “Just shy of total domination”. The Canadiens spent a good amount of time in the attacking zone which really tested the abilities of Marc-Andre Fleury, who has stopped 130 of the last 133 shots he’s faced. Despite the loud ping of the crossbar, Fleury was on operation stonewall.

With roughly 5 and a half minutes of play remaining in the second period, Sidney Crosby opened the scoring with a snipe to the far-corner of Carey Price, who was caught just off of his angle. The play never happens if Brooks Orpik doesn’t make an exceptional defensive play where he clears the puck away from the crease, then chases the puck and dumps it along to Chris Kunitz, who then finds Crosby on the 2-on-1 the other way.

As time wound down in the second, tempers flared with 49 seconds left. Tyler Kennedy tripped and fell over the fore-checking Brian Gionta, and proceeded to fall, and land directly onto Fleury’s head. Fleury lay still in the Pittsburgh crease while, behind the net players jostled. Fleury played the final 49 seconds, but did not return for the third period.

Tomas Vokoun picked up where his predecessor left off as he made a handful of big saves, keeping the Canadiens off the board. The Penguins held on and took the 1-0 victory.

GAME NOTES:

  • Brenden Morrow¬†was a non factor in his debut showcase with the Pens showed that he was ready to compete and play some hockey. He went to the dirty areas and wasn’t afraid to stand up for his team.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury has yet to be evaluated. His injury and timetable for return are not definitive at the time.
  • Mark Eaton has yet to lose wearing a Pens uniform this season.
  • Montreal has lost 2 straight, and have yielded the division lead to Boston.

Follow Danny Shirey on twitter @_DSHY

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