On Saturday afternoon, the Habs played basically the perfect road game, en
route to blanking the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0. Scoring early and playing
strong defensively was Montreal’s mantra in this one, as Tomas Plekanec scored
just 46 seconds into the game, a goal that eventually proved to be the game
winner. The Habs took that 1-0 lead into the 2nd while allowing on 5
Penguin shots in the first frame.
It was a similar story to start the 2nd, as Travis Moen decided that 46
seconds was too long to get the first goal of a period, scoring just 24 seconds
into the middle stanza. Shortly thereafter, Mike Cammalleri beat
Marc-Andre Fleury on a perfect feed from Jeff Halpern to make it 3-0 and send
Fleury to the showers early. From that, it was all defence and Carey
The Habs’ 3rd period strategy in this one basically involved executing one of
two plays: 1) Get the puck to centre and dump it in, or 2) Get the puck to
Pittsburgh’s blueline and then dump it in. It did work out well for the
Habs though as the Pens never scored, despite a 6-on-4 opportunity in the dying
minutes of the game. Fleury stopped just 9 of 12 Montreal shots, while
Brent Johnson was relatively untested, stopping all 8 shots he faced in over 25
minutes of work. At the other end, Price made 26 saves for his 8th shutout
of the season. Neither team was successful on the powerplay as the Habs
went 0/2 and the Penguins 0/3.
HW 3 Stars of the Afternoon:
1st Star: Carey Price (26 saves on 26 shots, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 SV%)
There were moments when he was relatively untested but when the Penguins got
their chances, he was there to shut the door, ending hopes of a comeback pretty
quickly. Coming off a loss, this was the perfect game to prevent the Habs
from going into a slide.
2nd Star: Mike Cammalleri (1 goal, 1 assist, +2 rating, 4
shots, 18:01 TOI)
There’s something about playing against Pittsburgh that just seems to get him
going. He was in a slump heading into the game but it was evident pretty
early that Cammalleri brought his ‘A’ game to the table, setting up the eventual
winner while getting to the slot to score what basically was the backbreaker.
3rd Star: Roman Hamrlik (0 points, +3 rating, 1 shot, 7 blocks,
It may be just me, but it seemed as if Hamrlik was never out of position in
this game. He left the offensive game to Wisniewski and just focused on
playing a sound defensive game and wound blocking as many shots as the entire
Pittsburgh team combined.
Honourable Mention: Tomas Plekanec (1 goal, +1 rating, 4 shots,
9/14 faceoffs (64%), 17:51 TOI)
His usual road woes didn’t follow him into this game. He had the early
goal in the 1st, was the Habs’ best option on the draw, and just played a sound
two-way game, the one we’ve come to expect from him.
Stats of the Afternoon: As noted earlier, Cammalleri seems to
love playing Pittsburgh. He has now scored 3 goals in 3 games vs the Pens
this year and 10 in the last 10 games dating back to the playoffs. It was
the 8th shutout for Price this season, the highest single season total for any
Hab goalie since Ken Dryden in 1977.