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The Montreal Canadiens concluded their season series against the Pittsburgh
Penguins tonight, losing all 3 games to the Eastern Conference leaders. 
The slumping Canadiens, playing without regulars such as Michael Ryder, Alexei
Emelin, Raphael Diaz, and Colby Armstrong, picked up where they left off,
quickly falling behind against the opportunistic Penguins.  The Penguins
scored 3 in the first period, one on the powerplay, as Peter Budaj finally
looked like a backup goalie in stopping only 6 of 9 shots.  Despite putting
Carey Price in net in the 2nd, the Habs didn’t fare much better, but did get
goals from Brian Gionta and Alex Galchenyuk despite giving up another 2 goals to
Pittsburgh.  The Canadiens briefly drew within two goals with Gabriel
Dumont’s first NHL goal, but quickly returned to a 3-goal deficit after a
Douglas Murray shot ended his goalless streak after bouncing off two Canadiens
and into the net.  Andrei Markov scored a goal with 10 seconds left in the
game to minimize the shame of the lopsided defeat.

HW 3 Stars of the Night

1st Star: Alex Galchenyuk – The rookie continued his hot streak of
late, scoring his 5th goal in 7 games.  With the Canadiens struggling
recently, Galchenyuk has elevated his game and has been playing with a physical
edge.  His goal, a preview of things to come as his skills come to
fruition, is likely something that Habs’ fans will be treated to for years to
come.  With the veteran forwards struggling, it’d be nice to see the rookie
afforded more ice-time, as he only saw 9:45 of playing time (2nd last on the

2nd Star: Lars Eller – One of the few Canadiens to finish the game
with a positive plus/minus +2, Eller distanced himself from most of the other
Montreal players by putting forth an effort all game long.  Given his
recent tendency to outplay other Montreal centers *cough* David Desharnais
, one has to wonder when Eller will be given more ice-time by Michel

3rd Star: Gabriel Dumont – Dumont drew into the lineup with Ryan While
sitting due to suspension, and he arguably had his best NHL game.  Tallying
his first NHL goal was undoubtedly the highlight of his game, but Dumont
contributed in more categories than simply goals.  His 4 shots were second
on the team and his 3 hits were tied for first.  Moreover, Dumont didn’t
shy away from any physical play and ended a +1 on the night.

Honourable Mention: Brian Gionta – Despite a cold streak (1 assist in
5 games), The Canadiens’ captain did his best to lead by example.  Gionta
didn’t quit on any play, and most sustained pressure in the offensive zone was
at least partially due to him.  His goal ended Pittsburgh’s run and
breathed life into his team.