Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Brenden Morrow (10) celebrates his second-period goal with Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Pascal Dupuis (9), as Montreal Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges, centre, skates back to his bench, during an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh Wednesday, April 17, 2013.
Photograph by: Gene Puskar, AP
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins were missing Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Paul Martin and James Neal, but they didn't miss a beat as they completed a three-game season sweep of the Canadiens with a 6-4 victory Thursday at the Consol Energy Center. It marked the first time this season the Canadiens have lost three consecutive games in regulation time.
We're No. 4: The loss left the Canadiens tied in points with the Boston Bruins, who dropped a 3-2 shootout to Buffalo. But the Bruins are first in the Northeast Division because they have played one fewer game. The Canadiens drop to fourth in the Eastern Conference.
Who's in goal? For the third consecutive game, the Canadiens' starting goaltender finished the game on the bench. Peter Budaj saw his seven-game winning streak come to an end when he gave up three goals on nine shots in the first period. He was replaced by Carey Price, who had been yanked in the two previous games.
Newcomers contribute: A couple of late-season additions provided the bulk of the offence for the Penguins. Brenden Morrow scored at 9:30 of the first period to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead and he added his 11th goal of the season when he combined with Beau Bennett on a 2-on-1 break at 4:07 of the second period. Veteran Jarome Iginla scored a power-play goal at 19:38 of the first period. It was his 1,100th NHL point. And defenceman Douglas Murray completed the Pittsburgh scoring with a third-period goal.
Two for Sutter: Brandon Sutter also scored his 10th and 11th goals of the season. He opened the scoring at 7:24 of the first period and added a power-play goal when he scored on a rebound after Price stopped Morrow.
Dupuis on a streak: Laval native Pascal Dupuis assisted on Morrow's first goal to extend his points streak to six games. Dupuis, who has been pressed into service as a centre following the loss of Crosby, has three goals and seven assists in the string.
Rookie watch: Alex Galchenchuk had the prettiest goal of the night when he went top-shelf on Marc-André Fleury and Gabriel Dumont scored his first NHL goal in the third period. But Brendan Gallagher had a tough night. He left the game briefly after stopping a shot by Matt Niskanen late in the first period. He also collected eight penalty minutes, including a double minor for what appeared to be an inadvertent high-sticking on Matt Cooke.
Missing bodies: Michael Ryder didn't travel to Pittsburgh. He is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Also missing is Ryan White, who has been suspended five games for a head shot on Philadelphia's Kent Huskins Monday.
What's next: The Canadiens return to the Bell Centre for their final regular-season home games. They play the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night (7:30 p.m., TSN-Habs, RDS, TSN-690 Radio) while the Washington Capitals are in town Saturday.
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