Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins scores past Carey Price of the Canadiens in the second period during the game at Consol Energy Center on January 22, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Penn.
Photograph by: Justin K. Aller, Getty Images
PITTSBURGH — Jussi Jokinen scored twice and superstars Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby each had a goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins crushed the Canadiens 5-1 Wednesday at the Consol Energy Center. Montreal won the opening match in the season series at the Bell Centre on Nov. 23, but that was when the Canadiens were playing their best hockey of the season.
Jumping ahead: The Penguins opened the scoring at 8:48 of the first period when the Canadiens failed to clear the puck and that resulted in a 2-on-1 rush with Malkin setting up Jokinen for an easy goal. Pittsburgh went up 2-0 on the power play at 16:28 when Taylor Pyatt tipped Matt Niskanen’s shot from the blue line. Carey Price got his glove on the deflection but he couldn’t hold on to it.
Breaking away: The Penguins added three more goals and Michel Therrien did Price a favour by replacing him with Peter Budaj at 15:03 of the second. Jokinen scored his second goal of the game at 5:56 when his shot took a crazy bounce off Josh Gorges’s skate. Crosby made it 4-1 when he redirected Kris Letang’s shot from the blue line on a power play. Malkin ended Price’s net when he went around Andrei Markov and tried to jam the puck past Price. The goalie made the save but Malkin stuck with it and scored on the rebound.
Specialty items: The Penguins are No. 1 in the NHL on the power play and on the penalty kill and they improved their record in both areas. The Penguins were 2-for-5 on the power play and killed off the three Montreal power plays.
Break for Bourque: Things haven’t been going Rene Bourque’s way over the past month but a video review allowed him to end a 13-game point drought. Bourque took a pass from Daniel Brière and lifted a puck over Marc-André Fleury’s blocker at 17:40 of the first period, but referee François St. Laurent waved off the goal and play continued. When play was stopped 40 seconds later, the play was reviewed in Toronto and the replay showed the puck hitting the net camera and bouncing out.
Useless stat of the night: Price became the first Canadiens’ goaltender to give up four goals in five consecutive road games since Paul Bibeau was lit up during the 1942-43 season.
Useless action of the night: A scrum in front of the net led to a lot of pushing and shoving but the nonsense reached the ridiculous stage when goaltenders Budaj and Fleury left their creases. They were restrained by the linemen before they had a chance to embarrass themselves by fighting.
What’s next: The Canadiens are in Detroit to play the Red Wings Friday (7:30 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN-690 Radio) and return home Saturday to face the Washington Capitals.
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