PITTSBURGH — David Desharnais scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Canadiens a 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night at the Consol Energy Center.
Back and forth: The game was a roller-coaster from start to finish and the Canadiens came from behind twice in the third period to force overtime. The Penguins appeared to take control of the game when Brandon Sutter took the puck off P.K. Subban and scored a short-handed goal for a 4-3 lead at 7:16. But Alexei Emelin scored 24 seconds later on a shot from the blue line. Sidney Crosby put the Penguins ahead with a power-play goal at 10:29, but Tanner Glass left the door open when he took a major penalty for elbowing Emelin and Daniel Brière tied the score with his second goal of the game at 14:06.
All even after two: Brière displayed his sweet hands as he picked the far top corner to pull the Canadiens even at 2-2 early in the second period. The teams then traded power-play goals to finish the period tied 3-3. Olli Määttä scored with a laser from the blue line at 10:38 and Max Pacioretty answered with his 27th goal of the season at 16:35.
Tough start for Budaj: Peter Budaj allowed the Canadiens to steal a point Wednesday against Detroit, but he struggled during the first period as the Penguins scored twice and came close to a third goal. James Neal tied the score at 1-1 when he stepped outside defenceman Subban and beat Budaj to the short side at 8:23 of the first period. Budaj got a piece of the puck, but it trickled past him. Neal set up Deryk Engelland for the go-ahead goal, which eluded Budaj’s glove hand at 15:48. Between the goals, Neal put a shot through Budaj’s pads, but the hockey gods were smiling on the Canadiens because the puck hit a goalpost.
Hangin’ out with Gally: Brendan Gallagher was in his usual space in front of the Penguins’ goal when he opened the scoring at 4:57 of the first period. Desharnais’s pass to Pacioretty went off a defender in front, but the puck came out to Gallagher and he put it behind Marc-André Fleury.
What’s next: The Canadiens are back home to play the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday and then head off to the wild west. The Canadiens play in Los Angeles on Monday, Anaheim on Wednesday. Phoenix on Thursday and San Jose on Saturday.
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