Sunday, May 2, 2010

Habs/Penguins Game 2: Halak back as Habs tie series.

After an off performance in Game 1, Jaroslav Halak returned to the Montreal Canadiens net for Game Two and gave a 38-save performance to lead his team to a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins opened the scoring at  4:38 of the first period, putting a backhand shot past Jaroslav Halak.

Montreal replied at 15:48 on Brian Gionta’s fifth goal of the season.

The second period saw the Penguins dominate, outshooting their opponents 18-3. No matter what they tried, they could get nothing past Halak.

The Canadiens defence, led by veteran Hal Gill and rookie P.K. Subban, made things difficult for the Penguins Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, with the former breaking his stick on the Canadiens net.

“They were more aggressive in the neutral zone,” said Crosby. “We got to the offensive zone, but maybe we got a little too fancy.”

Montreal managed to make good on their trio of shots when Mike Cammalleri put the Canadiens ahead, during a power play at 7:29, on a fantastic hand-eye move, batting to puck past Fleury.

Pittsburgh had it’s chances in the third with a pair of power play opportunities to open the final 20 minutes. Again Halak and the bodies in front of him were able to shut down the Penguins attack.

“We can’t fix something that works,” said Canadiens centre Scott Gomez on how the team can get the win despite being badly outshot. “We made the adjustments.(Assistant coach) Kirk Muller went over the tapes from the last game and made it work.”

Cammalleri intercepted a Penguins pass and blew a shot past Fleury to give the Canadiens the insurance marker at 17:06.

Things then got dirty when Pittsburgh’s Craig Adams slammed the Canadiens Marc-Andre Bergeron from behind and into the boards. Adams received a five minute major, for checking from behind, and a game misconduct.

The series in now tied at two and heads to Montreal for Games Three and Four on Tuesday and Thursday respectively.

Games Three Stars: 1. Jaroslav Halak 2. Mike Cammalleri 3. Matt Cooke

Deja-vu in the “A”: The Canadiens AHL affiliate Hamilton Bulldogs managed to tie their series at one with Abbotsford this afternoon with a 3-1 win.

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