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May 6, 2010
by trib

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Canadiens win, 3-2

Behind third-period goals by Maxim Lapierre and Brian Gionta, the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Penguins, 3-2, in Game 4 on Thursday night at Bell Centre.

Their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series is now even at 2-2.

May 6, 2010
by trib

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Canadiens take 3-2 lead

Now, it’s really noisy.

Bell Centre is rocking after Brian Gionta scored the go-ahead goal, shooting a puck that ricocheted off Penguins defenseman Kris Letang’s skate and skipped past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury at 3:40 of the third period.

The Canadiens now lead, 3-2.

And to make matters worse for the Penguins, Montreal has a power play after Matt Cooke was called for tripping.

May 6, 2010
by trib

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Lapierre ties it

Bell Centre is going crazy, as the Canadiens have tied it at 2-2 on a third-period goal by Maxim Lapierre.

Lapierre scored his second playoff marker at 2:07, picking up the rebound off a Mathieu Darche miss, circling behind the net and slipping the puck behind the right skate of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Darche and Marc-Andre Bergeron assisted.

May 6, 2010
by trib

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Pens set furious pace

After taking only three shots in the first period in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against Montreal Tuesday night at Bell Centre the Penguins came out guns ablaze.

They fired 15 shots on net, to the Canadiens’ 6.

More to the point, the Penguins also had 10 attempts blocked and six others that missed their target. Montreal had two shots blocked and one miss.

Sidney Crosby and Matt Cooke took three shots each, as the Penguins set a furious tempo by taking the play to the Canadiens’ end early after falling into a 1-0 deficit.

Here’s another important statistical line: one Penguins center played 3:26 of ice time on six shifts, taking one shot, having another blocked, with one hit, one takeaway while going 2-0 on face-offs.

It belongs to Jordan Staal, who made a surprising return from surgery Friday night to repair a severed tendon in his right big toe.

May 6, 2010
by trib

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Penguins take 2-1 lead

It took 41 minutes, 16 seconds for either team to score in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series at Bell Centre.

Tonight, before you could blink, the Canadiens and Penguins scored within a span of 1:03 of each other.

Then, the Penguins tallied again.

Center Tom Pyatt gave Montreal a 1-0 lead at 2:34 on a wrister from the left half-boards, his first point of the playoffs. Winger Max Talbot answered with an unassisted goal, his second of the playoffs, a backhander on a two-on-one breakaway with Evgeni Malkin to tie it at 1-1 at 3:27.

That play was sparked when Ruslan Fedotenko sprawled out to poke the puck away from rookie defenseman PK Subban at the Canadiens’ blue line.

Chris Kunitz gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead on a power-play goal, his third of the playoffs. Kunitz shot it from the slot after a behind-the-net feed from Sidney Crosby, who increased his playoffs scoring lead to 17 points.

May 6, 2010
by trib

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Spitting into the wind

That wasn’t Superman skating with the Penguins.
But here’s a warning from Trib beat writer Rob Rossi:
Don’t tug on Jordan Staal’s sweater.
The status of both Staal and winger Bill Guerin for Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series at Montreal remains undecided.
If and when Staal returns, don’t be surprised if he’s wearing these.
In the meantime, Mark Letestu has come to the Penguins’ rescue.
The stars of the 2-0 victory in Game 3, however, were undoubtedly Marc-Andre Fleury, who recorded a hometown shutout and Evgeni Malkin, who got back to scoring goals.
That’s where the Canadiens came up empty.
The victory kept the Penguins perfect on the road.
But bad news could be waiting at home, columnist Joe Starkey writes, if NBC keeps ruining the Pens’ outdoor party.
Follow more on “Sitting Rinkside” tonight for Game 4.

May 4, 2010
by trib

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Malkin PP goal gives Pens 1-0 lead

Geno answered the Bell.

Evgeni Malkin ended his four-game goal-less streak with a power-play goal at 1:16 of the third period, giving the Penguins a 1-0 lead in Game 3 against Montreal with a one-timer from the right point.

Sergei Gonchar and Alex Goligoski assisted.

The goal was Malkin’s fifth in the playoffs and fourth on the advantage.

May 4, 2010
by trib

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Second period ends in scrum

The Penguins missed a couple of prime scoring chances — and an opportunity to break a scoreless tie — in the final minutes of the second period of Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal at Bell Center.

They took out their frustration on the Canadiens as time expired.

Sidney Crosby missed a wrister from the right circle and Evgeni Malkin a shot from the slot on a power play with 2.6 seconds remaining. Montreal defenseman Hal Gill was called for holding with 11.7 seconds left.

Following a faceoff, Crosby fell near the net and remained on his knees, holding his helmet. When Montreal defenseman Roman Hamrlik skated toward Crosby and bumped the Penguins captain, Malkin and winger Chris Kunitz came to Crosby’s defense and started a wild scrum.

Kunitz grabbed Hamrlik. Malkin tangled with Brian Gionta, Crosby with Scott Gomez and Kris Letang with Josh Gorges.

For their part, Letang and Gorges drew two-minute roughing penalties.

May 4, 2010
by trib

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Cooke misses breakaway

When he beat Montreal defenseman Ryan O’Byrne to a puck on the right-wing boards, Matt Cooke found himself on a breakaway against Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Cooke, who has four playoff goals, beat Halak on a forehand-to-backhand shot for the Penguins’ lone goal in Game 2. This time, the lefty-shooting winger stuck with a wrist shot at 6:20 of the second period.

Halak stopped it with his leg pads to keep the score knotted at 0-0.

May 4, 2010
by trib

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Pens, Habs tied at 0-0

The first period of Game 3 ended in a scoreless tie.

The Penguins should be thankful for that.

They were outshot, 7-5, in the first frame, as the Canadiens had several scoring chances in the final three minutes: Michael Cammelleri missed the net wide right on a breakaway in which he crossed over on defenseman Mark Eaton.

Moments later, Maxim Lapierre hit the crossbar.

Another shot slid past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury near the goal line.

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