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Habs nip Pens in SO as Crosby sits out

Jan 7, 2011 - 5:17 AM
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Benoit Pouliot scored the only goal of the five-round shootout to lift Montreal past Pittsburgh, 2-1, at Bell Centre.

Pouliot scored in regulation for the Canadiens, who got 31 saves from Carey Price to win for a second time in their last three games.

"It's a huge win because Pittsburgh is one of the top teams in the East and they're always tough," Pouliot said about the victory. "I didn't have much success in other shootouts so I tried something else. You try to go slow and try to get the goalie to move with you. He could have saved it but I was just happy we got the win."

The win comes after Montreal found out earlier in the day that defenseman Josh Gorges has a right-knee injury that will require season-ending surgery.

Arron Asham netted the only goal for the Penguins, who have dropped three of their last four games. Brent Johnson turned aside 22 shots in defeat for the visitors, who stayed one point ahead of Philadelphia for the Atlantic Division lead and top spot in the Eastern Conference with the point beyond regulation.

Pittsburgh played without captain Sidney Crosby, who was sent home with an upper-body injury. Following the contest, Pens head coach Dan Bylsma revealed that the NHL goals and points leader suffered a mild concussion and will miss about a week.

Following four scoreless rounds in the shootout, Pouliot went forehand to backhand to slide the puck past a sprawled Johnson. Price then denied a Chris Kunitz wrister to sew up the victory.

"I was just trying to stay out and wishing my legs were four inches longer," Johnson said about the shootout goal. "Pouliot made a good move. I have to give him credit. I wish I hadn't bit so much."

The Penguins got on the board just 2:14 into the game following an icing that gave them an offensive zone faceoff.

Maxime Talbot won the draw to Alex Goligoski, who sent the disc back to the point from where Ben Lovejoy blasted a slapshot that Price stopped. However, Asham was there to pounce on the rebound at the right doorstep and tuck it home.

The Canadiens tied the game with 7 1/2 minutes left in the second period.

Mathieu Darche knocked down a loose puck at the side of the net and his shot from right in front was turned away by Johnson. Pouliot collected the rebound and roofed a shot over the netminder to the glove side.

Game Notes

This was Montreal's first home win beyond regulation against Pittsburgh since a 4-3 decision in overtime on February 4, 2007...Price improved to 6-4-0 in 11 career games against the Penguins...Thursday was the first shootout of the season for the Canadiens, who were 0-for-5 on the power play...Johnson fell to 0-5-0 in six meetings with Montreal...The Penguins will make their next and last visit of the regular season to Bell Centre in six days.