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Vitale lifts Pens over Habs

Oct 21, 2011 - 4:19 AM
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Joe Vitale's second period goal turned out to be the game winner as the Pittsburgh Penguins took a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

James Neal and Arron Asham also tallied goals for Pittsburgh, and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 27 shots in the Penguins' second straight win.

Carey Price allowed the three goals on 32 shots in the loss to remain at 99 wins as a member of the Canadiens.

Brian Gionta notched the lone goal for Montreal as the Habs dropped their fourth consecutive game.

Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma liked how his players took control of the game early on and then kept their foot on the pedal.

"In the first (period) we came out very well and dictated the game," said Bylsma, "and then again in the third you saw some real good hockey, some fresh hockey."

Pittsburgh struck first when Steve Sullivan sent a pass from behind the net to Neal at the top of the left circle. Neal then took a shot that hit the left post, bounced off the back of the right leg of Price and trickled across the goal line at the 8:55 mark of the first period.

The Penguins added to their lead early in the second when Vitale got a stick on Matt Niskanen's shot from the right point and deflected it past Price.

Asham then highlighted his 700th career game with a third-period goal that put the game away.

Deryk Engelland's shot from a hard angle in the right corner deflected high into the air off of Price's pad and in front of the net. Asham glided into the slot and batted the disc out of the air, slapping it between the goaltender's legs.

The play was reviewed but Asham managed to keep his stick below the crossbar and the goal was upheld.

"We gotta get on the same page," said Price, who was disappointed that some of his teammates seemed to not be playing well within the system. "We have a day to correct ourselves and then we have to get back in the saddle."

Fleury's potential 20th career shutout was spoiled with just 1:36 left in the game. After winning a faceoff in the Penguins zone, Yannick Weber's slap shot from the left point bounced out of a crowd of players in front of the net, off the right half boards and found its way to Gionta on the right point, whose one-timer sailed under the crossbar on the right corner of the net.

Game Notes

Canadiens defenseman Hal Gill played his 1,000th career game, making him the 38th overall player from the United States to reach that mark and the 15th American defenseman...Canadiens center Scott Gomez left the game in the first period with an upper body injury and did not return...Pittsburgh improved to 2-1-1 on home ice this season.