for this game

Andrei Kostitsyn nets hat trick as Canadiens edge Penguins

Dec 28, 2008 - 5:10 AM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Andrei Kostitsyn enabled the Montreal Canadiens to feel right at home in the first contest of a four-game road trip.

Kostitsyn snapped a six-game goalless streak by recording his first career hat trick and the Canadiens edged the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-2, on Saturday.

Tomas Plekanec registered two assists and Carey Price made 32 saves for Montreal, which began a stretch of playing 11 of its next 15 contests away from the Bell Centre.

"I had to sweat out the turkey from the past couple of days," Price said. "We got a good rest and came in mentally strong. The guys did a pretty good job of keeping all of the rebounds out of their reach, that makes a heck of a difference for me."

Despite missing Friday's practice with a lingering knee injury, Kostitsyn enjoyed a breakout performance after notching only four points in December until this contest.

"It feels better, but it still feels sore when I push off the ice," Kostitsyn said. "When I skate slowly, it's all right."

The Canadiens improved to 8-5-2 as the visitors but all five of those regulation losses have come in their last nine road games, thus making Kostitsyn's presence extremely important.

"Well, that's something we talked about a lot over the last couple of months," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "We want (Kostitsyn) to shoot. I think he has the best shot on our club. He should be ready to shoot from everywhere, and tonight that's all he did. He got good shots right on the net and turned them into goals."

Pascal Dupuis and captain Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist apiece for the Penguins, who failed to notch consecutive victories for the first time in over a month. They have not won two in a row since enjoying a season-high, six-game winning streak from November 1-15.

Pittsburgh netminder Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 16 shots, but had no answer for the scoring prowess of Kostitsyn just one night after posting his first shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

"I liked our effort tonight," Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said. "I thought we deserved better. There are going to be nights when the result is not on your side. Tonight was one of those nights. Carey Price was outstanding and stole the game.

"You want to win at home. You want to make sure you are a good home team. If we keep playing like this, we'll be fine."

After the Penguins erased two one-goal deficits, Kostitsyn secured the hat trick and gave the Canadiens a lead they would not relinquish with a hard slap shot from the right faceoff circle 2:21 into the third period.

Kostitsyn opened the scoring 75 seconds into the game, converting a pass by Plekanec with a wrist shot in front of the net.

Dupuis forged a tie with 5:16 left in first, but Kostitsyn struck again with a hard one-timer from the slot with two seconds remaining in the session.

"We had a lot of scoring chances and I think we deserved to win tonight," Dupuis said. "It was one of those days. Myself, I think I put a lot of pucks on net.

"The big thing is the whole team battled hard tonight. Unfortunately we didn't get the win, but if we work like that every night, I think we'll give ourselves a chance to win."

Pittsburgh pulled even once again as Crosby netted his 15th goal of the season 5:51 into the second.

Dupuis corralled the rebound from defenseman Brooks Orpik's shot and dumped the puck into the left wing corner. Miroslav Satan looked as though he would play the puck, but let it slide onto the stick of Crosby, who was positioned behind the net. Crosby then quickly grabbed the puck and curled around the net, tucking the puck just inside the post for the wrap-around goal.

"I know we lost, but we had a pretty good effort," Crosby said. "We didn't give them much. We had a couple mistakes on the first two goals and the third goal was a pretty good shot. It wasn't really an amazing scoring chance, but it was a good shot. But they really didn't get anything after that, we had a lot of chances to tie it up and even take the lead. Our effort was there.

"You don't want to waste games and certainly with how competitive the league is, even when you play well, sometimes you're not going to win. That happened tonight; we played well but we didn't get the win. It's tough, but hopefully we build off of this."

Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin was held off the scoresheet for the second time in three contests after enjoying a nine-game points streak. The Russian star still leads the NHL with 59 points.

Ruslan Fedotenko, who netted the lone goal against the Devils on Friday, had his six-game points streak come to an end.

"Obviously, when you have an offense like the Penguins have, and especially in the third period when we gave them three power plays, it's never easy," Carbonneau said. "I think (Price) has always been known as a guy who can finish. I think tonight he was ready."






  • 15
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Canadiens 3, Penguins 2  FinalDec 28 5:37 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 0 1 3
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 7 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, JOSH GORGES) 1:15
    PIT - PASCAL DUPUIS 8 (RYAN WHITNEY, SIDNEY CROSBY) 13:44
    MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 8 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, ALEXEI KOVALEV)
    19:58
    2ND PRD: PIT - SIDNEY CROSBY 15 (P

    Dec 27 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    PITTSBURGH 2
    3RD PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 9 (UNASSISTED) 2:21

    Canadiens 3, Penguins 2  3rd - 17:39Dec 27 8:59 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 0 2
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 7 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, JOSH GORGES) 1:15
    PIT - PASCAL DUPUIS 8 (RYAN WHITNEY, SIDNEY CROSBY) 13:44
    MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 8 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, ALEXEI KOVALEV)
    19:58
    2ND PRD: PIT - SIDNEY

    Dec 27 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    PITTSBURGH 2
    2ND PRD: PIT - SIDNEY CROSBY 15 (PASCAL DUPUIS, BROOKS ORPIK) 5:51

    Canadiens 2, Penguins 2  2nd - 14:09Dec 27 8:15 PM
  • 10
    roots
    bouch Added 5 roots

    Canadiens 2, Penguins 1  2nd - 15:56Dec 27 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 2
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 7 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, JOSH GORGES) 1:15
    PIT - PASCAL DUPUIS 8 (RYAN WHITNEY, SIDNEY CROSBY) 13:44
    MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 8 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, ALEXEI KOVALEV)
    19:58
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Dec 27 7:49 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 8 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, ALEXEI KOVALEV)
    19:58

    Canadiens 2, Penguins 1  1st - 0:02Dec 27 7:49 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: PIT - PASCAL DUPUIS 8 (RYAN WHITNEY, SIDNEY CROSBY) 13:44

    Canadiens 1, Penguins 1  1st - 6:16Dec 27 7:40 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    PITTSBURGH 0
    1ST PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 7 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, JOSH GORGES) 1:15

    Canadiens 1, Penguins 0  1st - 18:45Dec 27 7:19 PM
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    aqualung1 Added 5 roots

    Canadiens vs. PenguinsNov 11 11:10 PM