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Canadiens head to Game 7 with 4-3 win over Penguins

May 10, 2010, 10:30 PM EDT

Habs3.jpgMontreal Canadiens 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 3

Series tied 3-3

With
all due respect to the diehard, and very vocal, Penguins fans out
there, I wish there was some way the next game could be played right
back at the Bell Centre.

With one of the loudest and most
electric crowds I’ve ever seen backing them the Canadiens stunned the
Penguins with a stellar performance, sending the series back to
Pittsburgh with a big 4-3 in yet another impressive Game 6 performance.
This time Jaroslav Halak didn’t have to be miraculous, merely great, as
the Habs turned in yet another great team performance.

A team
performance is exactly what was needed, as the Canadiens found some way
to keep Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby under control with two of their
top defensemen out and Jarolav Spacek returning from his injury. While
some of the tactics were certainly borderline, the team as a whole did
just enough to constantly frustrate Crosby, especially in the third
period.

What was most impressive was the way the Habs responded to
an early second period surge by the Penguins, one that put Pittsburgh
up 2-1 after Kris Letang’s power play goal. The Habs regrouped and
scored two quick goals of their own, stunning the Penguins and heading
to the second intermission with a 3-2 lead and every ounce of momentum.

The
Penguins would be held in check for most of the third, until Sergei
Gonchar gave the Pens new life with his goal with just over a minute
remaining. Yet with Fleury pulled, the Penguins were unable to muster
another sustained attack and the Habs escaped with another big win.

For
the second time in two rounds, the Montreal Canadiens are headed to a
Game 7 on the road, with the chance to take out Sidney Crosby and the
defending Stanley Cup Champions. Their big victory over Washington in
the first round will give the team all the confidence they’ll need to
win, but you have to think that the Penguins will put up a much tougher
fight than they did tonight.

Sidney Crosby  and Evgeni Malkin have
combined for just two goals and six assists in the series, as the Habs
have focused on taking out the two centers and daring the Penguins’
wingers to beat them. It’s a strategy that overall has worked, and one
that the Canadiens will look to continue to use in Game 7. For the
Penguins, there’s no doubt this team needs more of an effort from its
role players, the Max Talbot’s and the Tyler Kennedy’s and the Bill
Guerin’s.

The Canadiens have proven that it’s not what your
superstars do, it’s what the team does that counts. They’ll try and
prove it once more in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

  1. Mark - May 10, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    The implosion of the Capitals doesn’t look so shocking now. If it wasn’t for Gonchar and the 2nd & 3rd line scoring, this series would be over now. Malkin & Crosby have been all but shut down. I had to laugh on NHL.com when the side headline was “Crosby Busts Out Of Scoring Slump”. Bust Out? One goal does not mean he’s busted out. If these two don’t show up on Wed. it’s over. On the bright side, we might see another Bruins-Habs final. THAT would make for great TV viewing.

  2. Pat - May 10, 2010 at 11:53 PM

    @Mark: Bruins-Habs final? Don’t get carried away. They could meet in the next round but not the final.

  3. Dan Mcgrath - May 11, 2010 at 4:38 AM

    If it wasn,t for the poor refereeing,let the Canadians win its good for the game this would be over and we could watch some talented hockey not mauling this is a poor way to play the gameexample San. and Det..

  4. gary - May 11, 2010 at 8:06 AM

    i saw crosbk as usual take a cheap shot at end of game..he is becoming quite the wuz…

  5. Mark - May 11, 2010 at 8:14 PM

    I ment in the East, Pat. Those days are long gone.

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