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Sidney Crosby, Penguins fall short against Canadiens 5-2

May 12, 2010, 10:15 PM EDT

habsbeatpens.jpgThe Montreal Canadiens have become experts at “stealing” victories thanks to conservative defense, great goaltending and timely offense. Tonight, however, the Pittsburgh Penguins practically dropped victory in their laps.

Montreal Canadiens 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 2

Canadiens win series 4-3

Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury set the tone for the game … the only problem was that they set the wrong tone. Crosby took a foolish boarding penalty 10 seconds into the game and Fleury allowed a goal on that powerplay only 32 seconds in. Crosby ended up with a -2 rating in Game 7 while Fleury didn’t even make it past the second period after allowing 4 back-breaking goals.

Let’s not to take anything away from the Habs’ spirited performance, though. Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta were amazing in the series, scoring an astounding 11 goals between them in those seven games. Jaroslav Halak had yet another great elimination game performance, making some huge third period saves to maintain what was then a two-goal lead. Halak is now an outstanding 5-0 in do-or-die games this playoffs. While I think that the Penguins shot themselves in the foot multiple times in this game, the Habs showed killer instinct time and time again to make them pay for almost every mistake.

Montreal awaits the winner of the Flyers-Bruins series, which heads to a Game 7 of its own after Philadelphia defeated Boston 2-1 in Game 6. Whether it is the Bruins or the Flyers, the Habs may actually find themselves in an unfamiliar position: as the prohibitive favorites.

The Penguins closed out the Mellon Arena with an up-and-down game (or is it a down-slightly up-then down again game?). Pens fans should have mixed feelings about this season. The negative view is that the team had a golden opportunity for a stunning third consecutive Stanley Cup Finals run but couldn’t get past the underdog Canadiens or their own errors. That being said, you’d have to be a pretty spoiled fan to expect them to make it there year after year. The team has issues to address – the unrestricted free agent status of Sergei Gonchar is the first thing that comes to mind – but they also still have their young nucleus in place. Despite highs and lows Crosby, Fleury, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal will live to fight another day.

Does that mean they ended their season without regrets? No, there’s certainly reason to ask “What if?” but the bottom line is that they couldn’t crack the Canadiens code. Give the Habs credit, though; they earned this win.

  1. Mark - May 12, 2010 at 11:53 PM

    This series loss is on Crosby & Malkin. Neither showed up today or really any game in the series. Fleury played over his head the entire series and kept them in, but he was due for a bad night and it came. Crosby’s one goal in seven games killed them. Ovechkin had five goals and five assists against the Habs and took a huge amount of press heat for the loss. He manned up to it on camera and took responsibility for their loss but I doubt if Crosby will even admit his massive role in their implosion (the press won’t hound him like Ovechkin either). If the Habs-Capitals series ruined Ovechkin’s Hart chances, what will Crosby’s be after this?
    Cudos to the Habs, who played gutsy, smart hockey against two of the most explosive offenses in the league. They’ll finally get a much deserved rest before their next challange.

  2. Kevin - May 13, 2010 at 12:51 AM

    I am a huge Pens fan and a hockey fan in general. I give Montreal all the credit in the world for what they have done so far and I don’t think they are done yet. I think that as a team, the Pens were inconsistent in every aspect of their game all season long, but especially in the playoffs. I think the responsibility for the loss of this series has to be on Crosby, malkin, the horrible defense and the powerplay. Yes, Fleury had some miscues, but he was hung out to dry more than I can ever remember. This is a team game and you win together, you lose together, but Crosby and Malkin cannot be overlooked. I agree with you Mark, that Ovechkin was hounded by the media, but Crosby has been too. He has come out and said that he has not played well and he has taken responsiblity for that. Congratulations to Montreal. I hope you guys go out and win the cup. Great series.

  3. Gerald - May 13, 2010 at 3:24 AM

    Poor N.uttin B.ut C.rosby. Your poster boy is out. As a Wing fan, I just can’t wipe the smile off my face. Is Bettman out on a ledge ready to jump? Watch the Pens cry to get rid of the salary cap, they so LOVED when it bit the Wings. Go Habs! I hope this parity gives YOU a parade. So NBC, how many Crosby commercials are we going to have to endure from you now?

  4. JF - May 13, 2010 at 6:38 AM

    So pens fans, if ovechkin choked in their series against the habs with 5 goals and 5 assists, what exactly would you call what crosby did, 1 goal and 4 assists. OV had 1 goal and 3 assists in game 2. As Mark said crosby wont receive the flack that OV did which is unfair. OV’s teammates let him down, whereas Crosby let his teammates down. Crosby might have some hardware but its mostly because of his teammates, in none of these tournaments was he the MVP. So much for crosby clearly being the best player.

  5. tuxkevin - May 13, 2010 at 7:52 AM

    Awww … I guess Bettman couldn’t tweak the schedule in their favor this year.
    I’m not a Wings fan, but I still can’t believe that the league (NHL) took away the rest days before the Cup Finals last year. Completely changed the dynamic of that series. Didn’t allow injured Wings time to recover (which they deserved to do, because they won in less than 7 in the Conference Finals). It is a credit to the depth of Detroit that they managed to keep it going until they ran out of gas.
    Does the NBA “tweak” the schedule downward for the networks?
    Maybe Bettman can make it all better next year, Sidney.
    I never really minded the Pens and Mario – but then, Mario won without help and hype. Crosby is good, but he’s just not like Mario and Wayne – but the league sure acts like he is.

  6. Fecteau - May 13, 2010 at 8:27 AM

    I don’t think I disagree with anything in this comment!

  7. Fecteau - May 13, 2010 at 8:43 AM

    I’m just so glad that the Penguins lost! All that trash talk from so many Pittsburgh fans, some of which were at some or maybe even ALL FOUR regular season losses against the Caps this year!!!! Oh, the Caps suck, they got knocked out by the lowly Montreal Canadians… SO DID THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS! NO MORE TRASH TALK Bitches!!!!!!
    And for the record, now that you saw your team go down to the Canadians, you can see that they’re not all that lowly… They actually look a lot like the Montreal Canadians of 1993, which was the last time the Habs won the Cup.
    I was certain, however, that after the Patrick Roy fiasco happened that the Habs had a curse like the Boston Red Sox. The year they trade Roy was right before his 10 year anniversary of coming into the league and winning the Cup, the team that traded for him won the Cup (Colorado) AND it broke up their 5 decade run of winning a Cup in a year ending in 6 (86, 76, 66, 56, 46 were all Canadian Cup Winning years!)
    I could be wrong about that though. And part of me hopes that I am…

  8. Wyosig - May 13, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    what exactly have the caps won…. ever…. in their whole existence…. besides the douche bag lottery when they drafted Ovchokin. Looking forward to knocking the caps out of the playoffs next year. Good series Montreal and good luck to your continued success because you deserve it.

  9. SabreDog - May 13, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    Great to see Pittsburgh lose. Sick of watching Sindy cry to the referees after every play. Sick of hearing the announcers blather on about every regular play Sindy makes being the greatest play ever. Sick of hear people say Fleury is a great goalie, as he has generally let his team down at critical times at every level of hockey he has played in. Sick of seeing Malkin’s mother. Sick of watching Orpik cheap shot everyone and never get called. Sick of watching the refs and the league give Pittsburgh every advantage.
    Habs, I raise a frost glass of Molson’s in your honor!!!!

  10. Tom - May 13, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    I live in Indy so the only hockey team I have is in the USHL. Funny how I am seeing people here complaining about the horrible Pitt fans but the other fans seem to act just like them. Maybe everyone is passionate about their home teams. Just a thought… Oh yea, if the refs were working for Pitt why did they lose? I think everyone needs to stop whining. Habs played a great series and my hats off to them!

  11. skico267 - May 13, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    Well….this is about the only thing that can comfort my depression over my Wings being eliminated. I don’t hate the Pens but I HATE the fact that Bettman is constantly trying to shove Sid the Kid down everyones throats. He needs to mature a bit before he deserves to be poster boy of anything. Still can’t believe he snubbed Lidstrom on the handshake last year. Anyways, after this it’s all Habs – I’m now cheering for them to win it all.

  12. PolegoJim - May 13, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    Totally agree Mark. This is where Kid Sid’s immense level immaturity and lack of sportsmanship will shine through yet again.
    Even during the sacred handshake, a time of mutual respect, he’s yelling to team mates. The boy just doesn’t grasp anything past his shining face on a billboard, and is why I enjoy seeing him checked hard, played tight, and LOSE.
    Until that changes, my second favorite team will ALWAYS be whoever is playing the Pens.
    That was most definitely not always the case.

  13. A different Tom - May 13, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    They lost because they didn’t play well, and the Canadiens played great.

  14. pitthockeyfan - May 13, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    You Crosby haters are all a bunch of morons. He’s done nothing but been an ambassador to the game of hockey since joining the league. He works hard, he’s not dirty, he’s a great two way player, and he keeps getting better as evidenced by this season (51 goals scored). Also, he’s never been suspended for being a wreckless head hunter (like Ovechkin). He’s never done anything to deserve the treatment he gets from idiotic fans. In the old days great players used to be respected even if they were with the rival team. Gretzky and Lemieux never were hated and boo’d. This new generation of sports fans are punks and uneducated. Grow up people!

  15. beth - May 13, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    Boo Hoo Syd the kid. He doesn’t deserve another cup, until he grows up and becomes a real leader. Not a poor sport. He has shown nothing but unsportsman like conduct since they lost to the wings 2 years ago. He doeasn’t deserve to be captain. He isn’t mature enough to handle what the job is. He’s no Mario or Stevie Y. Face it penguins your captain needs to grow up!!!!!!!

  16. skico267 - May 13, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    Uneducated? Nice try. Most educated fans will give credit where credit is due. Is Crosby an amazing player? YES. But his sportsmanship leaves something to be desired, which is why I do not believe he needs to be the new “face” of the NHL. Your defensiveness just makes you sound like a sore loser, buddy.

  17. dtf3 - May 13, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    pitthockeyfan,
    Except why in his first couple years in the league he was voted by the PLAYERS as the biggest on-ice complainer? And him being too IMMATURE to realize his role as a captain last year and get to the hand-shake line.

  18. hockeyrules - May 13, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    This guy hit it right on the head! What’s not to like about Crosby? He’s articulate, humble, always gracious. He plays incredibly hard all the time and has incredible vision and skill. HE hasn’t claimed to be anything, so all you haters need to direct your venom elsewhere. The people who complain about him whining are morons who obviously haven’t watched him play since his first season in the league. He used to be relatively weak on faceoffs, now he’s one of the best. Used to be criticized for not scoring more goals, now he leads the league. The kid is 22 years old and the abuse he takes without flinching is abhorent (sorry morons, that means really bad). Give the kid a break, he does and has done absolutely nothing to be so villified.

  19. hockeyrules - May 13, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    I’ll say this about Pittsburgh fans- they know how to act. When the Red Wings won the Cup two years ago in Pittsburgh the Pens fans stood and cheered- and stayed for the ceremony and cheered the Red Wings for their victory. Class all the way. Last year when the Pens won on Wings ice the pathetic Red Wings fans immediately showered everyone with boos, mostly their own team I guess. And don’t give me any nonsense about them booing Crosby. The booing started immediately with the horn and most of those idiots didn’t even stay for the ceremony. It was embarrassing for a so called hockey town. Last night I noticed the Pens fans again staying and applauding their losing team for a wonderful season. It’s enough to make anyone become a Pens fan! Pittsburghers are obviously a class act.

  20. pitthockeyfan - May 13, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    Well said hockeyrules. That was another point I was going to make. And as for me being called a sore loser previously, the Canadians deserved their victory. It was well earned. I’ll be pulling for them to make the finals. Whether it’s against the Bruins or Flyers it’s going to be tough to beat Halak.

  21. Pittrocks - May 13, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    I whole-heartedly agree. Every time Crosby is interviewed he acknowledges and credits the opposing team. He is not at all arrogant or egotistical. He is very young and displays true mature professionalism. Not like another Pittsburgh sports figure who will remain nameless. As for Montreal…a respectful congratulations. They played smart hockey. That was the last hockey game to be played at Mellon Arena. A new era of success will begin next year at the Consol Energy Center, and just like the nineties…playoff domination of the Washington Caps will continue.

  22. frank - May 13, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    Sadly to say everyone writing here is completely forgetting about the two powerhouses playing in the Western Conference finals. The Sharks have been the most consistent team this year in the regular season & in the playoffs, in a year in the NHL where incosistency has been the rule. They also have knocked out the Western Conference champs the last two years in five games. By the way I am from Pittsburgh. As much as I’d like to see the Canadiens team that knocked us out of the playoffs win the Cup, I don’t even see them getting to the Cup Finals, let alone beating the Blackhawks or Sharks. We’ll see how well the Canadiens do when they get roughed up a bit by Philly or Boston, or how well Halak will do when Philly or Boston rough up their small defensemen & their afraid to clear the crease? It’s the West’s turn to win the Cup anyhow, so Bettman will make it happen. By the way all the games are scripted anyhow, so it doesn’t matter what we think!

  23. Paul - May 13, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    Actually Crosby impressed me this series. He creates a lot of things for other players – more than I realized. He’s not just a goal scorer, and question whether anyone who is looking at just that stat really understands hockey.
    Malkin was a liability for the Penguins all series, and Gonchar certainly was last night. Malkin looks frustrated, and the more frustrated he gets, the more he holds the puck and tries to make plays where there aren’t opportunities. Gonchar last night almost looked like he was paid off by someone to help his team lose – I mean, it was so bad it was almost Black Sox obvious.
    I also was surprised at the Habs, thinking they only had some defensive tenacity and a hot goalie coming out of the Caps series. Cammalleri and Gionta are for real as scoring threats, and Gill is just a presence out there. Don’t care about the seed – this Montreal team could lift the cup (though my money is on Chicago).

  24. Shell - May 13, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    I totally agree with you! After having Crosby shoved down our throats by the NHL, NBC, & Versus- how sweet it is to have Crosby gone! Even after the Habs won, the spotlight was on Crosby. Bettmen wanted the Wings out of the playoffs & the fans wanted Pittsburgh (i.e. Crosby) out- makes us even, Bettmen.

  25. AM - May 13, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    If you are all such die hard hockey fans, you should simply be glad that a talented, well spoken young man is willing to take on the load to promote hockey. He’s a great player but more than that, he’s doing a great job of promoting the game. Bashing him constantly is a bit much. Wouldn’t it be nice if more hockey was shown on regular tv? It’s never going to happen unless it’s promoted more and, good or bad, Crosby and Ovechkin are a big draw. Both being out of the finals now isn’t good for hockey as a whole. As a side note, Crosby seems like a really nice guy, boring as hell in interviews, fun to watch.

  26. dtf3 - May 13, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    I have to respond to the comment on the Red Wings fans after the Cup last year. DO you know what really was going on? First, MANY fans did stay and cheer for the cup ceremony. The Boos… The biggest Boos were for Gary Betteman for exactly the reasons stated in much of this discussion. Right or wrong, many Red WIngs fans feel Betteman is anti-Red Wing in his support of promoting individual players instead of great teams/organizations. There was much hatred directed toward him for changing the schedule last year which ultimately was a negative for the Red Wings. The fans booed when Crosby did not come to the Hand shake line. Yes, he was celebrating. A mature captain would have realized his first obligaiton was to be a captain. Other teamates were able to stop their celebration and get in line. What do you tihnk the reaciton would have been in Pittsburgh the revious year if Crosby was standing waiting for Lindstrom? The Red Wings fans cheere dtheir team and the Penguins. The boos were directed at Betteman and Crosby’s immaturaty

  27. chris - May 13, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    @pitthockeyfan: What’s worse? Being dirty, or being a whiner? Nice dive he had there yesterday when he was around Gill to get a PP when it mattered. There is nothing dirtier than whining to refs and taking dives. I’m canadian and I don’t like him. Canadians wish Ovechkin was Canadian because he plays like one, and Crosby was Russian because he plays like one. The only friends I have that like Crosby are the ones who don’t play hockey. They see him on the billboards and think “oooh, ahhh”. Any canadian who plays hockey know that Crosby doesn’t play right.

  28. Erek - May 13, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    YES! loved the comment. bout time someone realized NBC is all up sydney cry baby’s ass. also nice to see another Wings fan tellin it. We may have got beat out before they did but its still so nice to see the Pens get beat out. Also nice to see cry baby’s face afterwards.

  29. pitthockeyfan - May 13, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Enough with the “handshake” comments. Sheesh! And you guys call Crosby a whiner and immature. As I said in my earlier post, grow up hockey fans. Let it go! My goodness. Get a clue guys. Have you ever watched a Crosby game in your life? If you had you’d know that there is no reason for all of your lunacy. And enough of your conspiracy theories. Although, I must admit. These comments do make for good theater. I can’t stop laughing at you morons.

  30. pitthockeyfan - May 13, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    I’m not surprised you’re canadian. You canadian hockey fans aren’t exactly rocket scientists. I got a good glimpse of that in games 3 in Montreal. Somebody needs to tell those Montreal fans that hockey is a contact sport. Everytime one of their precious Canadian players got hit they were on their feet booing and wanting a penalty called. Things got so pathetic that there were at least two or three instances when one of their players would just slip and fall and the fans were on their feet want a penalty called. THERE WASN’T A PENS PLAYER WITHIN A COUPLE FEET OF THE CANADIAN!!! I rank the Canadian fans right up there with the dumbest of dumb fans along with Red Wings fans. Wings fans did the same thing last year in the finals. Talk about uneducated fans. Time to go back to school and take hockey 101.

  31. Anonymous - May 13, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    pitthockeyfan, Hum, yes I have watched Crosby play – I am from the Pittsburgh area. The handhsake is relavent because it showed he was not mature enough to be captain at the time – not a comment on his being a bad person or player. He is a great player, but there is a reason PLAYERS voted him biggest complainer early in his career – although he has improved. Calling Crosby an on-ice complainer is not saying he is not a great player. WHy is it you can dismiss all negative things about the Pneguins, but not about other teams? You are just like everyone else here, your team can do no wrong and are all perfect and everyone’s else players and fans are jerks. And I think you are naive if you do not think Gary Betteman was rooting SECRETLY for the Penguins and Crosby last year. I don;t think anyone said he does anything to purposely hurt any team, but the Red WIngs fans and players felt it was bush league what he did last year. If the NHL is so desparate to move that game, then the league is in big trouble.

  32. R E S P E C T - May 13, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    When Sindy can act on NHL ice like Jonathan Bryan Toews, than he will earn the respect of fans from all over the league. But Buttman and the spinners have crowned the prince of whining and he gets what he deserves… it’s just that sad.

  33. pitthockeyfan - May 13, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    Apparently anonymous didn’t have guts enough to give him or herself a name. Ashamed of being from the Pittsburgh area since they lost. I’m proud to be a Pens fan! Perhaps you didn’t see my earlier post you idiot. I gave the Canadians a lot of credit for beating the Pens. The Pens got their butts kicked and it all started ten seconds into the game when Crosby took an undisciplined penalty. It was all downhill from there. What is not tolerable is the constant hate mongering on Crosby. It’s amazing what jealousy can do to sports fans. There isn’t a hockey fan out there that wouldn’t want Crosby on their team. And if they said that they wouldn’t, they’re a damn liar. I’m actually honored that so many people have directed many of their Crosby hating comments at me. Thanks for all the responses. Keep them coming. You people are really entertaining me.

  34. chris - May 13, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    A stadium of 20,000 is typically comparable to any other stadium of 20,000 people. Cut from the same cloth, and will act nearly the same. When you’ve got a crowd really into a game, their cheers and amplified as are their boos. Something they like gets a cheer, something they don’t gets a boo.
    Back to the point. Crosby is a great player. I don’t know a single Canadian that wasn’t cheering his overtime goal a few months back at the olympics. But we dislike his whining and constant complaining to refs. Listen up to Don Cherry and start playing the Canadian way.
    Just like I can’t argue the point that Crosby is a great player because that would be ridiculous, the same goes for you when it comes to Crosby and that he should whine a little less and play.

  35. Anonymous - May 13, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    Some people really have a lot of time on their hands! I wouldn’t want to be paying your wages when you are online half the day pitthockeyfan!

  36. Joe - May 13, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    The Pens were looking beyond ever team in the Eastern Conference. When they beat Ottawa in game six, after trailing 3-0, they thought destiny would be on their side, as it was the previous year, when they beat Philly in game six after trailing 3-0. The difference between this year and last is that Montreal never stopped playing hard and believing they could win. The Pens and coaching staff underestimated the Habs and should all share in the responsibility for dropping a series that they led 2-1 and 3-2. Congratulations to Montreal.

  37. pitthockeyfan - May 14, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    Hey moron. Nice comeback. I was off yesterday. You know what a day off is? Don’t you? I worked today and just got home and decided to see if anything intelligent was added here. I see nothing has been. Except for Joe’s comment. I rarely get involved in this crap. I just love antagonizing you idiots. Apparently the other guys have run out of steam. But, I do agree with Joe, Montreal never stopped playing hard. Pittsburgh got outhustled, outcoached, and got outplayed. Montreal deserved the win and I salute them. Nothing more needs to be said.

  38. Flyers Hockey Girl - May 19, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    im sorry but the only thing that i have to make a comment about if where you said that “It’s amazing what jealousy can do to sports fans. There isn’t a hockey fan out there that wouldn’t want Crosby on their team. And if they said that they wouldn’t, they’re a damn liar.”
    i know your enjoying all the hateful comments floating your way about their dislike for Crosby and i hate to entertain your further … but i do have to disagree with what you said. i dont like crosby one little bit. not as a player or as a person. i think he is one of the worst players in the NHL and being one of the biggest pussys on the ice as well not being able to stand on his own two feet in a fight. i think he is a damn shame to the hockey community. its sad because he is loved by all pittsburgh fans and everyone else just loves to hate him. if he ever became a member of the philadelphia flyers… he wouldnt last one day because he would get boo’ed off the ice and go crying like the lil girl he is.

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