Pittsburgh at Montreal

Canadiens' Koivu can't be stopped; Montreal clips Pittsburgh


MONTREAL -- Saku Koivu is developing another offensive weapon to add to his playmaking abilities -- putting the puck in the net himself.

Koivu scored twice for the second game in a row, and the Montreal Canadiens scored four straight goals in the second period en route to a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

Michael Ryder scored a power-play goal in the first, the first of four Montreal goals with the man advantage. Alexei Kovalev, Koivu and Sheldon Souray added power-play goals in the second. Maxim Lapierre added an empty-netter with 21 seconds left in the game.

Koivu, who leads the Canadiens with 14 goals, scored Montreal's other even-strength goal in the second. It was the Montreal captain's fourth multiple-goal game in December, one short of the team record of five in one month set by Maurice Richard in 1944, and subsequently matched by Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt.

"I've been working a lot on my shot and things around the net, maybe that's one of the reasons, but I'm not really used to scoring that many goals, it's been more of a playmaking thing," said Koivu, who had 17 goals last season and a career high 21 in 2002-03. "But I'll take these goals, and it's obviously enjoyable."

Sidney Crosby -- who entered with 10 points in his last two games -- had an off night by his recent standards, though he extended his points streak to eight games when he set up Alain Nasreddine's first NHL goal on a delayed penalty to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead with 0.2 seconds left in the first.

Penguins rookie Evgeni Malkin scored his 16th goal during 4-on-4 play 12:05 in. Erik Christensen got his fifth goal in the third for Pittsburgh, which ended a four-game winning streak that fell one short of matching a season high.

"When you give up four power-play goals on the road you're not going to be successful, and that's what happened tonight," said Mark Recchi, who assisted on Nasreddine's goal.

The Canadiens went 1-for-3 on the power play in the first, and 3-for-4 in the second. Montreal killed all seven of the Penguins' power-play opportunities.

Cristobal Huet finished with 31 saves and kept Montreal in the game in the first when the Penguins held an 18-3 advantage in shots while enjoying five power plays, to the Canadiens' three.

"We didn't want to play them the way we did in the first," Huet said. "In the second, we skated more and they were in penalty trouble and we were able to capitalize on our chances on the power play. It was a good feeling to see the guys bounce back and get some great goals by Sak and everybody else."

The Canadiens turned the game around in the second, scoring three of their four goals in the period on the power play as they outshot Pittsburgh 23-6.

"We were very good in the first," Recchi said. "We skated, and they took penalties. In the second, they skated, and we took penalties, but they took advantage of it."

Kovalev drew Montreal even 9:29 into the middle period when he beat Marc-Andre Fleury with a shot from a sharp angle.

Koivu, who scored twice in Thursday's 4-2 win over Tampa Bay, got his 13th goal at 15:50 to put Montreal up 3-2, and Souray made it a two-goal lead when he drove a slap shot past Fleury on a two-man advantage at 17:25.

Koivu got his second of the game -- his team-leading 14th -- when he deflected Andrei Markov's pass past Fleury to increase Montreal's lead to 5-2 with five seconds left in the period.


  • Fleury made 27 saves.
  • The Penguins had a five-game winning streak from Oct. 19-Nov. 1.
  • Souray has scored two of Montreal's five goals with a 5-on-3 advantage this season.
  • Canadiens LW Christopher Higgins returned after missing 18 games with a high ankle sprain.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury can't stop this shot from the Canadiens' Alexei Kovalev.  (AP)
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury can't stop this shot from the Canadiens' Alexei Kovalev. (AP)
Pittsburgh (15-12-5)2013
Montreal  (19-8-5) «1416
Three Stars
S. Koivu

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
A. Markov

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
C. Huet

Saves: 31
Save Pct.: .912

Related Video

October 29, 2017
The NHL Rundown (10/29) (1:12)
September 29, 2017
2017-18 Stanley Cup contenders
September 25, 2017
2017-18 NHL Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins
June 24, 2017
Post-draft NHL power rankings
Scoring Summary
12:05Evgeni Malkin (16), Snap Shot - Assists: Erik Christensen, Brooks Orpik
18:34Power Play - Michael Ryder (9), Slap Shot - Assists: Guillaume Latendresse, Craig Rivet
19:59Alain Nasreddine, Wrist Shot - Assists: Sidney Crosby, Mark Recchi
09:29Power Play - Alexei Kovalev (8), Snap Shot - Assists: Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanec
15:50Saku Koivu (13), Wrist Shot - Assists: Michael Ryder, Francis Bouillon
17:25Power Play - Sheldon Souray (12), Wrist Shot - Assists: Andrei Markov, Michael Ryder
19:55Power Play - Saku Koivu (14), Wrist Shot - Assists: Andrei Markov, Alexei Kovalev
14:53Erik Christensen (5), Wrist Shot - Assist: Maxime Talbot
19:39Maxim Lapierre (2), Empty Net - Assist: Sheldon Souray
Penalty Summary
01:21Ryder: Tripping - 2 min.
05:37Dandenault: Tripping - 2 min.
06:34Malone: Holding - 2 min.
10:25Whitney: Roughing - 2 min.
11:18Koivu: Hooking - 2 min.
13:01Johnson: Slashing - 2 min.
16:07Johnson: Interference with goal tender. - 2 min.
17:06Christensen: Hooking - 2 min.
07:51Gonchar: Hooking - 2 min.
15:50Armstrong: Hooking - 2 min.
16:25Nasreddine: Holding - 2 min.
19:26Gonchar: Hooking - 2 min.
01:23Kovalev: Holding - 2 min.
09:13Souray: Cross Check - 2 min.
09:13Rivet: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
09:13Ruutu: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
09:13Ruutu: Gross Misconduct - 10 min.
Marc-Andre Fleury59:33275
Cristobal Huet59:57313
Attendance - 21273
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Bill McCreary, Ian Walsh
Line Judges - Steve Barton, Michel Cormier
Other Games
Det 2 Final
NJ 1
Dal 4 Final
LA 3
Fla 6 Final
Bos 3
Chi 6 Final
Colu 4
Phi 1 Final
Wash 4
Atl 0 Final
NYR 2 Final
Tor 9
Ott 3 Final
Buf 1
Car 3 Final
TB 2
StL 2 Final
Nash 3
Cal 6 Final
Pho 3
Min 1 Final
Van 2
Ana 3 Final
SJ 4