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PITTSBURGH — Tomas Fleischmann finished off an odd-man rush with his first goal of the season early in the third period to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.
Fleischmann scored off a feed from David Desharnais and Carey Price made it stand up as Montreal improved to 4-0. Max Pacioretty scored twice for the Canadiens. Price finished with 31 saves as Montreal wrapped up a perfect four-game road trip to start the season.
Beau Bennett and Kris Letang scored for Pittsburgh, which dropped to 0-3. Phil Kessel picked up an assist in his home debut with the Penguins, who picked the All-Star forward up over the summer in a blockbuster trade with Toronto.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 27 shots for the Penguins, who are winless through three games for the first time since 2005.
Twice Pittsburgh rallied from one-goal deficits to tie it but had no answer after Fleishmann finished a rush that started when Pittsburgh rookie forward Sergei Plotnikov appeared to be tripped by Desharnais in the Montreal zone, springing the Canadiens. Fleischmann ended it by easily slipping a pass from Desharnais by Fleury.
Price, the reigning MVP, kept the Penguins at bay, including a beautiful glove save on Sidney Crosby with 2:17 to go in which the goaltender smothered the one-timer with his glove and left pad while lying on his stomach.
The Penguins spent the
Johnston preached the importance of a better start, but playing the first meaningful game at home in six months seemed to do little to jolt the Penguins to life.
Pacioretty gave the Canadiens the lead 5:46 into the game, taking a cross ice feed from Brendan Gallagher then firing a shot from between the circles and beating a late-arriving Fleury. The Penguins produced just four shots in the first 20 minutes, including a wrister at the end of a two-on-one from Crosby that
Bennett tied it 5:31 into the second, creating a takeaway at one end then beating Price with a shot over the goaltender’s right shoulder. Pacioretty put Montreal back in front just over three minutes later with a power-play goal from the right circle, the puck glancing off Fleury’s glove on its way to the net.
Letang knotted it again just past the game’s midway point with a fluttering wrister that Price couldn’t quite pick up. Evgeni Malkin and Kessel picked up the assists — the first of the season by an Penguin — but Price settled down and Montreal’s red-hot start continued when Fleischmann slid the puck by Fleury early in the third.
NOTES: Montreal scratched
Will Graves, The Associated Press
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