Canadiens beat Penguins in shootout
The Penguins looked plenty sloppy on Thursday in their first game in 20 days.
According to some of the Penguins, the officials were a little sloppy, too.
Montreal emerged with a 6-5 shootout victory at Consol Energy Center, but the talk following the game revolved around a third-period penalty to Tanner Glass.
With the Penguins protecting a one-goal lead, Glass was given a five-minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct for a hit against Montreal's Alexei Emelin. Replays showed that Glass never made contact with Emelin's head, and that Emelin actually struck himself with his hands and stick.
“There were some calls out there that you struggle to see where they're coming from,” Glass said. “But they've had some time off, too.”
Danny Briere scored his second goal of the game to even the contest with 5:54 remaining, and the Canadiens eventually emerged with a shootout goal thanks to David Desharnais' tally. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin had two points each in the contest but were blanked in the shootout.
Had Glass not been assessed the penalty, the Penguins might have emerged with two points.
“I understand why he called it from his angle,” Glass said. “It looked bad with the follow-through. I didn't make any contact with his head at all. He put his sticks and gloves up.
“That's why I followed through the way I did, to keep the stick away from my face.”
Coach Dan Bylsma didn't like the call, simply stating that referees “don't get to see the replay.”
Defenseman Rob Scuderi said the hit didn't “merit a five-minute penalty.”
Still, the Penguins hardly played a game that will leave them pleased, questionable officiating or not.
Montreal scored two power-play goals against the league's second-best penalty killing unit and scored a third goal only a moment after Malkin emerged from the penalty box.
Even if the penalty against Glass was debatable, Crosby and Malkin were guilty of frustration slashing penalties in the third period.
“It certainly wasn't our best game,” defenseman Robert Bortuzzo said. “It was different out there. We gave up too many quality chances. It's tough. When you're putting up five goals, you should win. As for the penalty kill, we had a good plan. We didn't get any bounces, and there were a couple of unfortunate plays.”
The Penguins players that participated in the Olympics looked sharp. Crosby, Malkin, Olli Maatta and Jussi Jokinen combined for seven points.
However, other members of the Penguins looked rusty.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped only 24 of 29 shots.
The Penguins also received a subpar night for their bottom-six, something that has been a concern for most of the season. Although third-line center Brandon Sutter scored a short-handed goal, the five-on-five work from the bottom two lines wasn't strong.
Glass and fourth-line center Joe Vitale were both in the penalty box while goals were scored.
The third line was on the ice during Montreal's first goal of the game, and the fourth line was on the ice during the Canadiens' second goal.
Although the Penguins' performance easily could be attributed to rust, they refused to make such an excuse.
“I don't think so,” Scuderi said. “I think the coaches did a good job of starting us slow and revving us up as the week went on. Certainly, though, we were a little off as far as team chemistry goes.”