MONTREAL (NHL.com) - The Montreal Canadiens withstood a late rally by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third period and earned a 3-2 win at Bell Centre on Saturday night to extend their win streak to three games.
After Montreal made it 3-1 with two goals in the first 2:25 of the third period from Max Pacioretty (who finished the game with two goals) and Tomas Plekanec, Penguins forward James Neal scored the game's next two goals to cut the Montreal lead to 3-2. But Carey Price (29 saves) held the fort down once again for the Canadiens, stifling the late pressure from the Penguins and helping his team hold on for another win.
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves in the loss. Pittsburgh's win streak was snapped at three.
Each of Pacioretty's goals came off Penguins turnovers. His first was the result of an Olli Maatta mistake; the rookie defenseman threw a blind pass across the middle while breaking out of the Penguins' zone. Pacioretty intercepted the pass, skated across the blue line and ripped one past Fleury for a 1-0 lead 1:53 into the second period. His second goal was a result of another Pittsburgh turnover that Montreal defenseman Raphael Diaz was able to intercept and dish to Pacioretty.
Pacioretty now has seven goals, with five of them in his past three games.
Neal's two goals extended his point streak to three games; he now has three goals and three assists during that span.
Meanwhile, after breaking a 15-game goal drought on Friday, Evgeni Malkin extended his point streak to four games assisting on both Neal goals. Malkin now has a goal and six assists in his past four games, but he paid the price on his second assist. Malkin went crashing into the end boards with 2:55 remaining in regulation and needed help getting back to the bench, but he returned for his next shift and almost tied the game in the final minute on a wraparound that was denied by Price.
The Penguins finished the game 1-for-3 on the power play; the Canadiens went 0-for3 with the man advantage.
Prior to the game, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma announced that forward Beau Bennett, who was injured in the second period of a 4-3 win against the New York Islanders on Friday, could be out for a while.
"Longer than days now right now," Bylsma said. "Right now longer than that."
Matt D'Agostini replaced Bennett in the lineup and skated on a line with Brandon Sutter and rookie Brian Gibbons.
For the Canadiens, Ryan White remained in the lineup for a second straight game, filling in for injured forward Rene Bourque (upper body). On defense, Francis Bouillon was back in and Douglas Murray was a healthy scratch.
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