|MTL||0||0||1||(0 - 0)||1|
|PIT||1||2||0||(0 - 0)||3|
PITTSBURGH (AP) -Sidney Crosby scored a goal and set up another with an no-look pass and the Pittsburgh Penguins matched a franchise record for most victories in their first 25 games, beating the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 on Wednesday night.
The Penguins are 17-8 with five victories in six games since losing four in a row and five of six. The only other seasons they won 17 of their first 25 were 1995-96 (17-5-3) and 1994-95 (17-6-2), when there were tie games.
Crosby, held scoreless in five consecutive games for the first time in his career earlier this season, again tormented the Canadiens - the team he followed as a youngster after Montreal drafted his father, Todd, in 1984.
Crosby has four goals and an assist as the Penguins have outscored Montreal 9-2 in two games in Pittsburgh, including a 6-1 victory on Oct. 28 in which Crosby had his only three-goal game this season. Crosby has three goals and six assists in seven games since the scoreless streak ended.
Wednesday's loss was the Canadiens' last scheduled regular-season game in Mellon Arena, which was known as the Civic Arena when they first played there in 1967. The Canadiens finished with 44 wins, 33 losses and 14 ties there. The Penguins will move into a new arena next season.
Montreal was coming off a 5-3 victory over Columbus on Tuesday and was 3-0-1 on its previous four, but fell behind 3-0 by late in the second period as Bill Guerin and Sergei Gonchar also scored. Pittsburgh has won five of six.
Crosby scored near the midpoint of the first period with a wrist shot from the left circle that sailed past goalie Carey Price. Crosby missed getting his second goal in less than a minute when he shot wide during a 2-on-1 break 29 seconds later.
Crosby's flurry shifted the momentum Pittsburgh's way, and Guerin made it 2-0 with 6:41 gone in the second. Evgeni Malkin controlled the puck in the corner and fed a short pass to Guerin, whose initial attempt trickled off his stick and between Price's goalie pads. Guerin pushed the puck into the net before Price could control it.
Later in the second, Gonchar scored his first goal in four games since missing 12 games with a broken left wrist, a backhander from the slot created by Crosby's spinarama pass from the left circle that connected with Gonchar in stride. The assist was Crosby's 279th, moving him past Ron Stackhouse and into 10th place in franchise history.
Marc-Andre Fleury missed getting his first shutout of the season and 16th of his career when Max Pacioretty scored at 7:17 of the third. Fleury had a relatively quiet night in goal, making 18 saves.
NOTES: The Penguins have won their last four against Montreal. ... Crosby and Malkin each have points in six of seven games. ... Crosby has 11 goals and 12 assists in 16 career games against Montreal; Malkin has seven goals and 13 assists in 14 games. ... Price was 4-1-1 with a 2.11 goals-against average in his previous six games. He made 27 saves.
|Sidney Crosby (12) ASST: Maxime Talbot (1)|
1 - 0 PIT
|Bill Guerin (6) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (16), Martin Skoula (4)|
2 - 0 PIT
|Sergei Gonchar (3) ASST: Sidney Crosby (13), Jordan Staal (7)|
3 - 0 PIT
|Max Pacioretty (3) ASST: Sergei Kostitsyn (2), Glen Metropolit (7)|
3 - 1 PIT
|Tom Pyatt Tripping against Maxime Talbot|
|Craig Adams Hi-sticking against Ryan White|
|Roman Hamrlik Tripping against Matt Cooke|
|SA: 30||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 27||EV: 20 - 23|
|PIM: 0||PP: 6 - 6|
|SV%: .900||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 19||TOI: 59:47|
|Saves: 18||EV: 16 - 17|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 1|
|SV%: .947||SH: 1 - 1|