October 14, 2018 / 2:36 AM / 8 days ago

Byron, Drouin send Habs past Penguins in shootout

EditorsNote: Minor fixes, style

Paul Byron and Jonathan Drouin scored shootout goals as the host Montreal Canadiens defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Saturday night.

Montreal received two goals and an assist from Tomas Tatar, and Brendan Gallagher added a goal and an assist. Antti Niemi made 25 saves and stopped Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby in the decisive shootout.

The victory was the second in seven days for Montreal against Pittsburgh.

Kris Letang and Phil Kessel each registered a goal and an assist, and Malkin added two assists for the Penguins. Dominik Simon also scored for Pittsburgh. Casey DeSmith stopped 37 of 40 Montreal shots.

A potential lead goal by Montreal’s Victor Mete at 7:33 of the third period was waved off when a video review determined Andrew Shaw made contact with DeSmith, the closest either team came to winning in regulation.

Montreal used a big second period to climb out of a two-goal deficit as the teams battled to a 3-3 tie after 40 minutes. Tatar registered two goals and an assist in the period as the Canadiens outshot the Penguins 19-4.

Kessel answered a three-goal Montreal blitz with his fourth goal of the season on the power play at 11:14 of the second period as Pittsburgh escaped further damage by killing a five-on-three Montreal power play in the final minutes of the middle period.

Tatar’s first goal narrowed the score to 2-1 11 seconds into the second period. Gallagher evened the score at 2-2 with his second goal of the season at 7:38 of the second. Tatar’s second goal of the game, on the power play, gave Montreal its first lead at 8:51.

Pittsburgh bolted to a 2-0 first-period lead on goals by Letang and Simon. Letang registered his third goal of the season at 15:16 of the first period with a wrist shot, with Kessel and Malkin drawing assists. Simon opened the scoring with his first goal of the season at 3:13 of the first period when he finished a diving pass from Daniel Sprong.

Pittsburgh defenseman Justin Schultz suffered a lower-body injury at 7:42 of the opening period and did not return.

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