Habs vs. Penguins Top Six Minutes: Guhle shines in an entertaining game

It’s Jeff Petry’s return leg and reactions to his return will likely be mixed. We also have some new lines to look at, and Sean Monahan with Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki should be interesting.

1st period

  • Garry Galley twice in three days is too much Garry Galley.
  • There’s the boos for Petry, but he needed to know they were coming.
  • The game starts unfavorably when Danton Heinen defeats Samuel Montembeault from a sharp corner.
  • But he hit the bar and then the post, so we just keep going.
  • Chris Wideman gets a chance, then Josh Anderson makes a powerful move to the net with another, but it doesn’t score.
  • A lesser man would probably have fallen on ice with the contact Anderson made, but the Powerhorse just wanted a goal.
  • More continued pressure from Montreal, now getting zone time on every shift. This time it’s a strong shift from Cole Caufield across the ice. A good offense really is the best defense.
  • Petry gets his video tribute and a cool ovation – soon followed by more boos.
  • Sidney Crosby launches what starts off a promising Penguins rush, but Kaiden Guhle’s stick quickly puts an end to that, and it’s another great opportunity for Caufield on the other side. Will he be making back-to-back multi-goal games at home this season?
  • Nice play by Arber Xhekaj to win the pull down the half wall and then look over the ice for a scoring opportunity. Last season, that would have just been fired at Casey DeSmith’s decal by a Habs blue-liner.
  • A really impressive start for Montreal. Now they need a purpose to show it.
  • Dadonov almost knocks in his own rebound on yet another rush to the net.
  • Caufield is a man possessed during this period, winning pucks along the boards and hurling them forward. He must have read Jura Slafkokvsk√Ĺ’s reconnaissance report and decided to try that style.
  • Or he wants to entice Crosby to join his line in a year or two….
  • Great toe save by Montembeault on Pittsburgh’s first real shot since the double doink.
  • Caufield can get up to 10 shots in this game.

2nd period

  • The last time Caufield looked this good, he scored 30 seconds after the first break. Will he do that again?
  • The first chance goes to Brendan Gallagher, who hits the post and sees the puck pushed out by an oblivious DeSmith.
  • A lazy cross-ice pass gets kicked in the butt by the release of Evgeni Malkin, and Montembeault is punched from the other side after sliding too far.
  • Now the Penguins powerplay, which runs at 40%, is going to work to double the lead.
  • Habs is playing a disposable item so far. Good moves from Kaiden Guhle and Jordan Harris to keep the opponent at bay.
  • Now Malkin scores again as we go back to five-on-five. Too many uncontrolled penguins at the top of the fold.
  • A nice shift from Kirby Dach, Jonathan Drouin and Anderson almost puts Montreal on the board. There have been many “almost” the last three games.
  • Gallagher is robbed by DeSmith’s gauntlet. At some point they will score.
  • Penguins power play/Montreal’s penalty kill back to work
  • Harris misses Suzuki just before a short-handed breakaway opportunity
  • Now Suzuki pulls a penalty just as theirs comes to an end for forcing Petry to take it down after a toe drag.
  • We’ll finish that thought after this 18 minute break

3rd period

  • It wasn’t on the power play, but the Habs get their early goal, thanks in large part to Kaiden Guhle. The rookie’s excellent zone exit led directly to Suzuki’s first chance, after which the captain skated to the other side of the net to take it in.
  • Arber Xhekaj goes to the box for a high stick.
  • More excellent penalty-killing from the Habs. First a chance for Jake Evans, then for Sean Monahan. Huge improvement from what it looked like last year. All it took was a few defenders who had never played an NHL game.
  • In a third short-handed rush, Petry has to take another penalty.
  • Maybe Montreal should play on a guy for the whole 60 minutes?
  • Ryan Poehling goes for a short-handed opportunity, splitting the D, but Montembeault is there.
  • The Habs just aren’t that good with more than four players on the ice. Bobbles from Drouin and Hoffman end the power play.
  • Josh Anderson comes close to being tied up with less than three minutes to go, but DeSmith saves it with his toe.
  • A time out to take a look at the best attacking players on the ice with an O-zone faceoff.
  • And it works! Caufield gets his target on a perfect cross-crease pass from Drouin.
  • And it’s another point for Guhle. He should probably be the first star of the game tonight.
  • Habs doesn’t stop looking for the winner, and gets close a few times, but can’t find one.

After a while

  • Habs get a well deserved point for their effort
  • Now we see Guhle at three-on-three, out there for the first shift.
  • I think he skated two full lengths of the rink there, making several critical plays.
  • Habs to the power play as Petry gets a hat-trick of penalties on his return.
  • Caufield gets a perfect pass but hits the left elbow.
  • And Kirby Dach wins! What an overtime performance from Montreal.
  • Unbeaten at home. Then they host the Coyotes on Thursday.

EOTP 3 stars

3) It’s always nice to have an expert opinion

2) Superb placement

1) Break out the cloning machine.

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