When the Pittsburgh Penguins took on the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night in search for their 13th straight win, it marked the first time since being fired by the Penguins four years ago, that Michel Therrien was back serving as a National Hockey League coach in Pittsburgh.
Therrien coached the Penguins for parts of four seasons from December 2005 into February 2009, going 135-105-32 and leading the team to the 2008 Stanley Cup Final. Many people forget that when Therrien took over the team it was well on its way to its fourth consecutive last-place finish. But Therrien wouldn’t use that as an excuse and he had them in the Stanley Cup Playoffs the following season and within two wins of claiming the Stanley Cup the next year. His fingerprints were all over the team that won the Cup four months after he was let go in 2009.
When the game began the Penguins got a new face and an old face back in the lineup. It marked the Penguins debut of Brenden Morrow and the return of Kris Letang. The first period was clearly dominated by the Canadiens. Much of the period was played in the Penguins zone and the Canadiens doubled the Penguins up in shots, 10-5. But Marc Andre Fleury was up to the task stopping all ten shots, keeping it a 0-0 tie.
The second period was much like the first period in the sense that the Canadiens were dominating the action. With the period half over the Canadiens had 18 total shots on goal while the Penguins had six. It was Fleury keeping the Penguins in the game as he made great save after great save. The Penguins seemed to gain momentum after killing a delay of game penalty committed by Mark Eaton.
After the kill, it was the Penguins breaking the scoreless tie. Sidney Crosby scored his 15th of they year when he wristed to the top left corner of the net while streaking down the right side of the ice. The Penguins got a late scare when Fleury was run over by Brian Gionta and his own teammate Tyler Kennedy. He would stay down on the ice for a while but would stay in the game to finish the period, but did not come out for the third period.
Even though the Penguins were out shot 37-25 the Penguins held on to win 1-0 for their 13th straight win. They will look to extend the streak to 14 when they take on the Winnipeg Jets Thursday night.