Montreal: 3 - Pittsburgh: 6 (Penguins Lead Series 1-0)
Halak, i don't think you're in Washington anymore.
Pittsburgh got traffic in front of Jaroslav Halak early and often but did it in a much smarter and more effective way than the Capitals had ever thought to do and the result was a Habs goalie who faced fewer shots overall against than at any time when he played Washington, but somehow faced more quality scoring chances - including a Penguins powerplay that was a perfect 4 for 4 on the night.
Last night we talked about how Detroit did show a few signs of fatigue coming off a game seven, tonight Montreal didn't look overly venerable either, but they did make some mistakes that caused turnovers and the odd penalty - a dangerous place to be when playing against maybe the best team in the NHL in terms of taking advantage of other team's errors.
But on the bright sidefor Montreal fans, the Habs didn't play all that bad. There was never a moment where they were grossly outplayed so in that respect there is still hope for the Habs to collect themselves and make a series of this. They peppered Marc-Andre Fleury consistently, but the problem may be that Montreal's lack of size up front may not be able to capitalize on second chance opportunities.
if Montreal can limit the mistakes and tighten up on the penalty kill, they may have a shot at pulling off another upset, but right now the Penguins depth looks to be too much to handle.
Maybe the notable development from the game will be the injuries that both teams saw affect a key player. For Montreal it's Andre Markov who left after being hit by Matt Cooke in what we believe is a clean hit, but being that it's Cooke we can't be really sure can we? Jordan Staal was lost to the Penguins after being taken out by Canadiens rookie P.K. Suban. One is a key defenseman and one was just recently nominated as one of the league's best defensive forwards and post game reports suggest neither will be a go for at the very least game two on Sunday.
In a series where the Pens depth and how the Canadiens combat it may be the biggest factor, the Habs losing their best defenseman may be the bigger story of the two.