The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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March 3, 2013

Sutter’s overtime goal lifts Penguins

MONTREAL — Brandon Sutter’s second goal of the game 52 seconds into overtime lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a wild 7-6 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

Sutter took a pass from Simon Despres on a rush, stepped around Max Pacioretty and beat goalie Carey Price with a high shot to help Pittsburgh end a two-game skid and avoid being swept on a three-game road trip.

Matt Cooke and Chris Kunitz each netted two goals and Sidney Crosby also scored for Pittsburgh (14-8).

Brian Gionta had a pair of goals, and Brandon Prust, Pacioretty, David Desharnais and P.K. Subban also scored as Montreal (13-4-4) stretched its string of games without a regulation loss to 10.

The Canadiens failed to get a win for coach Michel Therrien in his first game against the Penguins since he was fired as their coach in 2009.

Montreal outshot Pittsburgh 39-26 in a wide-open game with shaky goaltending at both ends. The Penguins opted to go with veteran backup Tomas Vokoun instead of Quebec native Marc-Andre Fleury.

Montreal struck first in the fast-paced first period. Tomas Plekanec scored from the doorstep by putting in the rebound of Tomas Kaberle’s shot from the side boards at 5:41.

The Penguins tied it on a power play at 19:07 when Sutter broke into the zone and had his pass come back to him off Alexei Emelin’s skate to beat the fooled Price.

Brendan Gallagher’s charge to the net set up Pacioretty’s seventh goal in seven games 4:14 into the second period, but the Penguins answered with three straight goals.

Crosby made a deft move behind the net to set up Kunitz at the post for his 10th at 7:58, and Cooke’s long shot sailed past a screened Price only 31 seconds later.

Montreal defenseman Josh Gorges tipped a puck onto the onrushing Cooke’s stick for a goal from the high slot at 13:05.

But Montreal answered when Gionta put his stick between his legs to deflect Francis Bouillon’s shot at 17:37. An ill-advised icing set up a faceoff in the Penguins zone with seven seconds left in the period, and Gallagher set up Subban at the side of the net to tie it with 0.7 seconds left on the clock.

Desharnais put in Emelin’s rebound 5:25 into the third, but Kunitz one-timed Crosby’s pass for his second of the game at 8:33. Crosby put the Penguins ahead when he roofed a loose puck at 10:24.

Only 30 seconds later, Vokoun waved at Gionta’s long shot that made it 6-6.

NOTES: Crosby played his first game at the Bell Centre since Nov. 26, 2011. ... Brandon Prust played in his 300th NHL game. ... Montreal recalled C Gabriel Dumont from AHL Hamilton late Friday. He was a healthy scratch along with Yannick Weber. ... Paul Martin, one of Pittsburgh’s top defensemen, sat out because of a lower body injury. Zach Boychuk and Robert Bortuzzo were also scratched.

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