The Pittsburgh Penguins kept sailing onward Tuesday night, as they beat the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 to win their thirteenth in a row and sit atop the NHL with 52 points.
Receiving a goal from one Sidney Crosby 13:19 into the second period, the Pens would put on a defensive show for the rest of the game, blocking shots and stopping second chance opportunities to pull out the victory.
Crosby now has a five game point streak and continues to reign atop the NHL in points with 54 (15G, 39A). Â This was also Crosby’s first game-winning goal of the year.
Assisting on Crosby’s goal was forward Chris Kunitz and defenseman Brooks Orpik.
Kunitz continues to stay right behind Crosby in second with 42 points (19G, 23A) and a plus-25 rating, but he now only leads Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos and Chicago Blackhawks forwrd Patrick Kane by just one point.
However–not everything went Pittsburgh’s way Tuesday night.
Viewers witnessed the Pens come out with Tomas Vokoun in net for the third period, a game in which Marc-Andre Fleury started and had stopped all 25 shots he had faced thus far.
The cause of injury is still unknown, but the point at which he suffered it was roughly 50 seconds left in the third period when forward Tyler Kennedy and Montreal’s forward Brian Gionta crashed the net, knocking Fleury to the ice.
He stayed in the game for the rest of the second period, but then failed to return for the third.
Vokoun did a great job stepping in for Fleury though.
Stopping all 12 shots, he managed to finish off what Fleury started by shutting out Montreal in the third.
Improving his goals against average to 2.72 and his save percentage to .910, Vokoun has continued to play increasingly better down the stretch for the Pens, which could end up being crucial for future games should Fleury be out for an extended period of time.
Kris Letang was back for Pittsburgh.
Having been activated off of the injured reserve earlier today, Letang was confirmed back in the lineup for the game Tuesday night, after it was thought he might sit out again.
Although he was held off the stat sheet, Letang was able to log the second most ice time with 24:20 minutes, just 52 seconds short of Paul Martin’s game high 25:12 minutes.
The fact that Letang was on the ice for most of the game is great news for the Pens.
Leading the entire NHL in points for defenseman with 28 (3G, 25A) and skating to a plus-11 rating, Letang holds a lot of value to Pittsburgh’s success both offensively and defensively.
Matt Cooke also was able to play for the Pens.
This morning he was a game-time decision due to a nagging undisclosed injury, but appeared ready to go. Â He failed to register a point on the night.
Malkin missed his ninth straight game, but he’s close. Â The Pens are obviously being cautious with him during their hot streak, and they have every right to.
Stay tuned to see if Malkin is a go for Thursday.
Pens got the Winnipeg Jets in Pittsburgh at 7 p.m.