MONTREAL (AP)Teddy Blueger scored two goals and the Pittsburgh Penguins snapped a three-game skid, pounding the Montreal Canadiens 6-0 on Thursday night.
Tristan Jarry stopped all 24 shots for the Penguins.
Pittsburgh exploded in the first period with goals from Sidney Crosby, Danton Heinen and Jake Guentzel. Blueger and Brock Gill scored in the second, and Blueger added a late third-period goal.
”It’s great to get everybody going,” the Penguins’ Kris Letang said. ”Sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t, but guys were so close to break out and it’s fun to get rewarded. When you see guys on the scoring sheet, it’s a good confidence booster.”
Cayden Primeau allowed five goals on 31 shots in two periods for the Canadiens. Samuel Montembeault replaced Primeau at the start of the third, allowed one goal and made 11 saves.
”Tonight, we were just bad,” coach Dominique Ducharme said. ”Everyone needs to go through it but tonight we were just bad. I can stand here and try to analyze every play but we were bad.”
Crosby scored his first goal of the season 3:36 into the game following a tic-tac-toe play with Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel. The Penguins captain was playing his first game at Montreal since March 2, 2019.
Crosby, one of several Pittsburgh players who recently returned from the COVID-19 protocol, said ”it’s hard to be patient” coming back from both offseason surgery and the virus.
”It’s one of those things, it’s just gonna take time,” Crosby said. ”I’m still learning this is a new scenario for me to go through to come back from injury for that long.”
The Penguins doubled their lead on the power play at 12:39. Heinen beat Primeau with a shot from the right faceoff circle.
Guentzel made it 3-0 with 47 seconds to go in the period.
Blueger scored in the second off a two-on-one with Zach Anton-Reese.
McGinn deflected a shot from Mike Matheson to put the Penguins ahead 5-0.
Pittsburgh fell 2-1 to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, scoring its only goal in the third period. Assistant coach Todd Reirden, filling in for coach Mike Sullivan who was out due to Canadian COVID-19 guidelines, said the team took some positives from that performance.
”We really wanted to build on our prior games, especially the third period. The start was really important for us,” Reirden said. ”To get a big goal from Sid right away that early is huge for us. Just the way that the goal happened, playing good defense and winning races on the ice.”
Penguins: At Toronto on Saturday.
Canadiens: Host Nashville on Saturday.
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