The Montreal Canadiens headed into the third period of Game 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins needing to find some offense trailing 2-1 and being outshot 25-9 after two periods. They may not have been pretty goals and they may not have gone in off their own sticks or skates, but the Canadiens got the offense they needed in the third period to take the game 3-2.
Maxim Lapierre tied the game 2:07 into the third period stuffing home a wraparound goal after goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was unable to poke it away from him. 1:33 after that goal, the Habs would take the lead after a Brian Gionta centering pass bounced off the skate of Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and passed Fleury to give Montreal a 3-2 lead.
The Canadiens would then put the defensive shell in place and with some help from spectacular saves from Jaroslav Halak (33 saves in the game) during a late Pittsburgh power play, the Habs were able to hold on and tie the series at two games apiece. For Pittsburgh, they’re running into some of the same problems the Washington Capitals faced in their first round series with Montreal. Halak has been outstanding for the most part and Montreal’s defensive game plan has frustrated the Pens even in spite of Pittsburgh being able to control play and fire numerous shots on goal as well as having an advantage in power play opportunities.
In short, “the trap” is paying off for Montreal and it’s up to the Penguins to do what Washington couldn’t: Figure out ways to beat it.