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Penguins 1, Canadiens 0

The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- It's not only become impossible to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins these days but it is hard to even score on them.

Marc-Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun combined for the shutout and Sidney Crosby scored the game's lone goal as the Penguins edged the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 on Tuesday night to extend their winning streak to 13 games.

The streak is the longest in the NHL this season and the second-longest in Penguins' history. They won 17 games in a row from March 9 through April 10, 2003.

Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh (26-8-0) also extended its lead to seven points over the second-place Canadiens (20-7-5).

Fleury made 22 saves but did not play the third period after being injured late in the second. Vokoun filled in and made 15 saves.

Fleury has allowed only one goal in his last five games and the Penguins have given up just nine goals in their last eight games.

After Pittsburgh outscored the Canadiens 7-6 in the team's last meeting on March 2 at Montreal, it took more than 33 minutes before the first goal was scored this time. And that turned out to be the only goal.

Crosby scored at 13:19 of the second period as he streaked down the right side on a two-on-one rush, took a pass from Chris Kunitz at the blue line and rifled a snap shot past goaltender Carey Price.

It was Crosby's 15th goal of the season, extending his NHL-leading point total to 54.

Price also played well, stopping 24 shots on goal.

The Penguins were playing their first game since making two trades designed to improve their size, toughness and defense. They dealt for Dallas Stars center Brenden Morrow on Sunday and San Jose Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray on Monday.

Morrow made his Penguins' debut Tuesday after spending his entire 13-year career with the Stars. Murray is expected to play Thursday night when Pittsburgh hosts the Winnipeg Jets.

NOTES: Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang (lower body) was activated from injured reserve after missing three games. ... Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (upper body) sat out his ninth straight game. Pittsburgh reassigned forward Trevor Smith and defenseman Simon Despres to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League to clear rosters spots for Letang and Brenden Morrow. Despres ranked second among NHL rookies with a plus-10 and had two goals and seven points in 24 games. ... Center Jeff Halpern was in uniform for Montreal after being claimed off waivers from the New York Rangers last Saturday. ... Four injured Canadiens did not make the trip: left wings Rene Bourque (concussion) and Brandon Prust (separated left shoulder), right wing Ryan White (lower body) and defenseman Raphael Diaz (concussion). ... Canadiens coach Michael Therrien returned to Pittsburgh for the first time since the Penguins fired him with 25 games remaining in the 2008-09 season. Current Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma was promoted from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup championship. ... Along with Bourque, right wing Mike Blunden and defenseman Tomas Kaberle were scratched for Montreal. ... Murray was a scratch for the Penguins as well as center Joe Vitale and defensemen Robert Bortuzzo.
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