PITTSBURGH (AP)—Carey Price’s first shootout wasn’t that bad even if it was long.
The Montreal Canadiens rookie goaltender faced eight Pittsburgh Penguins in the shootout Saturday night and had to only make three saves. He got the win because teammate Andrei Markov finally scored in the lengthy shootout and the Canadiens prevailed 4-3.
“It didn’t feel like I had to touch the puck that much,” Price said. “That’s part of being a goalie, trying to make yourself look big and try to make them hit a small target. Hopefully they either miss the net or hit me.”
Markov scored in regulation as the Canadiens won their fourth straight blowing an early 3-0 lead.
“To play two days in a row and win two games, it’s a great win for us,” Markov said. “All that’s important is we got the two points.”
After 15 shooters could not score on either the 20-year-old Price or the Penguins’ Dany Sabourin, Markov made a move and beat Sabourin between the legs with a backhander.
“He made a good move. I thought he was going to go far side,” said Sabourin, a backup who was summoned to replace an ineffective Marc-Andre Fleury early in the second period. “That was a great shootout, both goalies made some great saves. It’s too bad we didn’t get out with the win.”
Whitney went 5-hole against Price off a pass from Malkin to tie the game. The Penguins were playing 6-on-4 due to a power play and the pulling of Sabourin, who stopped all 13 shots he faced.
Whitney’s goal brought the Penguins all the way back after trailing 3-0 less than a minute into the second period.
Dandenault scored the game’s first goal at 7:13 of the opening period on a slap shot. The Canadiens took a 2-0 lead 3 1/2 minutes later when Markov scored on a power play.
Forty-nine seconds into the second period, Ryder beat Fleury high on the glove side on a clean wrist shot from just above the right faceoff circle. Fleury, who allowed three goals on 15 shots, was lifted by Penguins coach Michel Therrien.
“I think we controlled the puck for the first 30 minutes,” Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. “But this was the second game in two days, so guys were getting tired at the end.”
One minute after Ryder’s goal, Montreal’s Alexei Kovalev took a boarding penalty for checking Malkin from behind. Crosby reacted by lunging at him and tackling him to the ice. That resulted in coincidental roughing minors for Crosby and Kovalev, an ex-Penguin.
Watching their young captain defend his teammate seemed to spark Pittsburgh, which scored twice in the next seven minutes.
The Penguins, who have scored a power-play goal in every game this season, cut the deficit to 3-1 when Sykora corralled a pass out of mid-air from Malkin while on the power play at 3:03 of the second. He then beat Price to the short side.
“I think we need to play with more emotion and I think that goal and that power play certainly lifted us a bit and got us back in the game,” Crosby said. “I think we rolled on from there.”
Crosby scored his fourth of the season with 11:44 to play in the second on a 3-on-2 with Malkin and Whitney.
But Price shut down Pittsburgh in the third period until the team played almost the entire final four minutes while on the power play, resulting in Whitney’s goal.
Montreal, which had the league’s best power play entering the contest, had 2:02 of time with a man-advantage in overtime but could not score.
In the shootout, Pittsburgh’s Erik Christensen, Sykora, Jarkko Ruutu, Whitney and Mark Recchi missed the net and Sergei Gonchar had the puck poke-chekced by Price. Only shots from Crosby and Malkin required saves by Price, who earned his second career victory—both in Pittsburgh.
The Canadiens have outscored opponents 14-5 in the first period this season. … Price was making his third career start. He beat the Penguins at Mellon Arena in his NHL debut Oct. 10. … After being shut out in the season opener, Crosby has at least one point in all nine games since.