MONTREAL (AP) — Brian Gionta had two goals and an assist and Jaroslav Halak made 18 saves to win his third straight start, leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.
Gionta beat Brent Johnson for his second goal of the game — his 16th of the season — to put Montreal up by three 10:47 into the third.
Gionta recorded his first two points of the game 43 seconds apart in the second, scoring on a breakaway at 9:38 before assisting on Scott Gomez's power-play goal that put the Canadiens up 3-1 at 10:21.
Tomas Plekanec scored his 15th goal 29 seconds into the game and Mathieu Darche restored the Canadiens' two-goal lead at 4-2 with his second goal 7:15 into the third.
Pascal Dupuis, Bill Guerin and Evgeni Malkin scored for Pittsburgh, which had won two in a row and four of five. The Canadiens won their third straight.
Marc-Andre Fleury, who was replaced by Johnson after Darche's goal, made 24 saves. Johnson stopped three shots.
The Penguins, who were outshot 32-21, hadn't played since Monday, when Sidney Crosby recorded his third hat trick of the season in a 5-4 come-from-behind win over Buffalo.
Brock Trotter made his NHL debut for Montreal, one day after he was called up from Hamilton of the AHL along with Ryan White and David Desharnais.
Playing as a line, the three Canadiens rookies drew penalties on successive shifts in the second, including Brooks Orpik's interference call at 10:09, moments after Gionta scored on a breakaway to give Montreal a 2-1 lead.
Gomez made it 3-1 with his eighth goal 12 seconds into the ensuing power play.
Guerin drew Pittsburgh within 3-2 with his 17th goal at 13:57.
Malkin got his 20th goal 16:44 into the third when he came out of the penalty box and drove in on a breakaway to beat Halak.
The game was already tied at 1 just over a minute in after each team scored a disputed goal.
Plekanec opened the scoring 29 seconds in when he fired a shot into a wide-open net after Fleury was upended by Darche after he played a puck behind the goal.
Fleury argued in vain to referee Steve Kozari, who signaled the goal and did not call a penalty on the play.
Dupuis tied it at 1:02 on a play that required a video review. Halak stopped Jordan Staal's shot, but the rebound went in off Dupuis, who drove the crease.
NOTES: Crosby had a hat trick in a 6-1 win over Montreal on Oct. 28. ... Pittsburgh ended a five-game winning streak against the Canadiens. ... Malkin was serving Guerin's instigator penalty for his fight with White 14:35 into the third.
(This version CORRECTS 8th graph to show that only Trotter made NHL debut.)