Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - Sidney Crosby capped two shifts of pressure with the game-winner on a power play with 1:19 remaining in overtime and the Pittsburgh Penguins claimed a 2-1 decision over the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.
Crosby had two separate chances to win it earlier as the clock ticked down to two minutes remaining in the extra session. Habs goaltender Carey Price flashed his right pad on the first chance and seconds later, Crosby actually beat Price through the pads from in close, but Montreal's Alexei Emelin came to the rescue and swept the puck out of danger.
The hosts were hit with a bench minor penalty with 1:51 left in OT, and Evgeni Malkin slipped a pass into the right circle for Crosby's successful one-timer which ended the contest.
"We had to start moving the puck around on the power play. It's hurt us in games for sure. We can change momentum with it and win games like we did tonight," Corsby said. "But we have to get better on the advantage. In a 1-1 game, obviously I'd love to score. I should have buried those earlier chances, but I got the one that mattered."
Malkin provided the other tally for the Penguins, who snapped a two-game skid and remained a point behind the first-place Islanders in the Metropolitan Division. New York maintained the top spot with a 4-1 win in Columbus earlier in the evening.
Marc-Andre Fleury bolstered the effort with 27 saves.
Max Pacioretty provided the sole offense for the Canadiens, who have recorded a point in seven of their last eight games (6-1-1). Price took the loss despite making 35 stops.
Pacioretty's wrister from the right circle during a 2-on-1 break put the Habs on the board inside two minutes left in the first period.
Malkin finally answered for the Pens on a drive from the right point which sailed cleanly through traffic with 1:32 remaining in the second.
Pittsburgh was unable to break the deadlock during a brief 5-on-3 edge and the bookending 5-on-4 advantages after Canadiens Tom Gilbert and Emelin were whistled for infractions 1:52 apart in final eight minutes of regulation.
"It's tough, but they have so much skill over there. You can't give them too many chances. We battled for 63 minutes but we have to find a way to close out games," Pacioretty admitted. "I had an open net near the end of the game, but that's on me."
Crosby's marker was his seventh career regular-season overtime goal, tying him with both Malkin and Mario Lemieux for second on the franchise list, with Jaromir Jagr in the lead with nine such scores ... Prior to the American and Canadian anthems, the national anthem of France, "La Marseillaise" was played to honor the victims of the terror attack in Paris earlier in the week.