He made over 70 saves in the two games in Montreal while his teammates could not muster over 25 shots in either game. But the scoreboard is what matter and no matter how lopisded the shots are, which they will be in the remaining games, Pittsburgh has to find a way to beat Halak.
The Penguins looked poised to go back home with a 3-1 series lead as they took a 2-1 lead going into the third period. But Montreal came out firing and scored two goals in 1:33 and were able to hold on tie the series at 2-2.
Evgeni Malkin was around but a non-factor in the loss which will need to change for Pittsburgh to grab hold of this series.
The Pens need either Crosby or Malkin to step up in the remaining games or they could be in for a shocker in Pittsburgh.
Marc-Andre Fleury also has to play better hockey if he plans on being able to out-duel Halak. While he was pretty good in game three, Fleury was unimpressive in Montreal’s win on Thursday which included a floater from the left circle extended getting by him for the Canadiens’ first goal.
Fleury has shown the ability to make the big save at crunch time but a bad goal is so costly for Pittsburgh because of the strong goaltending on the opposite end of the ice. A full 60 minutes display is exactly what Pittsburgh needs and they would like it on a game-to-game basis.
The danger with the Canadiens’ is they have already proven so many wrong and losing this series would be no real surprise for anybody. I’m not saying they don’t want to advance but they’re not under the same pressure the Penguins are which is a concern.
It will be interesting to see how the Penguins come out in game five as the series becomes a best of three for a birth in the conference finals.
I originally predicted Pittsburgh in 6 and I am staying loyal to my original guess. I thought the series would be tied going back to Pittsburgh for game five, which means I need the Pens to make their move!
Let’s see what happens!
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Written by Amit Mann