This is getting ridiculous now. The Pens' goal scorers last night: Sutter (2), Morrow (2), Iginla (1), Murray (1). None of those guys were on the Pens roster last April. The only name missing from that list is Jokinen, who actually left this game midway through with an illness.
As for the game itself, Morrow dropped the mitts with Subban and was basically all over the ice. Combined with his recent goal surge, you can't annoit every veteran the Pens pick up as a legend. But something about grizzled vets wearing that jersey number 10.
We're not too proud to admit that after his first couple of games, we were wondering what Morrow actually brought to the table. But Mark Madden, among others, were right. Morrow's grit is what defines him. You don't become a captain in the NHL for nothing. And Morrow is just getting started.
You couldn't help but stop and take stock of what was happening in this game. The Pens were facing what many would say is one of two huge hurdles in getting out of the East. They were doing it without Crosby, Malkin, Neal, and Martin in the lineup. And they still manhandled the Habs during long stretches in the game.
This game could be a very similar blueprint to what we see the Pens do in the playoffs: get a big lead and then hold on.
The Pens now head to Boston Friday night with a chance to lock up the number-one seed. Don't look now, but the Pens have won 5 straight.
Extra security measures led to some long lines.
The anthem was a good time with Jeff Jimerson, but it paled in comparison to the scene in Boston.
The game had a great pace early. It looked like the top 2 teams in the Conference were playing some hockey. Crisp passes, seamless line changes.
Matt Cooke slowed things down when he took a penalty on a line change. It was definitely a penalty called with the last Pens-Habs game in mind. Habs worked with a power play for a minute until Brendan Gallagher put a stick up into someone.
On the 4-on-4, Niskanen fed a nice pass to Sutter to spring him through the neutral zone. Sutter came in, used Subban, and beat Budaj. 1-0.
The way Sutter comes down that left wing and scores it could be a new trademark play.
Pens still had a power play to work with, but no dice.
Later, Dupes drew the entire Habs team to the net. The puck eventually found Morrow lurking in the faceoff circle. He spun and put one top shelf. 2-0.
Then came an assembly line of hits:
Late in the first, Pacioretty went to the box for tripping Nisky. Pens moved the puck well, and Kunitz's pass to Letang found its way to Iginla, who corraled the puck and put it up high. 3-0.
Habs could've done without that.
Price was in net to start the second. Prust was chirping Cooke, but Cooke was ttyl. Kennedy threw Gionta into the net, so the Habs jumped onto a PP. Pens killed it pretty easily.
Pens started running away with the game, if they hadn't already. Beau Bennett and Morrow were on a 2-on-1, after a great play by Bennett in the neutral zone. Beau fed Morrow with a sweet pass. He was going pass the whole way. Morrow fanned on it, but that's probably why it went in. 4-0.
The Habs answered the bell with a bullshit goal. 4-1.
Gallagher was going to the box again, and the Pens made him pay. Morrow was everywhere. Sutter put home a rebound. 5-1.
The Habs started doing shit, and Tanner Glass decided to give someone a DDT and went to the box. Pens killed it.
Galchenyuk put a sweet one in. 5-2.
Brendan Gallagher capped off the period by going to the box for the 10th time in the game. This one was a 4-minute high stick to Matt Cooke.
Pens couldn't do anything with those 4 minutes.
Habs snuck closer with a goal. 5-3.
Murray answered. 6-3.
Great times. Ends his Ironman streak of 146 games without a goal.
There still was a shit ton of time left. Subban and Morrow got into it and dropped the mitts. Embarrassing display by Subban.
Brandon Prust is still in the league for some reason and started talking up Morrow when he got out of the box.
Subban and Kunitz got into it late, and Subban was sent to the showers early.
That was it. What a statement game.
– Mark Recchi and Chip Burke were added to the Pens Hall of Fame before the game.
– First time Morrow has had consecutive two-goal games. Wow.
– Pens powerplay since Kris Letang's return to the lineup: 6 for 16 (37.5%).
– MAF probably wants a couple of those goals back. Oh, well.
– The Pens played "Sweet Caroline" in tribute to Boston:
h/t to Lisa R.
– Pics USA Today/Getty