Pacioretty's 2 goals lift Canadiens over Penguins
MONTREAL (AP) -- Max Pacioretty scored two goals, and the Montreal Canadiens stretched their winning streak to three games with a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
Tomas Plekanec also had a goal for the Canadiens (13-9-2), and Carey Price made 29 saves.
James Neal had a pair of goals for the Penguins (15-9-0), and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots.
Pacioretty's sixth goal of the season gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead at 1:53 of the second period.
Pacioretty intercepted a weak clear by Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta in the neutral zone, skated across the blue line, and fired a low shot in off the post.
Montreal opened the third period with two goals in quick succession.
Plekanec added to the Canadiens' lead at 1:05 when his wrist shot beat Fleury between the legs. Pacioretty scored his second of the game a minute later after he stole a bouncing puck from Evgeni Malkin on the Penguins' blue line.
Pittsburgh cut its deficit to 3-1 at 5:44 when Neal fired a shot over Price's glove and into the top of the net during a power play.
Neal made it a one-goal game when he added another. Neal sidestepped Price and slotted his fourth of the season into the back of the net on the backhand at 17:07.
Montreal has won three in a row, outscoring its opponents 12-6 during that stretch. The Canadiens came off a 3-2 victory against the Capitals on Friday in which they scored three times in less than five minutes in the first period.
NOTES: This was the first of three matchups between the teams this season. They will meet again In Pittsburgh on Jan. 22. ... Sidney Crosby leads the NHL with 30 points. ... P.K. Subban leads the Canadiens in points with three goals and 17 assists. ... Montreal defensemen have gone seven games without scoring. ... Pittsburgh is in first place in the new Metropolitan Division.