MONTREAL -- For the second straight game and third game in four, Sidney Crosby was held without a point. But make no mistake, his presence was felt in Tuesday's Game 3.
Late in the second period, Crosby forced Hal Gill into a holding penalty. On the carryover power play, Evgeni Malkin blasted a shot past Jaroslav Halak for the game winner. Crosby provided the screen.
"I liked his game quite a bit on both sides of the puck play in the offensive zone," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. "He does not get an assist on the goal, but it's his work in the offensive zone that draws the penalty. It's playoff hockey and it's tight.
"He was up to the task at both ends of the rink. I think he's pretty happy with the way -- even though he didn't get a point -- the way we played the game, the way our power play responded in the third, the way we played that game, especially the last two periods."
Crosby has had just one shot in each of the past two games, but seemed not to be too upset about the outcome.
"I'd be the first one to tell you I'd love to create a chance every shift, I'd love to score every game and set up guys," Crosby said. "But sometimes the game doesn't dictate that as much as you would like or you don't get the bounces, and you have to find other ways to be productive, whether it's defensively, creating things for other guys or just being responsible.
"These are all things as a teammate and as a team that we are all responsible for. I don't accept the fact that I don't get chances. I'm going to try every shift. But, certainly, the other things that you do have to be that much more sharp in order to contribute, and that's kind of your focus, I think."
One of the great battles of this series has been between Crosby and Gill, his former Pittsburgh teammate. Gill may not have liked the call for holding late in the second, but it was about the third or fourth time he mauled Crosby.
He said watching the Penguins score the winner from the box was tough to swallow.
"There's nothing fun about sitting in the box and watching the other team score," Gill said. "It's disappointing. It's a sickening feeling when you're in the box and they score."
Patience, Penguins, patienceThere was a certain element of a chess match to this game; the Penguins seemed to adopt a Montreal-like attitude in being patient and waiting for their opportunities.
"I think people underestimated the patience and structure this team plays with because they have such dynamic offensive players that make such creative plays," Montreal forward Mike Cammalleri said. "I think people might get a false sense of how they play the game. They play a very disciplined style. Their neutral zone is disciplined, they forecheck. They play a very structured game and, within that, when Sid gets the puck or Malkin gets the puck, they make dynamic things happen. It doesn't surprise me one bit."
A treat for the commishNHL commissioner Gary Bettman had a surprise waiting for him when he got to the press-box dining room prior to Game 3: a box of locally made pastries called Joe Louis (chocolate cake with cream filling). The delicacies used to be a staple in the press box but were no longer available, and Bettman had apparently lamented their passing from the menu.
Canadiens PR director Donald Beauchamp had a box brought in especially for Bettman's Game 3 visit, and the staff presented the box to Bettman. For the record, the commissioner shared the treats before the game.