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Sykora, Malkin beat Price as Penguins rebound to down Canadiens 5-2

The Canadian Press
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Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak misses a shot that hits the goalpost. (CP PHOTO/Ryan Remiorz) Author: The Hockey News

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Sykora, Malkin beat Price as Penguins rebound to down Canadiens 5-2

The Canadian Press
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Petr Sykora, Evgeni Malkin and Tyler Kennedy added goals against Carey Price as the Penguins avenged a 3-2 overtime loss at the Bell Centre in the pre-season openers for both clubs on Monday night.

Bryan Smolinski, in his first game as a Canadien, and Saku Koivu scored for Montreal.

Price, a fan favourite to make the team, got a long ovation from the 21,273 at the Bell Centre when he replaced Halak at 9:45 of the second period. He allowed three goals on 17 shots.

The world junior championship gold medallist who led Hamilton to an American Hockey League title in the spring, could do little as Sykora took a feed from Malkin, held off a stick check from Ryan O'Bryne and lifted the puck in at 11:51 for a 3-1 lead.

It was 3-2 with the Canadiens pressing when Malkin came out of the penalty box, took a pass from Dustin Jeffrey and beat Price to the low stick side on a breakaway at 12:33 of the third. Kennedy jammed a rebound in from the side of the net at 17:00.

Halak had a rough start as Jonathan Filewich's shot went off the back boards onto Stone's stick for goal 32 seconds into the game. Taffe scored on a bad-angled shot inside the near post at 2:41.

Smolinski found the puck in a scramble and put it past Dany Sabourin on a power play 5:57 into the second frame.

With Guillaume Latendresse off for his second boarding call of the game, Koivu stole the puck from Ben Lovejoy and scored short-handed at 8:57 of the third.

The Canadiens captain made a move that caused teammates Sykora and Brooks Orpik to collide. Orpik's elbow caught Sykora's face and the sniper was dripping blood as he rushed to the training room for treatment.

The Penguins had another scare when defenceman Ryan Whitney was slammed face-first into the boards in the second period by Latendresse, who drew a boarding call and another five minutes for fighting Kennedy. Whitney shook it off at the bench.

Moments earlier, Latendresse had been flattened by an open-ice hit from Orpik.

It made for a second straight game with more than usual intensity for exhibition games, even though the Penguins rested stars Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal and Mark Recchi.

Pittsburgh's highly touted rookie Angelo Esposito was more active in his second game, rushing the puck to create chances, but failed to register a point.

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Sykora, Malkin beat Price as Penguins rebound to down Canadiens 5-2