x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Penguins plan to make themselves at home in Montreal

The Penguins are owned by Mario Lemieux, the Montreal-born hockey legend, and their line-up boasts four players from Quebec.

The Pittsburgh Penguins might feel more at home than the typical visitors to the Bell Centre for their play-off game against the Canadiens. The Penguins are owned by Mario Lemieux, the Montreal-born hockey legend, and their line-up boasts four player from Quebec, including Marc-Andre Fleury, the goalkeeper; Kris Letang in defence and Maxime Talbot and Pascal Dupuis, both forwards. And Sidney Crosby, their captain, is a native of Nova Scotia and honed his French while playing junior hockey in Rimouski, Quebec.

So they expected a fair share of the local support when they took the ice last night for third game of their Eastern Conference semi-final. "We felt like all of Quebec was behind the Penguins last year," said Talbot, who brought the Stanley Cup home after scoring both goals in Pittsburgh's Cup-clinching 2-1 win in the seventh game of the final in Detroit. Despite the Penguins' popularity in the province, the Canadiens were welcomed as conquering heroes by yet another sold-out crowd.

Montreal evened the second-round series at 1-1 on Sunday. Jaroslav Halak rebounded from being pulled from Friday's loss and frustrated the Penguins with save after save. The series stays in Montreal for tomorrow's game 4. * AP