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Fleury has 27 saves, Penguins blank Canadiens 4-0

MONTREAL (AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves for his league-leading fourth shutout of the season as the Pittsburgh Penguins snapped Montreal’s six-game winning streak, beating the Canadiens 4-0 on Tuesday night.

Beau Bennett and Steve Downie had first-period goals for the Penguins, and Brandon Sutter and captain Sidney Crosby each scored in the second. Pittsburgh has now won 10 of its last 11.

Carey Price stopped 18 shots for Montreal.

Fleury, who made a couple of key saves early on, is 8-1-0 with a .944 save-percentage in his last nine starts dating back to Oct. 25.

The Canadiens, looking for the club’s first seven-game winning streak since 2006, started off strong. Montreal came close to scoring twice in the game’s first 90 seconds, but Max Pacioretty opted not to shoot on a partial breakaway just seconds in, and Fleury stopped Jiri Sekac going hard to the net a minute later.

Not beating Fleury right off the bat proved costly for Montreal, as Bennett gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 7:46 of the first period. The 22-year-old intercepted a pass by defenseman Nathan Beaulieu in his own zone, and shot one past Price for his first of the season.

Two minutes later, Downie doubled Pittsburgh’s lead. Kris Letang faked a shot, and passed the puck off to Downie at the side of the net leaving Price with no chance.

Sutter made it 3-0 just 58 seconds into the second, as he patiently waited out Price to beat the goalie with a wrister to the roof of the net.

Crosby capped the scoring with his first goal in nine games, the simplest of tap-ins into a gaping net while the Pens had the man advantage.

Pittsburgh’s power play is converting a league-best 33.8 percent.

Montreal went 0 for 3 on the power play.

Notes: Forward Pascal Dupuis missed the game due to an illness. … Olli Maatta, who missed Pittsburgh’s last six games after undergoing thyroid surgery, returned to the lineup. … An upper-body injury kept Mike Weaver out. … Bennett’s two-point night was just the second of his career.

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