Tip shot

Sudden death

Tonight's game versus Montreal could be the Pittsburgh Penguins' swan song at Mellon Arena unless Sidney Crosby and company can find a way to stave off the Canadiens' bid to ruin the team's chances of winning back-to-back Stanley Cups.

Crosby tied Monday's game 1-1 in the first period by slipping a shot past Montreal goalie Jaroslav Halak. Another goal by Kris Letang put the Pens up 2-1 early in the second period. Mike Cammalleri of the Canadiens netted his second goal of the game to knot things again before Jaroslav Spacek gave the Habs the lead.

Maxim Lapierre added more insurance for Montreal with a goal in the third period and Halak staved off a late Pens' rally and goal by Bill Guerin to hold on to the win and tie the series at 3-3.

"They were facing elimination," Pascal Dupuis of the Pens told The Associated Press. "They were a desperate hockey team. They came hard. They have some guys who are putting the puck in the net right now.”

Game 7 will be tonight at 7 p.m. at Mellon Arena.

Lucky numbers

0 - The times Phoenix Suns' veteran small forward Grant Hill has had a chance to play in the conference finals before this season.

With a 107-101 win Sunday over San Antonio to clinch the second-round playoff sweep of the Spurs, Hill, a seven-time all-star, finally has his chance.

Hill, who began his NBA career with Detroit in 1994 after helping Duke to three consecutive NCAA title game appearances, has his team just four wins away from a berth in the finals. The 37-year-old is averaging 9マ points per game this postseason. The Suns, who last advanced to the NBA Finals in 1993, are in the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2006.

17 - The perfect games thrown in the modern era of MLB, including the gem thrown Sunday by Oakland's Dallas Braden.

The 26-year-old Braden accomplished the feat in just his fourth professional season with 109 pitches and six strike outs in a 4-0 win over Tampa Bay.

Braden's perfect game was the first to be done against the team with baseball's best record. It was also Braden's first career complete game and only his 53rd start.

It came only 290 days after the one thrown by Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox, oddly enough also against the Rays. It is only the second time perfect games have been thrown in back-to-back seasons. The first time was in 1964 and 1965 when Philadelphia's Jim Bunning had a flawless outing followed 13マ months later by Sandy Koufax of of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“(It) still hasn't really set in,” Braden said Monday. “Just hearing all the names that I'm in tremendous company with still makes it very surreal.”

Note: The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of 11 MLB clubs to never have been involved in a perfect game, win or lose.

41 - The jersey number new Pittsburgh Steelers' running back Jonathan Dwyer will wear.

The former Georgia Tech star told Facebook friends that it is the number he chose, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Dwyer, a sixth-round pick by the Steelers in last month's NFL Draft, wore the No. 21 for the Yellow Jackets.

 

By Patrick Connelly, Allied News sports editor. Images by The Associated Press and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Follow the sports department of The Allied News on Twitter at twitter.com/AlliedSports.

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