- Associated Press - Saturday, January 9, 2016

MONTREAL (AP) - Marc-Andre Fleury was at his best when it mattered most for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Fleury made 33 saves to help the Penguins beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 on Saturday night. He was particularly outstanding in the third period, stopping 17 shots to hold on for his 15th win of the season.

“He had to make some really tough saves all night,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “Especially when they were pushing at the end. He was solid again. You need that when a team is coming at you like that.

“You need a few of those saves and he did it again for us tonight.”

Bryan Rust scored his first goal of the season to put Pittsburgh ahead in the second period, and Patric Hornqvist and Eric Fehr also scored to help the Penguins improve to 3-1-2 in their last six games.

Fleury prevented Montreal from tying the score in the game’s waning minutes and is now 20-11-3 all-time against the Canadiens.

Perhaps his best save was on P.K. Subban, who had beaten him earlier in the game. With David Desharnais screening him, Fleury stuck out his glove at the last possible second to rob Subban of a goal with five minutes left.

“I was just looking to my right and saw it going to my left,” Fleury said. “I just put something there, and it was in my glove. I owed him one, so it was a good feeling.”

At the other end of the rink, Mike Condon was almost as impressive - stopping 29 shots in defeat for Montreal.

Down 2-1 in the third, Condon robbed Crosby of a sure goal after flashing the leather while the Penguins had the man advantage.

And Condon had to be sharp in the first period to keep the game scoreless. He made a sensational pad save on Crosby early on, and made back-to-back stops on Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang late in the period.

“He played awesome,” Montreal’s Max Pacioretty said. “We have to be better in front of him. He shut the door. A lot of big saves, that glove save on Crosby. He played great.”

Added Crosby: “A few of those saves were definitely good ones, and he held them in the game early on.”

Condon was less dominant in the second, when Hornqvist and Rust scored to prevent him from registering his fourth consecutive victory.

With Torrey Mitchell in the box for high sticking, Hornqvist eluded Montreal’s defense and slotted home his ninth of the season from the edge of the crease at 7:18 to make it 1-0.

Evgeni Malkin got an assist on the goal, his ninth point in his last six games.

Pittsburgh’s power play, ranked 15th overall in the NHL, has been dominant over the last four weeks, scoring 11 goals in their last 10 games.

Subban tied the score with 9:21 left in the second period with his second of the season - and first in 34 games - on a one-timer from the point.

Rust put the Penguins in front for good, beating Condon top shelf on a breakaway with his second career goal about 3 1/2 minutes later.

Fehr added a short-handed empty-netter with 10 seconds left in regulation.

Pittsburgh was all over Montreal for much of the game, beating the Canadiens to loose pucks and applying constant pressure on the puck carrier.

Montreal has not won consecutive games since late November.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien announced on Friday that Carey Price would not play until after the All-Star break.

NOTES: Greg Pateryn was in the lineup for Montreal in place of the injured Jeff Petry (lower body). … Andrei Markov was reunited with Subban on Montreal’s top defensive pairing. They each played more than 27 minutes. … Pittsburgh’s Tom Kuhnhackl, 23, made his season debut. … This was the last of three meetings between the Canadiens and Pengins this season.

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