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Bennett, Fleury lead Penguins to a complete victory over Canadiens | TribLIVE.com
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Bennett, Fleury lead Penguins to a complete victory over Canadiens

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Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stops the Canadiens' Jiri Sekac during first period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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The puck goes into the net past Canadiens goalie Carey Price on a goal by Penguins' Beau Bennett as Steve Downie (23) looks on during first period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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Penguins defenseman Paul Martin is checked by Canadiens right wing P.A. Parenteau during the second period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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The Canadiens' Max Pacioretty falls on to Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in front of Paul Martin (left) and Nick Spaling during the second period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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Canadiens left wing Jiri Sekac shoots on Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury during the first period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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Penguins center Brandon Sutter celebrates his goal against the Canadiens during the second period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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Penguins center Brandon Sutter scores against Canadiens goalie Carey Price during the second period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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Penguins right wing Beau Bennett celebrates his goal against Canadiens goalie Carey Price with Steve Downie during the first period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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The Penguin' Craig Adams falls after battling for the puck with Canadiens defenseman Nathan Beaulieu during the first period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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Penguins right wing Steve Downie celebrates a goal by Brandon Sutter against Canadiens goalie Carey Price during the second period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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Penguins right wing Steve Downie celebrates his goal against the Canadiens with Beau Bennett during the first period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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The Penguins' Sidney Crosby (left) celebrates his goal as Canadiens goalie Carey Price reacts during the second period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014.
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The Penguins' Steve Downie celebrates his goal during the first period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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Penguins right wing Steve Downie scores past Canadiens goalie Carey Price during the first period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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The Penguins' Sidney Crosby celebrates his goal past Canadiens goalie Carey Price with teammate Patric Hornqvist during the second period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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The Penguins' Sidney Crosby (right) skates around the Canadiens' P.K. Subban during the second period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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The Penguins' Steve Downie celebrates a goal by teammate Brandon Sutter as Canadiens goalie Carey Price reacts by teammate Brandon Sutter as the Canadiens Brendan Gallagher looks on during the second period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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The Penguins' Craig Adams falls behind the Canadiens' Nathan Beaulieu (28) during first period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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The Penguins' Steve Downie (top) scores past Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) as Canadiens' Tom Gilbert and Penguins' Brandon Sutter look on during first period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and defenseman Kris Letang congratulate each other after beating the Canadiens on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save against Canadiens center David Desharnais during the third period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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Penguins players celebrate their win against the Canadiens on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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The Canadiens' Jiri Sekac takes a shot past Penguins defenseman Paul Martin during the third period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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A shot by Penguins center Brandon Sutter goes past Canadiens goalie Carey Price during the second period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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The Penguins' Patric Hornqvist (center) and Christian Ehrhoff congratulate goalie Marc-Andre Fleury after a 4-0 victory over the Canadiens on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.
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Canadiens goalie Carey Price makes a save against Penguins forward Nick Spaling as Sergei Gonchar defends during the second period Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Montreal.

MONTREAL — Sidney Crosby ended his goal drought, and Marc-Andre Fleury earned yet another shutout.

Before Crosby and Fleury left their mark, though, left wing Beau Bennett paved the way to an impressive 4-0 victory against the Canadiens in Montreal.

The Penguins own the NHL’s best record (13-3-1, 27 points).

Bennett produced a goal and two assists before the game was 21 minutes over, a breakout performance in his fourth game of the season.

“He was really good tonight,” center Brandon Sutter said. “He just looked dangerous tonight. Great to see him play like that.”

Bennett started the scoring by picking off defenseman Nathan Beaulieu’s pass and burying a wrist shot past goaltender Carey Price’s glove.

Later in the first, he dangled around two defenders before finding defenseman Kris Letang, who set up Steve Downie’s goal. Bennett was stopped on a breakaway by Price later in the opening period, as Bennett emerged as the game’s dominant player during the first two periods.

On his first shift of the second period, Bennett raced down the right wing before finding Sutter, who ripped a shot past Price.

Sutter said the goal should belong to Downie, who apparently tipped it. But there was no mistaking who was most responsible for the goal.

“Beau made a great pass there,” Sutter said. “He’s got that great vision. I don’t mind stepping into shots like that.”

Bennett admitted a day earlier that he hadn’t been completely comfortable in his first three games back in the lineup. His timing giving him problems.

Everything he did on this night indicates that Bennett has reclaimed his form from the preseason, when Bennett was among the team’s best players before injuring the MCL in his left knee during a training camp drill.

A couple of days to relax apparently was positive for Bennett.

“Having a day off on Sunday and getting a full practice with the team on Monday was good for me,” Bennett said.

The Penguins had planned for Sutter, Bennett and Downie to collaborate on the third line even before training camp begin.

Instead of opting for a traditional, physical third line, coach Mike Johnston wanted his third unit to specialize in puck possession.

While Downie fits the traditional third line mold — he has three goals this season, but also leads the league in penalty minutes —Sutter and Bennett are finesse players with long reaches, capable of possessing the puck for long stretches.

Sutter and Bennett have both said they enjoy playing on the same line. It looked like it against Montreal.

“Bennett and Sutter showed that chemistry in the preseason,” Johnston said. “We liked that chemistry a lot.”

With a victory very much in hand, Crosby scored a power play goal on the Penguins’ only opportunity with the man advantage, his first goal in nine games.

Fleury stopped all 27 shots he faced for his 32nd career shutout. With four shutouts this season, Fleury is one shy of his career high with 65 games remaining on the schedule.

“I haven’t always had a lot of success here,” Fleury said. “Friends and family are here. It’s a good two points.”

Montreal entered the game with a six-game winning streak and the NHL’s most points.

“This was a test for us,” forward Max Pacioretty said. “And we failed it.”

Bennett and the third line passed with flying colors.

“He was really good,” Sutter said. “The whole team was good tonight. It felt good.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

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