PITTSBURGH -- After not losing in a shootout for two years, the Pittsburgh Penguins lost their past two games in that fashion, with the latest being a 6-5 setback vs. the Montreal Canadiens at Consol Energy Center on Thursday night.
"I thought our team battled hard tonight," said Montreal coach Michel Therrien. "We came back four times and I liked the spirit, especially in back-to-back games."
Canadiens center Daniel Briere scored twice in regulation and added an assist, while center David Desharnais collected the only goal in the shootout.
"You want to be going for your team and it's something I've enjoyed," said Desharnais. "It's fun and I've had a good year so far in the shootout."
The play was sloppy, especially on the parts of the goaltenders. There also were 11 combined penalties, with each team converting twice with the man-advantage.
"We worked hard," said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. "It was a little sloppy, a lot of special teams. I think it's tough for everybody to get in the game when you have that many penalties going both ways."
The Penguins blew two third-period leads in falling to Montreal. The loss for Pittsburgh marked the first time the Penguins went two straight games without a win since Nov. 23-25 (0-1-1).
Defenseman P.K. Subban drew a slashing call against Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin to put the Canadiens on the power play early in the third. However, Subban subsequently had his pocket picked by Pittsburgh center Brandon Sutter, who broke in alone on a breakaway and backhanded a shot past Montreal goalie Peter Budaj for a short-handed tally to put Pittsburgh ahead 4-3.
Just 24 seconds later, Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin threw a shot on net from the blue line that snuck inside the left post to pull the game even once again, 4-4.
The Penguins scored their fifth goal of the night on the power play when a slap shot by Malkin deflected right to the stick of Crosby, who wristed the puck past a down-and-out Budaj at 12:29 of the third.
After Pittsburgh left winger Tanner Glass was given a five-minute major for elbowing Emelin, Montreal wasted little time in converting. Briere got his second of the game by tapping in a loose rebound inside the left post to knot the game at 5 at 14:06 of the third.
"That one was Johnny-on-the-spot," said Briere. "An ugly goal, but most of them are scored right from the crease and I always tell myself to try to get in there, try to get close to the goalie and get some loose pucks and it paid off tonight."
Right winger Brendan Gallagher and left winger Max Pacioretty also scored for Montreal.
Left winger James Neal, and defensemen Deryk Engelland and Olli Maatta added goals for Pittsburgh.
Budaj made 27 saves to earn the win, while Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 shots in defeat.
NOTES: Thursday's game marked the first of 17 games in 32 days, through the end of March, for the Penguins. ... For Montreal, Thursday's game marked the completion of its 13th set back-to-back games. The Canadiens have four more back-to-back sequences remaining. ... Pittsburgh C Evgeni Malkin extended his points streak to six games. ... Pittsburgh lost 356 man-games to injury, while Montreal lost 204. ... Scratches for the Penguins were D Simon Despres, D Paul Martin (broken hand) and D Kris Letang (stroke). Scratches for the Canadiens were G Carey Price (lower body), D Francis Bouillon and C Ryan White. ... Pittsburgh next will play against the Chicago Blackhawks outdoors at Soldier Field on Saturday night. Montreal also will be in action Saturday night when it hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs. ... The official attendance was 18,636, Pittsburgh's 315th consecutive sellout.