By Larry Snyder
Can the Pittsburgh Penguins (27-11-5, 29 points) build a new winning streak after their high-scoring defeat of the Washington Capitals Monday when they skate against the Canadiens (27-12-6, 60 points) in Montreal this evening? The battle between Eastern Conference rivals begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Bell Centre in Quebec, and every puck drop at center ice is on ROOT Sports.
The Black and Gold’s offense remains robust this season. Sidney Crosby with 27 goals and Evgeni Malkin with 21 goals join the Winnipeg Jets twosome of Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele, who have 21 and 20 goals respectively, as the only duos to own 20 goals or more in the National Hockey League.
From The Penguins Twitter Account…
Coach on Sid approaching 1000 pts: "He's an inspiring player to be around on a daily basis. He has an insatiable appetite to be the best."
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 18, 2017
Montreal hits the ice tonight after being shutout 1-0 Monday by the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The Habs put up just 18 shots in the loss against Red Wings goalie Jared Coreau. Montreal is 10th in the NHL, averaging 30.4 shots per contest.
This evening is the third and last regular-season matchup between these two combatants. The first meeting was Tuesday, Oct. 18th in Montreal and the Canadiens blanked the Pens 4-0. The rematch favored the Pens Saturday, Dec. 31st at PPG Paints Arena as they edged the Habs 4-3 in overtime.
The zamboni mechanics at LeftWingLock.com have confirmed Matt Murray (2.53 GAA) for Pittsburgh and Carey Price (2.30 GAA) for Montreal as the starting goaltenders.
The puck experts at the Bovada and My Bookie online sportsbooks put the Black and Gold +1.5 for this evenings’ get-together with the over/under set at 5.5. I think a 4-3 win is in the cards for the Pens.
Pittsburgh Penguins 2016-2017 Rundown:
Home Record: 19-2-2
Away Record: 8-9-3
Last 10 Games: 6-4-0
Pens Vs. Atlantic Division: 9-3-2
Bleacher Report Power Ranking This Week: 5th
Goals For/Against: 153/131 (+22)
Power Play: 23.3% (3rd)
Penalty Kill: 78.1% (25th)
Game Winning Goals Leader: Evgeni Malkin with 4
Power Play Goals Leader: Sidney Crosby with 9
Short Handed Goals Leaders: Nick Bonino and Matt Cullen with 1 each
Faceoff Leader: Nick Bonino 49.1%
Hits Leader: Patric Hornqvist with 123
Blocks Leader: Ian Cole with 97
Injured: Matt Cullen, Kris Letang, and Brian Dumoulin
Montreal Canadiens 2016-2017 Rundown:
Home Record: 16-4-2
Away Record: 11-8-4
Last 10 Games: 6-3-1
Canadiens Vs. Metropolitan Division: 8-4-1
Bleacher Report Power Ranking This Week: 4th
Goals For/Against: 138/113 (+25)
Power Play: 21.7% (9th)
Penalty Kill: 78.9% (23rd)
Game Winning Goals Leader: Max Pacioretty with 6
Power Play Goals Leader: Shea Weber with 8
Short Handed Goals Leaders: Max Pacioretty, Paul Byron, and Tomas Plekanec with 1 each
Faceoff Leader: Torrey Mitchell 53.1%
Hits Leader: Alexei Emelin with 144
Blocks Leader: Shea Weber with 96
Injured: Andrei Markov, David Desharnais, Brendan Gallagher, and Greg Pateryn
Looking back at a game recap on YouTube.com of Penguins Vs. Canadiens from 12/31/2016…