The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off what might have been their worst effort of the season Thursday night in Carolina, and they look to right the ship tonight as they travel to Montreal to take on the Eastern Conference leading Canadiens. However, the Pens will be fighting an up-hill battle as they’ll be without defenseman, Paul Martin. Martin was labeled with a day-to-day lower-body injury after Thursday night’s loss to Carolina.
The Canadiens, a draft lottery team just last season, hired former Penguin head coach, Michel Therrien in the offseason and the decision is paying off dividends. The Habs are one of the top defensive teams in the league and look to make it ten straight games without a regulation loss. Tonight’s game marks the first opportunity for Therrien to coach against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. With the Penguins, Therrien went 135-105-32 in the regular-season.
He (Crosby) is a special guy. He’s a true professional. I enjoyed my time with him.
The Penguins will be shifting a couple of players throughout the lineup, in hopes of providing a scoring punch. James Neal moves from a line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz to a line with Brandon Sutter and Matt Cooke. Pascal Dupuis will be back to skating with his familiar line mates, Crosby and Kunitz.
The Pens haven’t lost three straight road games since November of 2011 when they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.
In the three games without Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby has two goals and four assists.
Chris Kunitz has at least one point in 16 of 21 games.
The Canadiens are 7-0-2 record in their last nine games.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Penguins: Sidney Crosby
Crosby is due to score a goal in Montreal. He hasn’t scored a goal in his last eight regular-season games at the Bell Centre, though he has seven assists.
Canadiens: Carey Price
Price is one of the major reasons the Canadiens have been so stingy on defense, allowing 2.05 goals per game. He’s tied for the league lead in wins for goaltenders with 11.
PROBABLE CANADIENS LINES
PROBABLE PENGUINS LINES
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