The last time the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens did battle, the score looked more like a Cleveland Browns vs Oakland Raiders game. Since then, the Pengiuns have been the hottest team in the NHL and winners of their last 12-straight – and they’ve done it with suburb defense.
The Penguins have begun to pull away from the pack in the Eastern Conference during the month of March – a month where they’ve been undefeated. Can the Penguins continue to march their way to another win tonight against the number two team in the conference, the Montreal Canadiens?
The Pens expect to welcome a couple of players to the lineup tonight. Newcomer Brenden Morrow will make his Penguins debut and Kris Letang was activated off of the IR earlier today and is a game time decision.
The Canadiens enter tonight’s game tied atop the Northeast Division with their most hated rivals, the Boston Bruins. The Canadiens are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, but have won just once in their last three. Michel Therrien returns to Pittsburgh for the first time as head coach of the Canadiens.
“These jitters, these nerves, I had them riding to the rink yesterday. I haven’t felt them for a long time. Those are good feelings, not maybe the best feelings in your body, but you know you’re alive when the butterflies show up.”
NEWS AND NOTES
There is only one team Brenden Morrow has never scored against, besides the team he spent 14 years playing for. He now plays for that team. In 10 career games against the Canadiens, Morrow has two goals and one assist.
Marc-Andre Fleury is 3-0-1 with a 2.38 GAA in his last four starts in the series. Flower hasn’t allowed an even strength goal since March 14th in Toronto and during his last four games, all wins, his goals against average is a stingy 0.74.
Max Pacioretty leads the Canadiens with 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists).
Tomas Plekanec has always played the Penguins strong, he leads the Habs with 12 goals on the season. In his career, Plekanec has 20 points in 28 games versus the Penguins (nine goals, 11 assists).
Carey Price is 1-1-2 with a 3.90 goals-against average in his last four starts against the Penguins.
Matt Cooke missed practice today as he’s been playing through an injury.
If you’re keeping track of jersey numbers, here are the changes. Morrow will wear his traditional #10, Tanner Glass has switched from #10 to #15, and Dustin Jeffrey will go from #15 to #17.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
PENGUINS: Brenden Morrow
Morrow plays his first game as a member of the Penguins tonight. You better believe all eyes will be on him tonight to see what he will bring to the lineup. Morrow will skate on a line with James Neal and Dustin Jeffrey. He will also likely see time on the second power play unit.
CANADIENS: Carey Price
Price will be looking for a little redemption tonight. He hasn’t allowed more than three goals in his last seven starts and is 5-1-1 during that stretch. In his career, Price is 8-6-2 with a 2.96 GAA and .909 save percentage against Pittsburgh.
PROBABLE CANADIENS LINES
PROBABLE PENGUINS LINES
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