GAME 24 PREVIEW – Penguins at Canadiens


By:  Rich Miller (@pensbender)

Penguins (15-8-0) at Canadiens (12-9-2)

Last Ten:  Pens (6-4) – Canadiens (4-4-2)

Last Game for the Penguins:  Last night the Penguins were victorious over the New York Islanders 4-3.  This was an entertaining one as both teams combined for 118 shot attempts.  Pittsburgh jumped out to an early 3-1 lead, however the Isles wouldn’t go away and eventually were able to capitalize on several Penguin turnovers halfway through the second to tie the game at three.  With a little over a minute to play in the game and the score still tied at three, the Penguins were able to get the go-ahead goal from their captain, Sidney Crosby.

Last Game for the Canadiens:  Montreal also played last night, doing the Pens a favor by defeating the Washington Capitals 3-2.  In the first, the Habs scored three times in less than five minutes and were able to hold on the rest of the way to earn the victory.  Peter Budaj started in net for the Canadiens and made 25 saves.

Last time these two played:  April 17, 2013 in Pittsburgh – The Pens capped off a three-game season sweep of the Canadiens, defeating them 6-4.  Brandon Sutter and Brenden Morrow each had two goals.  Matt Niskanen and Kris Letang each had two assists.  Marc-Andre Fleury picked up the win in net.

Also, this was the game where PK Subban “attempted” to fight Brenden Morrow.


And then this happened from the penalty box…


Story of the Game:

Both teams seem to be heading in the right direction after slumping recently.  The Pens won all three contests against Montreal last season in completely different ways: A 7-6 shoot-out, 1-0 defensive struggle, and a dominating 6-4 signature win.


Montreal’s No. 21-ranked offense, averaging 2.65 goals per game, goes against a Penguins defense that ranks No. 5 at 2.22 goals allowed. The Canadiens power play is averaging 23.86%, good for third best in the league, while the Penguins defense kills off 86.36% of their penalties, also third best in the league.  Pittsburgh has a huge advantage if this game stays a 5-0n-5 contest.

Who to Watch:

Marc-Andre Fleury returns to his old stomping grounds tonight.  In 11 career games at Bell Centre, Fleury is 6-3-2 with 3.21 goals against average and a .895 save percentage.