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Canadiens vs Penguins game thread

The Habs and Pens meet again tonight as the race for 1st in the Eastern Conference continues to be tight.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The official halfway mark of the season comes for both the Habs and Pens tonight who will each be playing their 41st games. Halfway-mark season awards are being awarded on most hockey news websites. Carey Price still gets second-level rispek, being placed on some lists as the runner-up for the halfway season Vezina, behind the likes of Pekka Rinne and Ben Bishop. We can argue all day about this team not getting the respect they deserve (with other fan bases or even among ourselves, in the mirror with yourself in the morning...). It starts with the coach, Michel Therrien, who believes his team is building the right attitude and work ethic to win. It ends with the play on the ice against another opponent who also believe they have what it takes to win, and while MT's words ring true, the Habs will have to keep winning to back up what the coach is saying.

The Penguins have had a great half-season under new coach Mike Johnston. This is their worst stretch of the season (4-4-2 over the past ten games), and it's made Penguins fans hungry for more from their perennial star, Sidney Crosby, who has been under some mild heat recently for not scoring enough goals (although he's tied for 2nd in the league in assists, Sid has only scored 11 goals so far in 37 games). Having some stability on his line might help Crosby find the net more. This will be Crosby's third game alongside his newly acquired line-mate David Perron, who scored the Pens' only goal in the loss against the Habs last Saturday.

Half-way through the year, and the Habs are track to be in the final contest for first in the East, and then beyond, a win tonight could be something to look back upon and draw strength from when things get tougher. We have barely cracked the surface of this NHL season, and as the games get harder to win, the Habs will need to keep driving the pace.

They hit the ice tonight at 7:00 PM EST/8:30 PM  in Newfoundland.

Go Habs Go!

In Canada (English): CBC
In Canada (French): TVA
In the Penguins' Region: ROOT
Elsewhere: NHL Center Ice or NHL Gamecenter Live

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Center
Right Wing
Max Pacioretty Alex Galchenyuk Brendan Gallagher
David Desharnais Tomas Plekanec Dale Weise
Jiri Sekac Lars Eller Brandon Prust
Christian Thomas Sven Andrighetto Michael Bournival
Left Defense
Right Defense
Andrei Markov P.K. Subban
Nathan Beaulieu Sergei Gonchar
Alexei Emelin Tom Gilbert
Goaltenders
Carey Price
Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Mike WeaverManny Malhotra

Injuries: P.A. Parenteau (upper-body)

As for the Pittsburgh Penguins here's how their lineup comes together tonight.

Pittsburgh Penguins Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Center
Right Wing
David Perron Sidney Crosby Steve Downie
Nick Spaling Evgeni Malkin Beau Bennett
Chris Kunitz Brandon Sutter Bryan Rust
Zach Sill Andrew Ebbett Craig Adams
Left Defense
Right Defense
Paul Martin Kris Letang
Christian Ehrhoff Robert Bortuzzo
Rob Scuderi Simon Despres
Goaltenders
Marc-Andre Fleury
Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Andrew Ebbett, Derrick Pouliot, Bobby Farnham

Injuries: Marcel Goc (illness), Patric Hornqvist (upper body), Blake Comeau (upper body), Pascal Dupuis (blood clot), Olli Maatta (upper body), Scott Wilson (leg)

Check out the opposing side at Pensburgh.