The Canadiens have started 2016 on the right foot, winning two of three games played so far in the new year. With the news that Carey Price will be out until at least February, and the loss of Jeff Petry on the blue line for at least tonight's game, the Habs will need to continue building on the limited success they have created so far since January 1st.
The Canadiens will be playing their first Saturday night home game since a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on December 12. Mike Condon has had excellent performances in his past three starts — all wins — with a .945 save percentage and 1.67 goals-against average, and is entering tonight's game is search of a fourth consecutive win.
The Penguins are coming into Montreal having lost two games in a row to the Chicago Blackhawks, first in overtime and then by 3-1 in regulation. Sidney Crosby has regained his dominant form, putting up points in seven of his last nine games, twelve points in total. This will be Crosby's 31st game against the Canadiens. In 30 games, he has 40 points against the Habs, and had two assists in the Penguins' 4-3 shootout victory the last time these two teams met.
With the injury to Jeff Petry, there have been a number of changes made to the defense. Andrei Markov has moved back to the top LD position alongside P.K. Subban. This moves Nathan Beaulieu down to the second pairing, alongside Greg Pateryn who draws into the lineup for his eleventh game of the season.
Michel Therrien was pleased with his forward lines in Wednesday's victory over the New Jersey Devils. The return of Brendan Gallagher has brought back stability up front. Since Gallagher's return, the Habs' top line has combined for ten points (4G, 6A), taking some pressure off Alex Galchenyuk who has cooled down in his past five games (1G, 1A).
The puck drops at 7:00 PM EST.
How To Watch:
In Canada (French): TVA Sports
In Canada (English): Sportsnet
In the Penguins region: ROOT
In the United States: NHLN-US
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice
|Max Pacioretty||Tomas Plekanec||Brendan Gallagher|
|Sven Andrighetto||Alex Galchenyuk||Daniel Carr|
|Lars Eller||David Desharnais||Paul Byron|
|Brian Flynn||Torrey Mitchell||Devante Smith-Pelly|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Nathan Beaulieu||Greg Pateryn|
|Alexei Emelin||Mark Barberio|
Scratched: Tomas Fleischmann, Jarred Tinordi
Injuries: Carey Price (lower body) Tom Gilbert (lower body), Dale Weise (upper body), Jeff Petry
|Chris Kunitz||Sidney Crosby||David Perron|
|Patric Hornqvist||Evgeni Malkin||Phil Kessel|
|Tom Kuhnhackl||Nick Bonino||Bryan Rust|
|Kevin Porter||Matt Cullen||Eric Fehr|
|Olli Maatta||Kris Letang|
|Brian Dumoulin||Ben Lovejoy|
|Ian Cole||Trevor Daley|
Scratched: David Warsofsky, Scott Wilson, Adam Clendening
Injuries: Beau Bennett (upper body)
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