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Canadiens vs. Penguins: Game Thread, rosters, lines and how to watch

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Can the Canadiens stifle the red-hot Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel?

Pittsburgh Penguins v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Coming off a win against a highly offensive powered team in the Dallas Stars, the Canadiens now face a Pittsburgh Penguins team powered by the high flying Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.

Montreal did an effective job of hanging on against the Stars, who are currently in the battle for a wild card spot in the East. The difference here, is the Penguins are all but guaranteed to make the post season, and are a different beast than the Stars.

Antti Niemi will start today, following a game where he was a backbone for the Canadiens throughout the night, making 38 saves, seemingly reviving his career during the end stretch of the season with the Habs. It is the second straight time he is facing his former team as he started the year in Pittsburgh.

Brendan Gallagher scored his 26th goal of the year against Dallas, and seems to be heating up as of late, that being his second in as many games. He could be on his way to his first 30 goal season, as the idea of scoring four goals in that time span is very likely.

Jonathan Drouin, Alex Galchenyuk, Artturi Lehkonen and Nikita Scherbak also were big contributors on the night, and this final stretch could be vital for these young players to build on next season as they are the young forward core of the future for this franchise. Michael McCarron was recalled last night and should get an opportunity tonight as well.

Pittsburgh on the other hand, despite being one of the top teams in the Metro division, has been sputtering yet charging along in recent weeks. From an 8-4 mess in Boston, to back-to-back OT wins against the Flyers and Flames, and most recently beating the previously mentioned Stars, they’ve been unable to keep a constant pace.

However, Evgeni Malkin is one factor that the Penguins have been able to count on on a consistent basis. He’s been on an absolute tear as of late, with 21 points in his last 11 games, and currently chases Nikita Kucherov for the league lead in points with 87. Combined with Phil Kessel, who’s had a brilliant season of his own, and the ever-steady Sidney Crosby, there’s no surprise about where the Penguins are at this point of the season.

How to watch

Puck drop is 7:30 EDT / 4:30 PDT

In the Canadiens region: TSN2, TSN GO (English), RDS (French)
In the Penguins region: NBCSN, ATTSN-PT
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL GameCentre Live, NHL Center Ice

Canadiens Projected Lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Paul Byron Jonathan Drouin Brendan Gallagher
Alex Galchenyuk Jacob de la Rose Artturi Lehkonen
Daniel Carr Logan Shaw Kerby Rychel
Nicolas Deslauriers Michael McCarron Byron Froese

Defence

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Jordie Benn Jeff Petry
Karl Alzner Noah Juulsen
Mike Reilly Brett Lernout

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Antti Niemi
Charlie Lindgren

Penguins Projected Lineups

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Jake Guentzel Sidney Crosby Conor Sheary
Carl Hagelin Evgeni Malkin Patric Hornqvist
Riley Sheahan Derick Brassard Phil Kessel
Tom Kuhnackl Carter Rowney Bryan Rust

Defence

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Brian Dumoulin Kris Letang
Jamie Oleksiak Justin Schultz
Olli Maatta Chad Ruhwedel

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Tristan Jerry
Casey DeSmith