Penguins Game Day (Game 34: Canadiens)
The Penguins will be going for their 13th straight win tonight as they host the Montreal Canadiens in a battle of the Eastern Conference heavy weights.
Game Time: 7:00pm est.
Montreal(20-6-5) @ Pittsburgh(25-8-0)
Last Meeting: Penguins Won 7-6 (OT)
IN a high scoring affair the Penguins were able to top the Canadiens in overtime. Montreal got the scoring started at 5:41 of the first as Brandon Prust scored his 3rd of the season. It was not until the final minute of the period that Brandon Sutter was able to respond with a power play goal (his 5th of the year), tying the game going into the locker room. Showing their resilience Montreal attacked early in the second to score just 4 minutes in. It was Max Pacioretty’s 7th of the season. Chris Kunitz didn’t allow the Habs to hold the lead long as he scored his 10th of the year about four minutes later. It appeared that Pittsburgh was taking control as they put up two more goals, Matt Cooke :30 seconds after Kunitz’s goal for his 4th and then Matt Cooke again roughly four in half minutes later for his 5th. The Canadiens would not rest though and with less then 3 minutes remaining in the 2nd Brian Gionta scored his 5th and P.K. Subban scored his 4th to tie the game at 4 goals a piece going into the 3rd period. Both teams came out flying in the 3rd but it was Montreal who wa able to strike first retaking the lead with a goal from David Desharnais as he recorded his 5th of the season. Less than 3 minutes later Chris Kunitz scores his second of the game and 11th of the season. In what was turning out to be a high scoring affair Montreal did their best to try and contain the Penguins high scoring offense, but the Penguins Captain was able to break through and score his 10th of the season giving the Penguins the lead once again. Unfortunately the lead was short lived as Brian Gionta scored his 6th of the year just :30 seconds later with 9 minutes remaining in the period. The 3rd ended and both teams headed to overtime, and honestly no one could have predicted which team would win this game, but just :52 seconds in, Brandon Sutter, Mr. Clutch, saves the day as he rips one past Carey Price for the win. A win that would start the Penguins amazing win streak that is currently up to 12 games.
What to Watch For
After the high scoring affair nearly a month ago, expect for this game to be played tighter and show off the defense of each club. The Penguins have won Eight one goal games during their current 12 game win streak.
It seems that playing Montreal always brings out the best in Sidney Crosby, He had a 3 point night last meeting 1 goal 2 assists.
(unconfirmed) Marc Andre Fleury
(unconfirmed) Carey Price
Malkin is not expected to be back in the lineup tonight as he is still Day-to-Day with a shoulder injury. I believe he is closer to a return than Letang is though.
Letang is not expected to be back in the lineup tonight as he is still Day-to-Day with a lower body injury (groin)
Newest acquisition Doug Murray is expected to make his Penguins debut Thursday when Pittsburgh take on Winnipeg.
Former Dallas Star Brenden Morrow is expected to play tonight against Montreal, But could hold off and play his first game as a Penguin Thursday against Winnipeg.
It is still believed that the Penguins are not done making moves, with roughly $6 million left in cap space Shero could still add another player or two to help this team on a strong run for the cup.
On that note Its being said that Pittsburgh is still one of the top two front-runners for Jarome Iginla. Though it could all be for show to make his price go up for other teams.
Phoenix Coyotes GM has been to the Penguins last two games, unsure who he is scouting, but could Pittsburgh be interested in someone to fill a 3rd or 4th line role?
Around the League
The Carolina Hurricanes announced last night that they have signed Alex Semin to a 5 year $35 million extension..
Tampa Bay announced that they have hired Jon Cooper as the new Head Coach of the Lightning. Cooper is a young coach who has won the Calder Cup with the Lightning’s AHL affiliate just one season ago.
Boston, Chicago, L.A. and Pittsburgh are the four teams that Iginla would accept a trade to, but many speculate that Boston may be the frontrunners with Pittsburgh a close second.