The Montreal Canadiens (7-6-1) face the slumping Pittsburgh Penguins (6-6-2) on Saturday night at the Bell Centre. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.
The Canadiens will be looking to secure their first three-game winning streak of the season as they welcome the Penguins to the Bell Centre for the second time in the last month.
The top line of Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki and Kirby Dach continues to look dominant since being put together, accounting for over 65% of the Canadiens’ offence since head coach Martin St-Louis put this winning combination together.
Suzuki has seemingly taken off offensively as of late, scoring six goals and adding four assists for ten points in his last six games. However, it was Kirby Dach who stole the show against the Vancouver Canucks, as he potted two goals and continued to improve the pace of his game; acting as the perfect complement to the Canadiens’ top duo.
On top of their top line getting sustained offensive production, the Canadiens have also begun receiving some secondary scoring, most notably from Mike Hoffman, who has three goals in his last two games. The veteran forward has put up solid underlying numbers all season, but is starting to get rewarded for his consistent efforts with prime scoring opportunities.
Jake Allen is expected to get the start against the Penguins this Saturday. His numbers have seen a sharp decrease over the last week, posting a 0.907 save percentage and a 3.11 goals-against average.
Ever since the Canadiens defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Bell Centre last month, they’ve been on a downward spiral and have truly been one of the major disappointments in the NHL this season.
However, it seems like the Penguins might be turning the corner now, having secured two wins in their last two games against the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs
The concerning part is that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are still producing at top levels offensively, but the goaltending and defensive breakdowns have held the Penguins back from being a consistently good team.
Tristan Jarry started the season strong, but has seemingly stumbled ever since; posting a 0.903 save percentage and a 3.38 goals-against average in eight games. If the Penguins are going to turn it around this season, Jarry will have to pick up the pace or be forced to surrender more starts to backup Casey DeSmith, who has been notably better in his five games this season, with a 0.916 save percentage and 2.67 goals-against average.
Going into this game, the Canadiens are -170 favourites on the sports betting lines, over the Penguins +138.
- Emil Heineman (IR)
- Mike Matheson (IR)
- Carey Price (LTIR)
- Paul Byron (LTIR)
- Teddy Blueger (DTD)
- Jeff Carter (DTD)
Montreal Canadiens Projected Lines
|Cole Caufield||Nick Suzuki||Kirby Dach|
|Juraj Slafkovsky||Sean Monahan *UNCONFIRMED*||Josh Anderson|
|Evgenii Dadonov||Christian Dvorak||Joel Armia|
|Michael Pezzetta||Jake Evans||Rem Pitlick|
|Joel Edmundson||Kaiden Guhle|
|Mike Matheson||Johnathan Kovacevic|
|Arber Xhekaj||Jordan Harris|
Penguins Projected Lines:
|TEAM||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Montreal Canadiens||17.1% (29th)||79.1% (12th)|
|Seattle Kraken||26.0% (8th)||66.7% (30th)|
Montreal Canadiens Game Notes:
- The last time these two teams met, Montreal came back from a 2-0 deficit to win the game 3-2 in overtime
- Nick Suzuki leads all Canadiens players in scoring with nine goals goals and eight assists in 14 games.
- Jake Guentzel remains as dangerous as ever, registering eight goals in just tens games this season
- The Penguins’ power play will need a serious jolt, as they currently sit 24th in the NHL.