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Canadiens Game 29: Montembeault To Start Versus Penguins



Montreal Canadiens versus Pittsburgh Penguins

The Montreal Canadiens (12-13-3) host the Pittsburgh Penguins (11-12-3) at the Bell Centre on Wednesday night. The puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET.

Martin St-Louis’ team played well during the weekend, winning Saturday’s matchup with the Buffalo Sabers in a shootout and losing a hard-fought battle against the Nashville Predators on Sunday. The expectations are reasonable in the Canadiens’ case. No one expects them to string together a long winning streak, but there needs to be an onus put on providing an honest effort, which was the case during the last two games.

All eyes will be on Cole Caufield when the Canadiens face the Penguins. The talented winger is yet to score a  goal in December. He’s currently on pace for 21 goals this season, which is a decent output for most players, but well below what fans have come to expect from the 22-year-old American. Caufield signed an eight-year contract extension this summer that carries a $7.85 million annual average value.

Caufield has been playing on the top line alongside Nick Suzuki and Juraj Slafkovsky. The trio does seem to have chemistry, but they’re yet to score at 5v5. Slafkovsky’s evident improvements have been encouraging, but there does need to be a certain level of production to justify his presence on the team’s top line. Slafkovsky is currently on pace for a little more than 20 points this season.

MUST READ: Canadiens Kent Hughes On Slafkovsky’s Development & Timeline

The Penguins played last night, earning a 4-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes. Usually, facing a tired team is good news, but the Canadiens have not taken advantage of their favourable schedule to start the season. They’ve faced six teams that played the previous night but are yet to earn a win.

Samuel Montembeault, who recently signed a three-year contract extension, will be given the start for the Canadiens.

As for the Penguins, things have not gone according to plan.

General Manager Kyle Dubas acquired Erik Karlsson in a bid to re-invigorate his team, and while Karlsson has played well his presence alone has not been enough to keep the Penguins in the wild card race.

The Penguins are currently seventh in the Metropolitan Division and have won just three of their last 10 games.

Jake Guentzel leads the charge offensively, with 12 goals and 19 assists in 27 games. Sidney Crosby isn’t the player he once was, but he’s still a force in the offensive zone, as evidenced by his 15 goals and 13 assists.

For the view from the other side of the rink, don’t forget to check out our sister site Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

Montreal Canadiens Injuries

  • Carey Price (IR)
  • Chris Wideman (IR)
  • Kirby Dach (out indefinitely, ACL/MCL)
  • Rafael Harvey-Pinard (IR)
  • Jordan Harris (10-14 days)
  • Alex Newhook (out 10-12 weeks)

Pittsburgh Penguins Injuries

  • Brian Rust (out)
  • Noel Acciari (IR)
  • Sam Poulin (out)
  • Rickard Rakell (IR)
  • Chad Ruhwedel (IR)
  • Matt Nieto (IR)

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup

Cole CaufieldNick SuzukiJuraj Slafkovsky
Brendan GallagherAlex NewhookJoel Armia
Jesse YlonenJake EvansJosh Anderson
Michael PezzettaChristian DvorakRafael Harvey-Pinard
Mike MathesonJustin Barron
Lane HutsonDavid Savard
Jordan HarrisLogan Mailloux
Samuel Montembeault
Cayden Primeau


Pittsburgh Penguins Projected Lineup

Guentzel – Crosby – O’Connor

Smith – Malkin – Puustinen

Zohorna – Eller – Hinistroza

Harkins – Gruden – Carter


Graves – Letang

Pettersson – Karlsson

Joseph – Ludvig




How to Watch Or Listen




Montreal Candiens: TSN 690