The Montreal Canadiens (20-21-7) are set to play the Pittsburgh Penguins (21-17-7) at the PPG Paints Arena. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 pm ET.
This is the last game for the Habs prior to the NHL All-Star break, providing them with an opportunity to enter the week off on the right foot. Alternatively, losing to the Penguins would leave the team with a bitter taste in their mouth until they face the Washington Capitals on February 8.
Canadiens head coach Martin St-Louis will have to do without the services of veteran winger Brendan Gallagher, who was suspended for five games following his predatory hit on New York Islanders defenceman Adam Pelech. With that in mind, forward Jesse Ylonen will return to the lineup to face the Penguins. Jordan Harris will also play on Saturday night, which means that Arber Xhekaj will make his way to the press box.
Goaltender Jake Allen will be given the start versus Pittsburgh.
As for the Penguins, they continue to be a middling team despite having some of the most talented players in the NHL in their lineup.
They are fresh off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers, but given the Canadiens have had little to no success facing teams on the second leg of back-to-back games, facing a tired roster certainly does not guarantee any sort of advantage for the road team on Saturday night.
He’s no longer in his prime years, but facing a generational talent like Sidney Crosby is never a task meant to be taken lightly. The 36-year-old currently leads the Penguins in scoring with 27 goals and 21 assists. Newcomer Erik Karlsson is doing his part on the blueline, as evidenced by his 26 assists.
If you would like to see the view from the other side of the rink, make sure to visit our sister site: Pittsburgh Hockey Now.
Montreal Canadiens Injuries
- Carey Price (IR)
- Chris Wideman (IR)
- Kirby Dach (out indefinitely, ACL/MCL)
- Alex Newhook (out 10-12 weeks)
- Christian Dvorak (out)
Pittsburgh Penguins Injuries
- Reilly Smith (out)
- John Ludvig (IR)
- Matt Nieto (IR)
- Jesse Puljujarvi (out)
Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Pittsburgh Penguins Projected Lineup
Guentzel – Crosby – Rust
O’Connor – Malkin – White
Rakell – Eller – Puustinen
Harkins – Acciari – Carter
Pettersson – Letang
Graves – Karlsson
Joseph – Ruhwedel