NHL PREVIEWS |

Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Preview and Predictions 02-14-2020


The Pittsburgh Penguins are trying to track down first-place Washington in the Metropolitan Division but the schedule has not exactly been favorable, with five matchups in the previous nine games against the three best teams in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins will continue a four-game homestand against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night.

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Pittsburgh is coming off its second loss in six days to Tampa Bay, the league's hottest team, but has earned points in 10 of its last 13 games (9-3-1). "It's going to be tight hockey from here on in," captain Sidney Crosby said after Tuesday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Lightning. "Doesn't make it any better when you lose." The defeat dropped the Penguins to 12-2-2 in their last 16 at home, which included a 4-1 setback to Montreal on Dec. 10. The Canadiens had won three straight and nine of 12 before dropping back-to-back decisions to Arizona and Boston to fall eight points out of the second wild card entering play Thursday.

TIME: 7 p.m. ET. TV: AT&T Sportsnet-Pittsburgh, RDS, TSN2

ABOUT THE CANADIENS (27-25-7): Already facing an uphill climb to reach the postseason, Montreal learned that captain Shea Weber will be sidelined for four to six weeks due to a sprained left ankle. The Canadiens managed only three goals in their past two losses and have failed to score more than two regulation goals in four straight contests. "We haven't really generated all that much for whatever reason," forward Brendan Gallagher said after Wednesday's 4-1 loss at Boston. "It's disappointing in a sense. ... We need to find a way to collect points."

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (34-15-6): Forward Jason Zucker was not thrilled with his Pittsburgh debut -- "I pretty much mishandled every puck" -- on Tuesday night, which came one day after he was acquired from the Minnesota Wild. Zucker skated on Pittsburgh's No. 1 line in that game and remained there at Thursday's practice alongside Crosby and Dominik Simon. "It takes games and situations," Crosby said of Zucker's adjustment to a new system. "He's got a lot of speed and experience. That's going to help the transition go a little smoother."

OVERTIME

1. Penguins C Evgeni Malkin has three goals and five assists during a five-game point streak and has 53 points in 42 games versus Montreal.

2. Canadiens G Carey Price has allowed four goals in splitting two decisions versus Pittsburgh this season.

3. Crosby has 19 goals and 49 points in 39 games versus the Canadiens.

Prediction

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

Consol Energy Center
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
Capacity: 18,387

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Last Injuries

Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Jared McCann

    Upper Body
    Ques Fri | questionable

    McCann sat out the last game with an upper-body injury, and it is up in the air if he will play Friday against the Ducks.

  • Dominik Kahun

    Knee
    Ques Fri | questionable

    Kahun was recently acquired via trade and is dealing with a left knee injury. It is unknown if he will make his team debut Friday versus the Golden Knights.

  • John Marino

    Face
    Late March | I-R

    Marino has been added to the injured reserve list and is projected to miss three to six weeks after having surgery to repair facial bone fractures.

  • Nick Bjugstad

    Abdominal
    Early March | I-R

    Bjugstad has landed on injured reserve after having core muscle surgery, and he is expected to be out of the lineup until the beginning of March.

  • Brian Dumoulin

    Ankle
    Early March | I-R

    Dumoulin has been designated for the injured reserve list and is expected to be out of action until at least the early part of March after having surgery to repair lacerated tendons in his left ankle.

  • Erik Gudbranson

    Upper Body
    Early March | I-R

    Gudbranson has been added to the injured reserve list with an upper-body injury, and is expected to remain on the shelf until at least the beginning of March.

  • Dominik Kahun

    Leg
    Ques Wed | questionable

    Kahun has sat out the previous two games due to a left leg injury, and it is unclear if he will be in Wednesday's lineup versus the Kings.

  • Zach Aston-Reese

    Lower Body
    Out indefinitely | out

    Aston-Reese is out of action due to a lower-body injury, and it is undetermined when he will return to the lineup.

Montreal Canadiens

  • Victor Mete

    Foot
    out for season | I-R

    Mete has been designated for the injured reserve list due to a fractured left foot. He is expected to miss the remainder of the season.

  • Xavier Ouellet

    Concussion
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Ouellet is on the injured reserve list with a concussion, and it is unknown when he will return to the fold.

  • Nick Cousins

    Acquired
    Prob Wed | probable

    Cousins was traded for, but it is projected that he will take part in Wednesday's battle with the Oilers.

  • Nate Thompson

    Acquired
    Prob Tues | probable

    Thompson is projected to suit up for Tuesday's matchup against the Sharks despite recently being acquired by the team in a trade.

  • Matthew Peca

    Acquired
    Ques Mon | questionable

    Peca was recently acquired via trade, and it is unknown if he will join the team in time to face the Blue Jackets on Monday.

  • Brendan Gallagher

    Lower Body
    Prob Thurs | probable

    Gallagher sat out the previous game due to a lower-body injury, but it is likely that he will line up Thursday against the Capitals.

  • Shea Weber

    Ankle
    Prob Tues | probable

    Weber has been activated from the injured reserve list after healing from a sprained ankle, and it is likely that he will return to action Tuesday against the Red Wings.

  • Nate Thompson

    Illness
    Prob Tues | probable

    Thompson sat out the previous game due to illness, but he is likely to line up versus the Red Wings on Tuesday.

pittsburgh-penguins Stats 2019-2020

Offensive
Player GP G GWG GO GP1 GP2 Gp3 GPP GSH PPP PSH SHI SHOT
Player GP G GWG GO GP1 GP2 Gp3 GPP GSH PPP PSH SHI SHOT
Statistics
Player GP GS FL FW H L W OL PM
Player GP GS FL FW H L W OL PM
Assits
Player GP GS A APP ASH
Player GP GS A APP ASH
Defense
Player GP GS GA GAA GP1A GP2A GP3A GOA SA SOA SP1A SP2A SP3A BS
Player GP GS GA GAA GP1A GP2A GP3A GOA SA SOA SP1A SP2A SP3A BS
Shutouts
Player GP GS SHU SHUA SHUS SHUL
Player GP GS SHU SHUA SHUS SHUL
Time on ice
Player GP GS TOIESS TOIPPS TOIS TOISHS
Player GP GS TOIESS TOIPPS TOIS TOISHS

montreal-canadiens Stats 2019-2020

Offensive
Player GP G GWG GO GP1 GP2 Gp3 GPP GSH PPP PSH SHI SHOT
Player GP G GWG GO GP1 GP2 Gp3 GPP GSH PPP PSH SHI SHOT
Statistics
Player GP GS FL FW H L W OL PM
Player GP GS FL FW H L W OL PM
Assits
Player GP GS A APP ASH
Player GP GS A APP ASH
Defense
Player GP GS GA GAA GP1A GP2A GP3A GOA SA SOA SP1A SP2A SP3A BS
Player GP GS GA GAA GP1A GP2A GP3A GOA SA SOA SP1A SP2A SP3A BS
Shutouts
Player GP GS SHU SHUA SHUS SHUL
Player GP GS SHU SHUA SHUS SHUL
Time on ice
Player GP GS TOIESS TOIPPS TOIS TOISHS
Player GP GS TOIESS TOIPPS TOIS TOISHS