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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Stadium

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

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Last Injuries

Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Zach Aston-Reese

    Lower Body
    Ques Tues | questionable

    Aston-Reese has a lower-body injury, and it is undetermined if he will play Tuesday against the Maple Leafs.

  • John Marino

    Face
    Late March | out

    Marino is projected to miss three to six weeks after having surgery to repair facial bone fractures.

  • Nick Bjugstad

    Abdominal
    Late Feb | 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 end of February.

  • Brian Dumoulin

    Ankle
    Late Feb | I-R

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

  • Dominik Kahun

    Concussion
    Out indefinitely | out

    Kahun sustained a concussion, and it is unknown how long it will take him to pass protocol.

  • Erik Gudbranson

    Upper Body
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Gudbranson has been added to the injured reserve list with an upper-body injury, and there is no timetable for recovery.

Montreal Canadiens

  • Shea Weber

    Ankle
    Ques Tues | I-R

    Weber has landed on the injured reserve list due to a sprained ankle, and it is uncertain if he will activated in time for Tuesday's contest against the Red Wings.

  • Nate Thompson

    Illness
    Ques Tues | questionable

    Thompson sat out the previous game due to illness, and it is unclear if he will line up versus the Red Wings on Tuesday.

  • Brendan Gallagher

    Lower Body
    Doub Tues | doubtful

    Gallagher is battling a lower-body injury, and it is unlikely that he will be available for Tuesday's contest against the Red Wings.

  • Jonathan Drouin

    Ankle
    Prob Tues | probable

    Drouin missed the last game with an ankle injury, but it is likely he will face the Red Wings on Tuesday.

  • Paul Byron

    Knee
    Ques Tues | I-R

    Byron is on the injured reserve list after having knee surgery. He has progressed in his recovery, but it is uncertain if he will be activated in time for Tuesday's game versus the Red Wings.

  • Jordan Weal

    Flu
    Out indefinitely | out

    Weal has been sidelined due to flu-like symptoms, and a timetable for return has yet to be established.

  • Tomas Tatar

    Hand
    Prob Fri | probable

    Tatar is expected to face the Penguins on Friday despite a hand injury.

  • Nate Thompson

    Illness
    Prob Fri | probable

    Thompson is battling an illness, but it is likely he will be available for Friday's contest against the Penguins.

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