036010Game #32

Canadiens vs. Pittsburg

ConsolEnergyCenter – March 26/2013 – 7:05pm


Game Notes –

….The Canadiens trail Pittsburgh by five points in the race for top seed in the Eastern Conference.  The Canadiens have two games in hand.

….Pittsburgh’s 12 game winning streak began with the 7-6 overtime win over the Canadiens on March 2nd at the Bell Centre.

….The Penguins haven’t won 13 in a row since a franchise-record 17-game run March 9-April 10, 1993.  The current winning streak is the longest in the league this season and matches the second longest in franchise history.

….Over the last eight games of their winning streak the Penguins have given up nine goals.

….Goalscoring has become an issue with the Canadiens.  After scoring three or more in eight straight games, they have scored two or fewer in three of the last four.  Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Buffalo was the first time in 12 games they scored fewer than two.

….The Canadiens have posted their worst penalty killing ratio in the last fifteen years.  (80.0%  – 23/115)  It ranks 19th in the league.

….Even with the recent drought, over the 12 games since the 2-1 shootout loss to Ottawa February 25th the Canadiens have averaged 3.9 goals a game.

….Carey Price is 1-1-2 with a 3.90 goals-against average in his last four starts versus the Penguins.

…. Marc-Andre Fleury is  3-0-1 with a 2.38 GAA in his last four starts against the Canadiens.  He has won 10 consecutive at home.

…. Brenden Morrow will make his debut with the Penguins.   He was acquired for defense prospect Joe Morrow (no relation) a first round draft pick in 2011 plus a fifth-round choice in 2013.    Morrow had six goals and five assists in 29 games for the Stars.

….The Penguins have been winning without the services of last year’s NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin who suffered a concussion against Florida February 26th missing four games.  He came back to play four before suffering a shoulder injury in Toronto March 9th.  He has not played since.

….This will be Sidney Crosby’s second game against the Canadiens since December 26th 2010.  In his last eight games against the Canadiens he has 1 goal and 9 assists.

…. Michel Therrien will be coaching in Pittsburgh for the first time since the Penguins fired him Feb. 15, 2009.  Eight players remain from the 2009 Penguins; Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Tyler Kennedy, Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke plus defencemen Brooks Orpik, Mark Eaton and Kris Letang and goaltender Fleury.

….The Penguins have won just one playoff series since they won the Stanley Cup in 2009.

The Statistics –

Season Records –  Canadiens 31 GP (20-6-5) 45pts.  2nd in Eastern Conference   Pittsburgh – 33GP (25-8-0) 50pts.  First in Eastern Conference.

Last Ten Games – Canadiens (7-2-1)    Pittsburgh (10-0-0)

Season Series –  Second of three meetings.  @Bell Centre Mar. 2nd  Pittsburgh-7 Canadiens-6 (overtime)  Brandon Sutter scored the game winner at 0:52 of the overtime period, his second goal of the game.  Chris Kunitz and Matt Cooke also scored twice.  Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists.  Brian Gionta scored twice for the Canadiens along with Prust, Desharnais, Pacioretty and Subban.  Carey Price allowed 7 goals on 36 shots.  Tomas Vokoun was the Pittsburgh goaltender.

Home/Road – Canadiens on the Road (11-2-2)   Penguins at Home (12-4-2)

Goaltending – Canadiens  – Carey Price (16-5-4)  2.32GAA  .903save%       Pittrsburgh – Marc-Andre Fleury – (17-5-0)  2.31GAA   .914save%.

Special Teams – Power Play – Canadiens ranked 9th   29/137  21.2%    Pittsburgh ranked 2nd  29/120  24.2%      Penalty Killing –  Canadiens ranked 19th  23/115  80.0   Pittsburgh ranked 21st  24/116   79.3%

Injuries Canadiens  – LW-Brandon Prust (IR-shoulder); LW-Rene Bourque (IR-concussion); D-Raphael Diaz (IR-concussion); D-Yannick Weber (IR-knee); C-Ryan White (lower body .  Pittsburgh – RW-Evgeni Malkin (IR-shoulder); D-Kris Letang (lower body).