Pittsburgh vs. Canadiens
Bell Centre – Oct. 18, 2016 – 7:35pm
Season Records – Canadiens 1-0-1 – 3pts. Pittsburgh 2-0-1 – 5pts
Season Series – First of three meetings. Dec. 31st in Pittsburgh & Jan 18th in Montreal.
Last Season – The Canadiens were 1-1-1 vs. Pittsburgh. In the only meeting at the Bell Centre Pittsburgh was a 3-1 winner Jan. 18th (Mike Condon in goal for the Canadiens).
Head to Head – The Penguins are 6-1-1 their last eight games at the Bell Centre including three wins in a row.
Last Time Out – Canadiens lost 4-3 in a shootout at Ottawa. Pittsburgh lost 4-3 in overtime vs. Colorado at home Monday night.
….The Canadiens are looking for their 3300th win as a franchise.
….Nine players (39%) are on the roster for their first Canadiens home opener. Three of them, Mikhail Sergachev, Artturi Lehkonen and Daniel Carr are rookies. The others are Alexander Radulov, Andrew Shaw and Phillip Danault plus defensemen Shea Weber and goaltenders Al Montoya and Charlie Lindgren. Seven of them will be in the game.
….Al Montoya will make his third consecutive start as Carey Price continues to recover from flu bout.
….Montoya has a 2-4-1 career record with a 3.89 GAA vs. Pittsburgh.
….Brian Flynn will play on the fourth line as Paul Byron is moved up to the third line with Desharnais and Andrew Shaw. Daniel Carr will be a healthy scratch along with Greg Pateryn who will be replaced by Sergachev. Sergachev will be paired with Alexei Emelin.
….Four of the Canadiens seven goals this season have been scored in the third period.
….Through two games the Canadiens have won only 37.4% of their faceoffs (47/125). Only Dallas is worse in the early season. Worst in this category is Alex Galchenyuk at 26.9% (7/26) Last season the Canadiens were slightly over 50% and 13th in the league.
….At 18 years 115 days Mikhail Sergachev is the youngest defenseman in Canadiens history. (Fourth youngest player)
….Tomas Plekanec is the current Canadiens iron-man. This will be his 173rd consecutive game. Galchenyuk second at 107.
About the Penguins –
….This is the Penguins second game in two nights and their first road game after three straight home starts.
….A concussion suffered during a pre-season practice has kept Sidney Crosby out of the line the first two games. He is reportedly skating now in Pittsburgh.
….39 year old Matt Cullen has replaced Crosby as the first line centre. He has three points in three games.
….Evgeni Malkin has 13 goals and 39 points in 31 games vs. the Canadiens.
….D Kris Letang has 18 points in his last 16 games vs. Montreal.
….The Pittsburgh power play has scored 4 goals on 10 opportunities.
….Marc-Andre Fleury has won three straight at the Bell Centre. In the three games he’s given up two goals and stopped 87 of 89 shots – .978 SV%.
Leading the Way –
…..Brendan Gallagher has two goals and an assist in two games. Jeff Petry 2 goals Saturday in his season debut vs. Ottawa. Shea Weber has assists in both games and is plus-3.
….Pittsburgh – Matt Cullen, Connor Sheary and Evgeni Malkin have three points each to lead the Penguins. Phil Kessel two power play goals in three games.
Canadiens will start Al Montoya in their third straight game.
Pittsburgh has used Marc-Andre Fleury in all three of their gamesthis season. (He faced 31 Colorado shots in the 4-3 loss to Colorado Monday night). In his last four starts at the Bell Centre Fleury has stopped 87 of 89 shots,
….In his last nine starts in Montreal Fleury is 7-1-1 with a 1.6GAA and .940 save%.
….In the second of back to back games there is a possibility that ex-Hab Mike Condon will get his first start for the Penguins. Last year as a rookie with the Canadiens he was 21-25-6 with one shutout; a 9.03 sv% and 2.71GAA.
Canadiens Lines & Pairings
67 – Max Pacioretty 27-Alex Galchenyuk 11-Brendan Gallagher
62-Artturi Lehkonen 14-Tomas Plekanec 47-Alexander Radulov
41-Paul Byron 51-David Desharnais 65-Andrew Shaw
24-Philip Danault 17-Torrey Mitchell 32-Brian Flynn
28-Nathan Beaulieu 6-Shea Weber
79-Andrei Markov 26-Jeff Petry
74-Alexei Emelin 22-Mikhail Sergachev
Scratches – D-Greg Pateryn; D Zach Redmond; LW Daniel Carr
Injuries – G Carey Price (flu)
Pittsburgh Lines & Pairings
23-Scott Wilson 71-Evgeni Malkin 72-Patric Hornqvist
62-Carl Hagelin 13-Nick Bonino 81-Phil Kessel
14-Chris Kunitz 7-Matt Cullen 43-Connor Sheary
25Tom Sestito 16-Eric Fehr 34-Tom Kuhhhackl
8-Brian Dumoulin 58-Kris Letang
3-Olli Maatta 6-Trevor Daley
28-Ian Cole 4-Justin Schultz
Healthy Scratch – Derrick Pouliot
Injuries – C Sidney Crosby (concussion); G Matt Murray (broken hand) FWD Bryan Rust (undisclosed)