Preview Game #74

Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh

PPG Paints Arena– March 21st 2018 – 7:05pm

Season Records – Canadiens 73GP (26-35-12) 64 points. 27th in the league. Pittsburgh 73GP (41-27-5) 87pts. Second in Metropolitan Division

Last Ten Games – Canadiens (2-6-2) Pittsburgh (5-4-1)

Home/Away – Canadiens on the road (9-23-4). Pittsburgh at home (26-8-1)

Lineup Changes

….Carey Price will make his first start since Feb. 20th at Philadelphia.



….This is the second meeting in a span of three over a sixteen days. @Bell Centre March 15th Pittsburgh-5 Canadiens-3. Hornqvist 2 goals, 1 assist. Lehkonen, Byron, Deslauriers for the Canadiens. Niemi allows 4 goals on 38 shots.

….The last time the teams met in Pittsburgh was Dec. 31, 2016; a 4-3 Canadiens loss in overtime. Conor Sheary scored with 55 seconds remaining to tie the game. Malkin scored in overtime. Fleury allowed 3 goals on 40 shots; Price 4 goals on 41.Radulov, Byron & Flynn scored for the Canadiens.

….This the second time the Canadiens are catching the Penguins on the second half of back-to-back games. They had played (and lost in overtime to @ Rangers) the night before they defeated the Canadiens March 15th at the Bell Centre. Tuesday night they lost 4-1 to the Islanders @ Brooklyn.

….The Canadiens are 3-1-1 at Pittsburgh since Feb. 2014 and 5-5-2 in the last 12 games at the Consol Energy Center.

-The Pens have won three-straight games against the Canadiens and five of the previous six meetings between the clubs

….Overall the Canadiens are 9-9-6 over the last 24 meetings dating back to the start of the 2010-2011 season.

.Jonathan Drouin has 6 points including 4 goals in 7 career games vs. Pittsburgh. Brendan Gallagher 6 points in 15games (2 goals); Alex Galchenyuk 1 goal 5 assists in 13 games. Max Pacioretty (injured) has 21 points (12 goals) in 28 games.

….Evgeni Malkin has at least a point in 14 of his last 16 overall games against the Canadiens – 21 points (6g, 15a)

….In 34 career games vs. the Canadiens Sidney Crosby has 41 points (17g, 24a)

.Phil Kessel‘s 49 career points vs. the Canadiens are the second most against any team (55 vs. Ottawa).

About the Canadiens

….The Canadiens have lost eight of their last nine overall games (1-6-2).

….The Canadiens have been outscored by opponents in every period this season (minus-16 first period, minus-2 second period and minus-25 in the third)

….Since Dec. 23rd the Canadiens have lost 18 of their last 20 games on the road for the first time during a season since Dec. 9,1939 and March 17, 1940. During their 2-15-3 road collapse they were limited to one goal or fewer 11 times (5 times shut out) and outscored 77-31.

….Overall since December 23rd the Canadiens are 9-20-8. The nine wins are the fewest in the league over that stretch.

…..On the road the Canadiens have the NHL’s worst offence (2.17 GPG) and defence (3.56GA per game). They have recorded 23 regulation losses on the road, already most in team history with 5 road games yet to play.

….Seven of the Canadiens 12 shutout losses have come on the road. The previous high was six – four times – most recently 1953-54.

…..The Canadiens have a total of 35 regulation losses this season. Their single season record is 40 regulation losses (2000-01)

….Home and away they have also lost 16 of their last 20 (4-10-6). Their only wins since they recorded back to back victories vs. Anaheim and Ottawa Feb. 2nd and 3rd were against the Islanders (twice) the Rangers and Dallas. They have also lost 19 of their last 25 (6-13-6).

….The Canadiens have allowed at least one power play goal in nine of their last 10 games – 13 PPG in 36 times shorthanded – meaning opponents have scored on 36.1% of their opportunities.

….On the road this season Canadiens penalty killing is worst in the league at 67.4%. Their special teams on the road are minus-23 (19 PPG/42 PPGA)

….No team in the league has given up more power play goals than the Canadiens (58).Only one team has a worse penalty killing record than the Canadiens’ 75.2% – Islanders @ 74.9%

….The Canadiens special teams differential is minus-13 (45 PPG/58 PPG against)

….In the fourteen games since Carey Price was injured the Canadiens backup goaltenders won 4 of 14 games (4-6-4). Niemi won 3 of the games.

….Price has lost each of his last five starts (0-3-2). In that stretch he has an .879 save% and 3.45GAA. Since he posted back to back wins January 4th & 7th Price has won only 2 of 14 starts (2-8-4) with an .889 save% and 3.15GAA.

….Brendan Gallagher has 5 goals, 3 assists his last eleven games. In his last 26 games he has 20 points including 10 goals, 10 assists.

….Gallagher leads the Canadiens with a career high 26 goals. He needs three points to equal his career high of 47.

….Alex Galchenyuk has four assists his last four games to pull even with Brendan Gallagher for the team lead at 44 points. Forty-four points are the fewest in the NHL by a player leading his team.

….Galchenyuk has ten points his last eleven games (4g, 6a) and 16 points his last 19 games (4g, 12a).

…..Twenty of Galchenyuk‘s 44 points have come on the power play (7g, 13a).

….Artturi Lehkonen has four goals his last six games.

….Jonathan Drouin has 4 goals, 6 assists his last 23 games.

….After winning 7 of 14 vs. Florida Monday Drouin has now won 59 of 95 faceoffs over his last five games (62.1%) Over his last eight games he his win % is 58.1%. (72-for-124)

About the Penguins

….Since the New Year the Penguins have a record of 22-9-2. Up to January first they were one game over .500 – 19-18-3

….The Penguins are playing in their second game in 24 hours. 4-1 loss @ Islanders Tuesday night.

….With the loss against the Islanders and Washington’s win Tuesday night the Islanders fall four points behind the Capitals in the Metropolitan Division. They are tied with Columbus in points with nine games left.

….The Penguins will play an NHL high-19 back to back sets this season. This is the 17th. On the second night their record is 8-6-2.

….The Penguins have won three straight home games and 14 of their last 15 at home. In their last 15 home games they have averaged 4.47 goals per game.

….At home this season the Penguins have a 10-1 overtme record – the ten home OT wins are a club record.

….Since the New Year Pittsburgh has scored five or more goals 14 times in 33 games; three or more in 27 of the 33 games.

….In his last 11 home games Evgeni Malkin has 24 points (13g, 11a).

….Sidney Crosby needs one assist to reach career number 700. The only active players with 700 or more are Joe Thornton (1,030) and Henrik Sedin (824). Crosby has averaged 0.82 assists per game over his career. All-time, only Gretzky (1.32), Lemieux (1.13), Orr (0.98) and Forsberg (0.90) have averaged more.

….Patric Hornqvist is the first player taken with the final selection in the NHL draft to exceed 400 career points. He was taken with the 230th selection by Nashville in 2005.

….Phil Kessel now has a career high 51 assists and has 80 points for the third time in his career. 82 points is his career high set in 2011-12 with Toronto. He is also one goal short of reaching 30 for the 6th time in his career.

…..After registering only two points in his first seven games with the Penguins, Derick Brassard has an assist in each of his last three games.

….Goaltender Matt Murray returned to the Pittsburgh lineup Monday at Brooklyn. He missed nine games with a concussion suffered in practice. Before his injury Murray has been on a 9-1-1 stretch. Murray has won seven straight home starts.

Goaltending –

…. Carey Price will play in his 44th game. His record is 15-22-6 with 1 shutout, a 2.98GAA and .904 save%.

….Casey DeSmith has been in 12 Pittsburgh games this season with a 4-4-1 record; 2.59GAA and .914 save%

Special Teams Power Play – Canadiens rank 14th (45/219) 20.5%. Pittsburgh ranked first (59/230) 25.7%. Penalty Killing – Canadiens rank 29th (58/234) 75.2%. Pittsburgh ranks 16th (47/239) 80.3%.

Canadiens Lines & Pairings

41-Paul Byron 92-Jonathan Drouin 11-Brendan Gallagher

27-Alex Galchenyuk 25-Jacob de la Rose 62-Artturi Lehkonen

43-Daniel Carr 49-Logan Shaw 38-Nikita Scherbak

20-Nicolas Deslauriers 34-Mike McCarron 54-Charles Hudon

28-Mike Reilly 26-Jeff Petry

22-Karl Alzner 58-Noah Juulsen

8-Jordie Benn 36-Brett Lernout

31-Carey Price

Healthy Scratches – C Byron Froese;

Injuries – RW Andrew Shaw (concussion); D Rinat Valiev (lower body); D David Schlemko (lower body); C Phillip Danault (concussion); LW Max Pacioretty (knee); D Victor Mete (broken finger); D Shea Weber (IR broken foot); RW Alex Hemsky (IR concussion)

Pittsburgh Forward lines & Pairings

59-Jake Guentzel 87-Sidney Crosby 17-Bryan Rust

62-Carl Hagelin 71-Evgeni Malkin 72-Patric Hornqvist

43-Conor Sheary 19-Derick Brassard 81-Phil Kessel

34-Tom Kuhnhackl 15-Riley Sheahan 37-Carter Rowney

8-Brian Dumoulin 58-Kris Letang

6-Jamie Oleksiak 4-Justin Schultz

3-Olli Maatta 2-Chad Ruhwedel

1-Casey DeSmith

Injuries – C Dominic Simon (lower body); C Zach Aston-Reese (upper body); RW Carter Rowney (upper body)

Healthy Scratches – D Matt Hunwick;