Bell Centre – Mar.2/2013 – 7:15pm
Game Notes –
…..The Penguins will start Tomas Vokoun in goal. Pittsburgh number one, Marc-Andre Fleury has had his problems with the Canadiens.He has a career .889 save percentage and 3.25 goals against average in 24 starts against Montreal. That said – Fleury also has a 3-0-1 record with a 2.38 goals-against average in his last four starts against Montreal At the Bell Centre he is 6-3-2 lifetime.
…..The last time Vokoun played against the Canadiens was Feb. 4th of last season in the uniform of the Washington Capitals. He was the game’s first star stopping all 30 shots in a 4-0 shutout win over the Canadiens at the Bell Centre
…..The Canadiens will try to make it 10 straight games without a regulation loss ( 7-0-2). In the nine games since their loss to Toronto the Canadiens have allowed a total of twelve goals.
….Michael Ryder was held off the score sheet in his first game with the Canadiens Wednesday in Toronto. He came to the team riding on a six game point scoring steak (2 goals-7 assists). He has scored 99 goals in a Canadiens uniform.
….Pittsburgh had won three straight at the Bell Centre before a 3-2 shootout loss at the Bell Centre on Feb. 7 of last year. They have still won six of their last 10 in Montreal.
…. This is the fourth game since centre Evgeni Malkin suffered a concussion. The have lost two of the three, including the last two in which the Penguins were outscored 10-5..
…..Sidney Crosby has points on six of the ten goals the Penguins have scored in the three games since Malkin was hurt.
…..Crosby has played one game against the Canadiens since Dec. 26, 2010. He contributed one assist Nov. 26 of last season in Pittsburgh’s 4-3 overtime win at the Bell Centre. On January 20th, 2011 he was scheduled to play in Montreal but, on the morning of the game, was sent back to Pittsburgh where his concussion was diagnosed.
…..In the last eight games he’s played against the Canadiens Crosby has no goals and seven assists.
…..Crosby was named the NHL’s second star for February after putting up six goals and 18 assists in 14 games. Crosby is currently tied with Steven Stamkos for the overall league lead in scoring with 31 points. Stamkos was the month’s first star.
…..The Penguins have given up 13 goals in their last three games and twenty over their last five.
…..The Canadiens have allowed an average of 2.05 goals per game. Two goals or fewer in seven of the nine in the current undefeated streak.
….. Pittsburgh has beaten Carey Price in three of his last five starts. Two of the Penguins wins ame last season when the Penguins won three of four games.
…..This is the Canadiens only home game in a stretch of seven of eight on the road. The play in Boston Sunday and follow that with games at Long Island, Carolina, Tampa and Sunrise Florida. Six games over nine nights.
….. Michel Therrien will be coaching in a Pittsburgh game since the Penguins fired him Feb. 15, 2009.
……Eight players remain from the team Therrien coached, ,forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Tyler Kennedy, Pascal Dupuis, and Matt Cooke; defensemen Brooks Orpik, Mark Eaton and Kris Letang; and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
…..Prior to Tuesday’s 6-4 loss at Florida and their 4-1 loss at Carolina Thursday, the Penguins had allowed just 13 goals during a stretch of six wins in seven road games.
….Following the February 14th game at Sunrise Florida ranked 28th in the NHL in faceoff percentage at 45.6 (only Buffalo and Edmonton were worse). In the seven games since they have won 52.5% of their draws; Plekanec at 57.5%, Desharnais 56.6% and Eller at 53.9. Now they’re up to 25th in the league.
….The Canadiens called up centre Gabriel Dumont from Hamilton Friday night. Dumont comes to the team in a scoring slump. In his last ten games he has no goals and three assists and is minus-3. He has no points his last seven games. Overall, Dumont leads the Bulldogs with 15 goals, 15 assists in 52 games.
Season Records – Pittsburgh (13-8-0) Canadiens (13-4-3)
Last Ten Games- Pittsburgh (5-5-0) Canadiesn (7-1-2)
Season series: First of three meetings.
Last Season – The Canadiens were 1-1-2 vs. Pittsburgh – Oct. 20 @ Pittsburgh Penguins-3 Canadiens-1. Neal, Asham and Vitale scored for Pittsbugh. Gionta for the Canadiens. Hal Gill plays in his 1,000th NHL game. Nov.26 @Bell Centre – Pittsburgh-4 Canadiens-3. (overtime). Canadiens blew a 3-1 lead. Malkin, Dupuis, Staal and Letang in overtime for the Penguins. Moen, Pacioretty and Cole for the Canadiens. Canadiens outshot 42-27. Letang hurt by Pacioretty with 3:14 left in regulation and came back to score the controversial overtime winner. Price thought he had the puck covered. The referee failed to blow the whistle and Letang poked the puck into the net. Jan. 20 @ Pittsburgh Pittsburgh-4 Canadiens-3 (shootout). Penguins come back from two=goal deficit. Malkin tied the game with 2:43 left in regulation time and scored the only goal of the shootout. Dustin Jeffrey scored twice for Pittsburgh along with Kris Letang. Eller, Cole, Kostitsyn and Pacioretty for the Canadiens. Feb. 7 @Montreal Canadiens-3 Pittsburgh-2 -(shootout) Third straight overtime game vs. Pittsburgh. Tomas Plekanec scoredin the eighth round of the shootout to win the game. Carey Price made32 saves in the game and stopped six of eight in the shootout. Leblanc and Eller scored for the Canadiens, Dupuis and Neal for Pittsburgh.
Home/Road – Pittsburgh on the Road (8-4-0) Canadiens at Home (8-4-1)
Goaltending – Pittsburgh – Tomas Vokoun (3-3-0) 3.26GAA .891save% ( Marc-Andre Fleury – 15GP (10-5-0) 2.40GAA .912save%). Canadiens – Carey Price 16GP (11-3-2) 1.90GAA .924save%.
Special Teams – Power Play- Pittsburgh ranked 4th 22/85 25.9% Canadiens ranked 11th 18/92 19.6% Penalty Killing- Pittsburgh ranked 20th 17/85 80.0% Canadiens ranked 13th 14/82 82.9%
Who’s Hot – Pittsburgh C-Sidney Crosby 2 goals, 4 assists last three games. D-Paul Martin 3 goals, 6 assists last eight games. . Canadiens Max Pacioretty – 6 goals, 4 assists last seven. David Desharnais 0 1 goals six assists also over the last seven.
Injuries - Pittsburgh – C-Evgeny Malkin (IR-concussion); D-Paul Martin (questionable-undisclosed) Canadiens – D-Raphael Diaz (concussion); LW-Rene Bourque (concussion); C-Petteri Nokelainen (back).