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Game preview: Canadiens @ Penguins

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

CANADIENS (25-11-2) @ PENGUINS (24-9-5)

The Canadiens will be looking to wrap up their current road trip with a perfect record on Saturday night in Pittsburgh.

Michel Therrien’s troops kicked off 2015 in style with a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. Michael Bournival stole the show, scoring two goals including his first-ever tally on road ice. Max Pacioretty also scored, as did Tomas Plekanec, who registered an empty-netter. Pacioretty’s tally was the 122nd of his career. Interestingly enough, it came six years to the day that the New Canaan, CT native scored his first career NHL goal against those same Devils back on January 2, 2009. New Jersey managed to cut the Canadiens’ lead to a single goal in the latter stages of the third period, but the Habs held on for their fifth straight win.

For their part, the Penguins are coming off a 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night. Sidney Crosby picked up four assists while Steve Downie lit the lamp twice in the victory.

Pittsburgh made a key move on Friday afternoon, acquiring left-winger David Perron from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Rob Klinkhammer and a first-round pick in 2015. Perron will make his Penguins debut against the Canadiens. In goal, Marc-Andre Fleury has been stellar for Mike Johnston’s contingent all season long. He leads the league with six shutouts in 30 outings in 2014-15.

It will be an important tilt for the Penguins, who will be looking to keep pace with the New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division. Both teams sit tied with 53 points. The Canadiens certainly won’t need any added motivation come puck drop. They’ll be looking to best a Pittsburgh squad that handed them a 4-0 loss back on November 18 in Montreal.

The Penguins will be without forward Patric Hornqvist. He is out with a lower-body injury. Young rearguard Olli Maatta is also sidelined. He is still out with mumps.

Carey Price will get the start for Montreal. Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, who left Friday's game with an upper body injury will be sidelined again opposite the Penguins on Saturday. Manny Malhotra returns to the lineup in his place after missing the last two games as a healthy scratch.

The game will get underway at 7 p.m. EST.

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