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Game Preview: Canadiens @ Penguins

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
CANADIENS (13-2-1) @ PENGUINS (9-5-0)


After three days’ rest, the Canadiens return to action Wednesday in Pittsburgh against the Penguins, which is also the team’s father-son road trip.

Last Saturday night, the Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins by a score of 4-2, with David Desharnais scoring the go-ahead goal with 1:08 to go in the third period and Mike Condon stopping 29 of the 31 shots he faced to earn his sixth victory of the season. The rookie goaltender was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week after posting a 2-0-1 record with a 1.66 GAA in three starts.

Condon, who will start his sixth-consecutive game on Wednesday, has been excellent in relief of Carey Price, who is still nursing a lower-body injury. Michel Therrien announced on Tuesday that Price would be held out of action this week, but should resume skating shortly.

The Penguins, led by coach Mike Johnston, are back at the Consol Energy Center after picking up three wins in four games on the road. The Pens are coming off a 5-2 loss suffered at the hands of the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

Pittsburgh will count on reinforcements against the Canadiens, as forward Pascal Dupuis makes his return to action after missing his team’s last two games for preventive measures; Dupuis missed most of last season due to a blood clot in his lung. On the visitors’ side, Therrien has confirmed there will be no changes to his lineup from the one he iced in a 4-2 win over the Bruins on Saturday night.

The Canadiens will need to keep an eye on Phil Kessel, who has hit his stride since being paired with Evgeni Malkin. The sniper has collected seven points, including four goals, in his last seven games and is currently riding a three-game point streak. As for the Habs, Desharnais is in the midst of his best career start, having racked up 14 points in 16 games, including seven in his last five.

These two teams have already met once earlier this season, with the Canadiens winning a 3-2 decision on October 13, at the Consol Energy Center. Following Wednesday’s duel, only one game will remain between the Canadiens and Penguins in 2015-16: January 9, at the Bell Centre.
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