CANADIENS (23-16-3) @ Penguins (19-16-5)
TV: NHLN-US, TVAS, SN 7:00 p.m.
The Canadiens welcome Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins to Montreal for a Saturday night matchup at the Bell Centre.
After picking up a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils in their first game back on home ice following an eight-game road trip, the Habs are set to face off against Eastern Conference rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Captain Max Pacioretty opened the scoring with his 17th marker of the season, before Torrey Mitchell sealed the victory with a shorthanded goal in the second period. Mike Condon turned aside 19 of the 20 shots thrown his way, earning his 12th victory this season.
For their part, the Penguins are looking to end their week off strong after suffering back-to-back losses against the Chicago Blackhawks. Captain Sidney Crosby had his four game scoring streak snapped on Wednesday night in Chicago, finishing the night with a minus -2 rating in just over 20:00 minutes of ice time.
Injured forward Dale Weise hit the ice prior to Friday morning’s practice in Brossard with strength and conditioning coach Pierre Allard as part of his rehab process. Absent from practice was defenseman Jeff Petry, who is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Head Coach Michel Therrien confirmed that Petry will be forced to sit out Saturday night’s contest and will be replaced by Greg Pateryn.
Therrien did confirm that Mike Condon will get his second consecutive start in goal for the Canadiens after a strong effort in Wednesday’s win over the Devils. In his first career start against the Penguins – a 4-3 loss in Pittsburgh on November 11, 2015 - Condon made 31 saves to help extend the game into a shootout.
Sorel, Quebec native Marc Andre Fleury, who has a 19-11-3 career record against the Canadiens, is expected to get the start in the blue paint for the Penguins. The former first overall draft pick was recently activated off the injured reserve after sitting out eight games with a concussion.
Each club picked up a victory in the first two games of the season series, with the third and final game scheduled for Saturday in Montreal.