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Game Preview: Penguins @ Canadiens

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

PENGUINS (12-3-1) @ CANADIENS (14-4-1)

On Tuesday night, the Canadiens will try to pick up a seventh straight win for the first time since 2006 when they play host to Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Bell Centre.

Between March and April 2006, the Canadiens won eight consecutive games to secure a playoff spot.

The Canadiens are coming off a perfect weekend in which they downed the Red Wings 4-1 in Detroit on Sunday night after besting the Flyers 6-3 in Montreal on Saturday. The Habs have outscored their opponents by a 23-7 margin during their current winning streak.

By comparison, the Canadiens gave up 40 goals and scored just 29 in their first 13 games of the year.

Michel Therrien has yet to indicate whether or not he will make any lineup changes for the game against Pittsburgh. For his part, Carey Price should be back in goal for the Canadiens. The Anahim Lake, BC native was named the NHL’s second star of the week on Monday after winning all three of his starts while registering a 1.33 goals-against average along the way.

For their part, the Penguins are also off to a good start to the year in more ways than one, boasting a plus-25 goal differential, which puts them atop the league in that category.

Mike Johnston’s contingent also leads the league in power play efficiency, having clicked 32.8 percent of the time with the man advantage. They also sit atop the NHL in goals per game, scoring an average of 3.62 markers per outing.

Captain Sidney Crosby is one of the hottest players in the league right now. He currently sits second in points with seven goals and 25 points through 16 games.

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is tied for the league-lead in shutouts with three, and ranks second in wins with 10.

Pascal Dupuis is sidelined due to injury. He will not play Tuesday night. Olli Maatta will make his return to the Penguins lineup for the first time since undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his thyroid gland. He has missed Pittsburgh’s last six games.

Last season, the Canadiens won two of their three games against the Penguins. The Habs boast an all-time record of 117-53-23-5 against Pittsburgh.

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