MONTREAL - Here are five things you need to know ahead of Saturday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Bell Centre.
1. The Canadiens opened up 2020 with a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at home on Thursday. It was their fourth straight loss since returning from the Christmas break and first at home, after falling to the Lightning, Florida Panthers, and Carolina Hurricanes following the holidays. On Thursday, Jeff Petry was the lone goal-scorer for Montreal, potting his sixth of the season. Carey Price made 20 saves in the loss.
2. Max Domi extended his points streak to eight games with a helper on the Petry tally, but saw his goal-scoring streak come to an end at six. Domi is just four goals shy of Tomas Tatar's 16 for the team lead, and is also four points behind Tatar for the team lead in that category as well.
3. The Habs held an optional morning skate on Saturday, and newly-acquired defenseman Marco Scandella was among those to hit the ice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. The Montreal native is slated to make his Canadiens debut on a pairing with rookie Cale Fleury. The Habs' other new acquisition, forward Ilya Kovalchuk, wasn't on the ice, as he was just arriving in Montreal in the morning. Head coach Claude Julien said he'd wait for Kovalchuk to pass his medicals and join the team for practice in the coming days, meaning that the Russian sniper won't be available to suit up against the Penguins.
4. The Penguins also opened up 2020 with a loss, dropping a 3-2 decision to the San Jose Sharks in overtime on Thursday. That was their first defeat since the holiday break, however, as they had won a home-and-home against the Nashville Predators before beating the Ottawa Senators to close out 2019. Saturday's game is the first in a back-to-back set for Pittsburgh, who return home to face the Florida Panthers on Sunday at PPG Paints Arena. This will be former Hab Alex Galchenyuk's first game at the Bell Centre in a Penguins uniform after being dealt to the Pennsylvania-based squad in the summer.
5. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. You can catch all the action on City, Sportsnet East, and TVA Sports on television, and on TSN 690 and 98,5 fm on the radio. For tickets to the game, click here.