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Subban primed for production against Penguins

by Dan Rosen

Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban said he wasn't aware of his career numbers against the Pittsburgh Penguins, or that they were the worst he has against any Eastern Conference team, before being asked about it during a phone interview Monday.

"What are they?" Subban asked.

They are one goal, five assists and a minus-2 rating in 18 games going back to the 2010-11 season. Subban's regular-season goal against the Penguins came on March 2, 2013. Montreal is 8-6-4 against Pittsburgh with Subban in the lineup.

Subban did have a goal and two assists in the Canadiens' seven-game series win against the Penguins in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but overall he wasn't surprised by his general lack of production against Pittsburgh. He didn't mind either.

"When I think about playing them, obviously my No. 1 job is to not let Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin have a point in that game," said Subban, who has 14 points, including 13 assists, in 16 games this season. "That's probably a bigger concern for me than trying to score a goal. If I have the opportunity to do it, then great, but if I hold Sidney Crosby to no points or no shots, that's ultimately going to give my team a better chance to win the game than me trying to pad my stats. That's my approach."

Subban will try to do that Wednesday, when the Canadiens play the Penguins at Consol Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, RDS). It's the first time the Canadiens will be featured on an NBC broadcast this season.

"It's a big game," Subban said. "Everybody is targeting our team right now because of the start we've had (13-2-1). We've probably made it more than just our start now because we've been consistent all year. I would expect for Crosby and Malkin and these guys to come out with their best performance."


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