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Murray In! Expected Penguins Lines, Preview vs. Canadiens

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Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins (33-22-9) finish their penultimate back-to-back series of the season against the Montreal Canadiens (35-23-7) at Bell Centre, tonight. The Penguins hope to clinch a successful road trip with a win against another playoff team and advance in the standings. A win would end the road trip with six points accrued throughout four games. The Penguins are 11-4-2 in 17 visits to the Bell Centre with Sidney Crosby in the lineup. Crosby has 16 points in those appearances. The Penguins currently sit just outside the playoffs but a win tonight ties Montreal for the first wildcard spot. A Carolina loss paired with a win tonight can vault the Penguins into third in the Metropolitan Division.

Surprisingly, Matt Murray will start his fourth straight game tonight. Murray is 19-10-3 on the season with a 2.96 goals-against. Montreal counters with Carey Price in net. Price is 27-18-5 on the year.

The Penguins blew another late one-goal lead in an overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres 4-3, last night. The Penguins dominated the game for large stretches but could not land a knock out blow in the third period to earn a second point.  After a slow start, the Penguins rallied twice in the game to take a 3-2 lead going into the third, but luck didn’t appear to be on the Penguins side. A Brandon Montour (6) shot from the blueline found its way through traffic to tie the game at three. Montour’s goal was his first as a Sabre after being acquired from Anaheim the week previous.

Former Penguins forward Conor Sheary (10,11) scored two goals to enact vengeance on his former team, including the game winner.  Sheary scorched a nasty wrister past Matt Murray in OT to give his team the win. The goal appeared to be offsides when Rasmus Dahlin entered the offensive zone but after video review, the goal held up.  Evgeni Malkin scored an assist in the loss but looked better than his stat line indicated. Malkin says he is starting to feel more like his old self.

Sidney Crosby (28) scored a power-play goal in the second period to tie the game. The one-timer from the left circle tied Crosby with Jaromir Jagr on the Penguins all-time goal list with 439. Crosby is having a down year, but his fellow NHL players still think highly of him. 

Matt Murray started for the Penguins and despite giving up two late goals for the second time in four games, played well. Murray saved 26 of 30 shots in the loss. Linus Ullmark started for Buffalo and played arguably his best game of 2019. Ullmark saved 41 of 44 shots including two saves in OT that prevented the Penguins from stealing the game.

You can read more about Friday’s loss in Dan’s Recap and the PHN Extra Report Card

Montreal won against the New York Rangers 4-2, last night. Joel Armia (8,9,10) scored a hat trick to provide the offense for Montreal. Carey Price started in net and saved 28 of 30 shots. New York’s Henrik Lundqvist saved 32 of 35 shots.

Penguins forward Matt Cullen is inching ever-so-close to 1,500 career regular-season game. Tonight will be his 1,499th career appearance. Cullen will tie Mike Modano for second-place among American-born players for games played.

Injuries

Penguins

Olli Maatta (Upper-Body, IR)

Kris Letang (Upper-Body)

Brian Dumoulin ( Concussion)

Bryan Rust (Long term)

Chad Ruhwedel (Long term)

Canadiens

N/A

Total Man-Games lost -156

Special Teams

TEAMPower PlayPenalty Kill
Pittsburgh Penguins20.3% (16th NHL)82.4% (7th NHL)
New Jersey Devils17.7% (22nd NHL)82.0% (10th NHL)

Expected Penguins Lines

Expected Penguins Lines

LWCRW
Jason ZuckerSidney CrosbyConor Sheary
Patrick MarleauEvgeni MalkinBryan Rust
Evan RodriguesJared McCannPatric Hornqvist
Brandon TanevTeddy BluegerSam Lafferty
LDRD
Brian DumoulinKris Letang
Marcus PetterssonJohn Marino
Jack JohnsonJustin Schultz
Goalie
Matt Murray
Tristan Jarry

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