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Penguins vs. Canadiens, Game 15: Lines, Notes & How to Watch

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Pittsburgh Penguins game, Montreal Canadiens

The Pittsburgh Penguins won all but one of their first five games this season.

The one in Montreal on Oct. 17.

That night, they grabbed a 2-0 lead during the second period at the Bell Centre, but then allowed three unanswered goals, including Kirby Dach’s game-winner during a power play at 3:09 of overtime.

Suffice to say, that game showed the Penguins that Montreal just might be better than many in the hockey world anticipated this season.

The rest of the NHL likely is catching on to that reality by now, considering that the Canadiens are 7-6-1 and appear to be legitimate contenders for an Eastern Conference playoff berth.

Montreal has won its past two games after losing the previous three and is 4-3 on home ice.

The Penguins had won two in a row before their first visit to Montreal, and have done so again, after victories in Washington and Toronto pulled them out of a 0-6-1 skid. They scored four goals in each of those games, while limiting the Capitals and Maple Leafs to a total of three.

Casey DeSmith played well in both of those games, but Tristan Jarry is expected to be in goal against the Canadiens. Unless Jarry has an injury that the Penguins have not acknowledged — and that is not severe enough to prevent him from dressing as the backup — using DeSmith twice in three days certainly suggests that the coaching staff has not been satisfied with Jarry’s play of late.

Captain Nick Suzuki, who scored Montreal’s first goal in the Oct. 17 game, leads the Canadiens with nine goals and is tied with Cole Caufield for the team lead in assists with eight. He also ranks among the NHL’s more accurate shooters, scoring on nine of 33 shots (27.3 percent).

Suzuki and Caufield work on Montreal’s top line with Dach, who played center when he broke into the league with Chicago but has made a good transition to the wing.

The Canadiens will be without winger Juraj Slafkovsky, the first player selected in the 2022 draft. He will finish serving a two-game suspension for boarding Detroit’s Matt Luff Tuesday.

Monrteal also will be missing former Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mike Matheson, who has yet to play this season because of an abdominal strain. He has resumed skating, but has not been cleared for contact.

The Canadiens have not announced their starting goaltender, but Jake Allen appears to be the favorite to pull that duty.

Because the Penguins played in Toronto Friday, they will not conduct a game-day skate. Mike Sullivan is scheduled to meet with reporters about two hours before the game, at which time he is expected to provide any injury updates and name his starting goaltender.

Dan Kingerski will cover that pregame session, as well as the game, for Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines

Guentzel — Crosby — Rust

Zucker — Malkin — Rakell

McGinn — Carter — Heinen

Hallander — Poehling — Archibald

Defense

Pettersson — Letang

Dumoulin — Petry

Ruhwedel — Rutta

Goalies

Jarry

DeSmith

Expected Montreal Canadiens Lines, per NHL.com

Caufield — Suzuki — Dach

Hoffman — Dvorak — Gallagher

Dadonov — Monohan — Anderson

Drouin — Evans — Armia

Defense

Guhle — Savard

Xheka — Edmundson

Harris — Kovacevic

Goalies

Allen

Montembeault

Special Teams

Penguins power play: 9-49, 18.4%, 24th

Penguins penalty-kill: 12-48, 75%, 24th

Canadiens power play: 6-38, 15.8%, 28th

Canadiens penalty-kill: 9-49, 81.6%, 11th

Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes

*Evgeni Malkin, who scored both of the Penguins’ goals in the Oct. 17 game, has 19 goals and 36 assists in 44 career games against the Canadiens. He is coming off a two-point game in Toronto.

*The Penguins are 10-3-2 in their past 15 games overall against Montreal, 11-2-3 in their past 16 at the Bell Centre.

*This will be the fourth time this season the Penguins will play on consecutive days. They lost the second game on each of the previous three sets of back-to-backs.

*Brock McGinn has scored the game-winning goal in consecutive games for the first time in his career and has tied his career-high for those, which he set last season. He is one of only three Penguins to record a game-winner this season; the others are Jake Guentzel (3) and Sidney Crosby (1).

*Crosby needs one point to move past Bryan Trottier and into sole possession of 17th place on the NHL’s all-time scoring list. They are tied at 1,425.

*If Jason Zucker gets a goal tonight, he will have one in three games in a row for the first time since joining the Pittsburgh Penguins.

*Kasperi Kapanen has been a healthy scratch for the past two games.

*The Penguins have yet to win a one-goal game this season, going 0-2-1 in them, while Montreal is 4-0-1 in games decided by a single goal.

*Montreal has a slightly better record when being outshot (5-4-1) than when outshooting its opponent (2-2).

How to Watch

TV: ATTSN — PIT

Radio: 105.9 the X

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Wasnt
19 days ago

Glad Matheson isn’t playing, that’s one goal that won’t be scored on Jarry.
I’m liking the Kap scratch also.
Keep up the good work Peterson and Ginner.
GO PENS!