The Montreal Canadians (27-25-7, 61 points) continue their East Coast Road Trip with a visit to the Pittsburgh Penguins (34-15-6, 74 points) on Friday in hopes of snapping their current two-game losing skid. The Canadiens were defeated by the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Wednesday night and sit in fifth place in the Atlantic division five points behind fourth-place Florida.
Pittsburgh continues its homestand on Friday when hosting the Montreal Canadiens. The Penguins look to bounce back from a loss after losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in their last outing on Tuesday. The overtime loss to Tampa Bay prevented Pittsburgh from making up any ground on 1st place Washington. The Penguins currently trail the Capitals by three points in the Metropolitan Division.
Canadians need offense to go along with solid goaltendingMontreal has lost each of its last two and has had a hard time putting the puck in the net. The Canadians scored just two goals versus Arizona and one goal versus Boston in the last two outings and in two previous wins the Canadiens scored just two goals against Toronto and three goals against Anaheim giving them eight goals over their last four games for an average of 2.00 goals per game. You cannot win in the NHL with that kind of goalscoring.
Thomas Tatar is the points king for the Canadians. The Montreal left winger has the team lead in goals with 20 and assists with 32 for a total of 52 points. Montreal is allowing an average of 3.03 goals per game while its offense generates slightly less at 2.98 goals per game. The Canadians penalty kill a successful 79.3% of the time while its power-play scores 18.5% of time
Pittsburgh is inching closer to the top of the Metropolitan DivisionAlthough the Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Penguins are now within three points of 1st place Washington in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins defeated Washington earlier in February 4-3 and have won three of their last five overall and five of their last eight.
The leading goal scorer for the Penguins is Brian Rust with 22 while the assists leader is Evgeni Malkin with 40 and the Penguins center leads in points as well with 58. Pittsburgh is allowing an average of 2.73 goals per game and the offense generates over a half-goal more at 3.25 goals per game. The power play scores 19.9% of the time for the Penguins while it's penalty kill is successful 82.8% of the time.
- Pittsburgh is 20-8 in the last 28 overall
- The Penguins are 11-0 in the last 11 after scoring 2 or fewer goals the prior game
- Montreal is 3-7 in the last 10 versus Pittsburgh