Pittsburgh at Montreal
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
The Pittsburgh Penguins mustered just six goals during a three-game losing skid before matching that total in the second period of their last outing. The high-octane Penguins hope there is more in the tank on Wednesday when they open a two-game road trip against the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens.
Evgeni Malkin needed just under 11 minutes in that explosive session on Monday to record his 11th career hat trick in Pittsburgh's wild 8-7 overtime win over Washington, although the former Hart Trophy winner provided fireworks in his last encounter with Montreal. Malkin, who scored 1:54 into the OT of a 4-3 win on New Year's Eve, has collected 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) in his past 23 games and resides third in the NHL in scoring with 49 points (21 goals, 28 assists). While the Penguins gave the scoreboard operator a workout, the Canadiens weren't as demanding as they fell for the third time in five outings with a 1-0 loss at Detroit. Former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner Carey Price stopped 19 of 20 shots in the hard-luck loss after posting a gaudy 3.70 goals-against average and .881 save percentage in his previous eight starts (3-3-2).TV:
7:30 p.m. ET, ROOT (Pittsburgh), SN1, SNO, SNP, RDS, Sportsnet East (Montreal)ABOUT THE PENGUINS (27-11-5):
Captain Sidney Crosby recorded a season-high four-point performance by scoring his NHL-best 27th goal to go along with three assists on Monday to pull within one point of Edmonton phenom Connor McDavid, despite playing nine fewer games. Crosby has erupted for 34 points (15 goals, 19 assists) in his last 24 contests and his 1.35 points per game marks his best since the 2012-13 season. Fellow forward Conor Sheary, who capped his multi-goal performance by scoring in overtime versus the Capitals, also tallied against the Canadiens and has five goals and four assists in his last eight games.ABOUT THE CANADIENS (27-12-6):
Max Pacioretty obviously was kept off the scoresheet in his last outing, but the captain hasn't been blanked in consecutive contests since Dec. 12-16. Pacioretty has 13 (eight goals, five assists) of his team-leading 37 points in that 15-game stretch and also scored and set up a goal in Montreal's 4-0 rout of Pittsburgh on Oct. 18. Fellow forward Alex Galchenyuk, who had an assist in the first encounter versus the Penguins, saw his ice time rise while playing in his second contest since returning from an 18-game absence because of a knee injury.OVERTIME
1. Pittsburgh D Justin Schultz notched a career-high four assists on Monday to increase his point total to 25 (seven goals, 18 assists) in the past 21 games.
2. Canadiens RW Alexander Radulov scored in each meeting with the Penguins this season, but has just one point - an assist - in his last five contests overall.
3. Pittsburgh veteran F Matt Cullen will miss three-to-four weeks with a foot injury, the team announced Tuesday.PREDICTION:
Canadiens 4, Penguins 2
Stats and Records