The Montreal Canadiens roll into Pittsburgh tonight with a three-game win streak. With every player finally on the same page, the Habs aren’t the push over many ‘experts’ predicted them to be before the season began.
A lot can be credited to Montreal’s last three wins. For one, the team is scoring, and scoring a lot. Going back to last Saturday’s game in Buffalo, a 4-2 win, the Habs have sent 17 pucks to the back of the net. Delving even deeper reveals that nine of those goals came with the man advantage – not bad.
The Canadiens’ last two wins were the most impressive in terms of offensive output. Montreal took a 6-1 decision against the Boston Bruins Monday night with six different players scoring the goals.
Meanwhile, the club looked equally able last night when they popped seven goals past the Carolina Hurricanes – five against Cam Ward, one on John Grahame, and another into an empty net.
All four of Montreal’s lines are going strong and producing at both ends of the ice, making Les Habitants a difficult team to defend against. The fact that the team is playing so well right now isn’t good news for everyone, though.
Andrei Kostitsyn remained in the press box last night after being scratched prior to the game against Buffalo a week ago – and you know that Guy Carbonneau’s thinking, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Yet, Carbonneau is willing to take a chance tonight as he’ll be resting Patrice Brisebois by placing Josh Gorges into the lineup in his place. Kostitsyn will also see some ice time as he’ll suit up while center Mikhail Grabovski sits as a healthy scratch.
Pittsburgh is certainly a team that can put up a number of highlight reel goals every night – especially with the help of Sidney Crosby – and it shouldn’t be surprising to anyone if the Habs and Pens find themselves in a game long shootout.
Though, if Carey Price – who makes his third career start tonight – and the Habs’ defensive game has anything to say about it, the Penguins may not fare so well.
Crosby and friends were on a three game winning streak before falling to the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night by a score of 5-2. Prior to the loss, Pittsburgh had collected wins against the Hurricanes, Washington Capitals, and New York Rangers. All three wins had come by one goal margins.
Pittsburgh finishes off their three game homestead tonight versus Montreal before setting off to face the Minnesota Wild to kick start a four game road trip.
Meanwhile, Montreal will do the opposite as they head home after Saturday’s match where they’ll play their next four games against Atlanta Thrashers Tuesday, followed by the Philadelphia Flyers (hello Daniel Briere), Toronto Maple Leafs, and Buffalo Sabres.