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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Game Preview: Montreal Canadiens @ Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins Third Jersey Night
Game Time: 7:00pm/ET
From: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
Penguins Record: 19-12-4 (6th in Eastern Conference)
Canadiens Record: 18-9-6 (5th in Eastern Conference)
Last Meeting: February 21st, 2008 @ Montreal (5-4 Pens)

Pascal Dupuis - Sidney Crosby - Miroslav Satan
Ruslan Fedotenko - Evgeni Malkin - Petr Sykora
Maxime Talbot - Jordan Staal - Matt Cooke
Ryan Stone - Dustin Jeffrey - Paul Bissonnette

Brooks Opik - Rob Scuderi
Phillipe Boucher - Alex Goligoski
Ryan Whitney - Mark Eaton

Marc-Andre Fleury (11-5-2 / 2.84 GAA / .911 SV%)

Sergei Gonchar (left shoulder surgery) - on injured reserve
Tyler Kennedy (sprained knee) - on injured reserve
Hal Gill (right shoulder) - on injured reserve
Mike Zigomanis (upper body) - out indefinitely
Kris Letang (lower body) - day-to-day, will miss tonight's game

Andrei Kostitsyn - Tomas Plekanec - Alexei Kovalev
Alex Tanguay - Robert Lang - Matt D'Agostini
Guillaume Latendresse - Maxim Lapierre - Tom Kostopoulos
Steve Begin - Ben Maxwell - Sergei Kostitsyn

Andrei Markov - Mike Komisarek
Roman Hamrlik - Josh Gorges
Patrice Brisebois - Francis Bouillon

Carey Price (13-4-5 / 2.39 GAA / .919 SV%)

Mathieu Dandenault (left arm surgery) - on injured reserve Christopher Higgins (left shoulder) - on injured reserve
Saku Koivu (right ankle/foot) - on injured reserve
Georges Laraque (groin) - day-to-day, will miss tonight's game

GOALS: Malkin (14)
ASSISTS: Malkin (44)
POINTS: Malkin (59)
+/-: Malkin (+23)

GOALS: Lang (11)
ASSISTS: Markov (21)
POINTS: Tanguay (26)
+/-: Gorges (+14)

Dustin Jeffrey will make his NHL debut tonight, as the AHL Penguins continue their revolving tour through Pittsburgh. Paul Bissonnette will also be in the Penguins line-up. Before being sent to the AHL early in the season Bissonnette played six games in the NHL. Bissonnette leads the WBS Pens in penalty minutes.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have not won back-to-back games since November 13th - 15th. They have lost their last two home games by a combined score of 9-3.

For Montreal, former Penguin Georges Laraque will be placed on injured reserve due to a groin injury and he will miss tonight's game. The good news for the Canadiens is that Andrei Kostitsyn will return to the line-up tonight after missing two games with a leg injury.

Montreal captain Saku Koivu will also miss tonight's game with an unspecified lower body injury.

This will be a good goaltending duel between Carey Price and Marc-Andre Fleury. The offense will also be on display as Crosby and Malkin will meet the former Penguins duo of Alexei Kovalev and Robert Lang. Lang and Kovalev have been on a role recently.

The winner of tonight's game will be the sole owner of the number five position in the Eastern Conference.

Prediction: 3-2 Penguins

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