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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, February 1st (All times eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (28-18-5) at Pittsburgh Penguins (24-17-8), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The red-hot Pittsburgh Penguins take aim at a fifth consecutive victory as they continue a homestand tonight with a showdown against the Montreal Canadiens from Mellon Arena.

Pittsburgh's formidable offense was the catalyst to the club's first three wins during this streak, but goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was the star of the Penguins' most recent triumph. The former No. 1 overall pick stopped all 32 shots he faced to lead Pittsburgh to a 3-0 decision over Florida on Tuesday.

Michel Ouellet, Dominic Moore and Ryan Whitney had the goals for the Penguins, who won for the sixth time in seven outings. Ouellet also had an assist on the evening.

Whitney's goal extended his personal scoring streak to eight games, in which he has recorded two goals and nine assists. NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby assisted on Whitney's tally has now notched a point in seven straight contests. The 19-year-old phenom has compiled 14 points (4 goals, 10 assists) over that span.

Tuesday's victory began a three-game homestand for Pittsburgh, which concludes the stretch Saturday against Washington. The Pens are 13-8-4 at Mellon Arena this season and have won three in a row as the host.

The last time Pittsburgh reeled off four straight wins was from December 9-15. That streak was broken by the Canadiens, who dealt the Penguins a 6-3 defeat in Montreal on December 16.

The Canadiens come in having won three of their last four and earned a big victory over the rival Ottawa Senators their most recent time out. David Aebischer turned away 26 shots as Montreal celebrated Ken Dryden night with a 3-1 decision at the Bell Centre.

Sheldon Souray, Mark Streit and Tomas Plekanec all scored for the Habs on the night the franchise raised Dryden's No. 29 jersey to the rafters. The Hall of Fame goaltender helped Montreal capture six Stanley Cups during his eight-year tenure with the organization.

The Canadiens are 13-4-1 (one tie) in their last 18 meetings with Pittsburgh and have won two straight in this series. Montreal has also emerged victorious in six of its last eight visits to Mellon Arena.

02/01 10:31:53 ET


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