NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, April 11th
(All times eastern)
Pittsburgh Penguins (44-28-9) at Montreal Canadiens (41-29-11), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Two teams trying to improve their playoff positioning clash
this evening, as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens end their
regular seasons at the Bell Centre.
The Penguins find themselves tied with Carolina and Philadelphia for the
fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, an important spot as it is the last one
that gives home-ice advantage in the postseason's first round.
All three teams have 97 points, but both the Penguins and Hurricanes wrap
their seasons today. The Flyers, meanwhile, are in action tonight but also
Montreal is locked in a tie for the seventh spot with the New York Rangers,
who are off until Sunday when they wrap their regular season versus
Philadelphia. New York owns the current tie break with one more win, but the
Canadiens won the season series, 2-1-1.
The Habs punched their ticket to the postseason with a 5-4 overtime setback to
Boston, as they needed just a point to secure a playoff spot.
Matt D'Agostini scored twice, while Alex Kovalev and Mathieu Schneider scored
once. Carey Price stopped 28 shots in Montreal's third straight loss.
The Habs are 24-9-7 at home on the season.
Having already clinched a postseason spot, the Penguins hosted the Islanders
on Thursday and skated to a 6-1 victory. Mathieu Garon was spectacular between
the pipes, stopping 28 shots, and six different Pittsburgh players lit the
Philippe Boucher, Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, Bill Guerin, Sidney Crosby and
Tyler Kennedy all notched goals, as Crosby has now posted at least a point in
18 of his last 20 games. He is third in the NHL with 103 points.
Evgeni Malkin, meanwhile, added two assists to up his league-leading total to
78. He is also tops in the NHL with 112 points, four more than Alex Ovechkin
Pittsburgh is 19-15-6 on the road this year.
Montreal has won two of three versus the Penguins this year, though Pittsburgh
skated to a 5-4 home win when the clubs last met on February 19. The Pens have
lost three of their last five trips to the Bell Centre.
04/11 11:07:23 ET