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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, November 18 (All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Penguins (12-3-1) at Montreal Canadiens (14-4-1), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Two of the NHL's hottest teams will face off Tuesday, as the Montreal Canadiens host the Pittsburgh Penguins in an Eastern Conference showdown at the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens boast the league's longest current winning streak, posting their sixth consecutive victory in Sunday's road decision over Detroit. The Habs downed the Red Wings 4-1 and have outscored opponents during the streak by a combined margin of 24-7.
Montreal leads the NHL with 29 points and is one ahead of Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has won nine of its last 10 tilts, with the lone blip of that stretch coming in last Tuesday's 5-0 loss to the New York Rangers. The Penguins were able to avenge that road setback on Saturday, albeit in odd fashion.
New York thought it had its second straight win over the Penguins in Saturday's meeting in the Steel City, but a video review in the shootout eventually gave Pittsburgh another chance to win the game, which it did when Brandon Sutter scored in the fourth round.
After playing to a 2-2 tie through 65 minutes, the Rangers and Pens were knotted at 1-1 in the shootout when it appeared New York's Dan Boyle won the game in the third round.
The Rangers celebrated what it thought to be a win after Boyle slid a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury, but replays showed his attempt hit the post before striking his stick for a double-hit. Both teams had already gone to their respective locker rooms before being summoned back to continue the shootout.
Sutter then put Pittsburgh ahead by beating Henrik Lundqvist between the pads and Fleury stopped Rick Nash with his left arm to give the Penguins the extra point.
"It's important when you have a tough night that you can rebound," Penguins head coach Mike Johnston said of avenging the loss against the Rangers. "We knew we had them again this week."
After tonight's encounter with the East's top team, the Pens will begin a home-and-home against the New York Islanders on Friday. With 25 points, Pittsburgh is three points ahead of the second-place Islanders in the Metropolitan Division.
Montreal completed a perfect four-game homestand with Saturday's 6-3 victory over Philadelphia and posted another three-goal win the following night in Detroit.
P.K. Subban and Brendan Gallagher each registered a goal and an assist to power the Canadiens, who are on their first six-game winning streak since March 6-16, 2010. Montreal last won seven straight during an eight-game tear from March 23-April 6, 2006.
Brandon Prust and Tomas Plekanec also scored for the Canadiens and backup Dustin Tokarski turned aside 28 shots in the win.
"We were playing our fourth game in six nights, back-to-back and against a good Red Wings team, but the guys didn't make any excuses," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said.
Carey Price, who is 9-9-2 with a 3.03 goals against average in his career against Pittsburgh, is expected to start in net tonight for the Habs. Fleury is 16-9-3 with a lifetime 3.16 GAA versus Montreal.
Tuesday's battle marks the first of three regular-season meetings between the Canadiens and Pens in 2014-15. Montreal has claimed two of the past three encounters, but Pittsburgh has won seven out of 10 against the Habs.
Montreal boasts an 8-2-0 record at home this season and has won two of the last three meetings against the Pens at the Bell Centre. Pittsburgh is 6-1-1 on the road.
11/18 10:51:40 ET