Penguins

Game 43 Preview: Canadiens Vs. Penguins

By: Casey Shea
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to make it five wins in a row when they play host to the Montreal Canadiens tonight at CONSOL Energy Center.

The Penguins have had a couple of days off after defeating the Florida Panthers 3-1 on Saturday.

During their time off, Sidney Crosby (jaw) and James Neal (concussion) have returned to the ice for workouts with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar.

While no timetable has been set for their return, being back on the ice is a good first step with the playoffs just around the corner.

Paul Martin has also skated, but is still recovering from hand surgery.

Despite all the injuries, the Penguins are seven points ahead of Montreal in the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Pittsburgh is also eight points ahead of Boston, who they will meet on Friday.

Montreal is currently on a two-game losing skid, in which their defense and goaltending has struggled. On Saturday, they lost 5-1 to Toronto, which they followed up with a 7-3 loss to Philadelphia on Monday.

Goaltender Carey Price (19-10-4, 2.50 GAA, .908 save percentage) was pulled in each of those games. He allowed three goals on four shots against Toronto and then allowed six goals on 29 shots against Philadelphia.

In the month of April, Price is just 2-4 and has lost his last three starts.

Against the Penguins, Price is 8-7-2 with a 2.85 GAA and .912 save percentage.

Defenseman P.K. Subban leads the team with 36 points this season (11 goals, 25 assists), while Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher are tied for the team lead with 13 goals.

For Pittsburgh, Crosby continues to lead the team with 56 points. He still leads the NHL scoring race by three points over Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis.

Chris Kunitz leads the team with 21 goals, but Pascal Dupuis is right behind him after scoring his 20th last week against the Lightning.

In goal, Marc-Andre Fleury (21-6-0, 2.26 GAA, .919 save percentage) is riding a personal three-game winning streak and earned his 21st win of the year by making 25 saves against the Panthers on Saturday.

Against the Canadiens, Fleury is 14-8-2 with a 3.16 GAA and a .893 save percentage.

Evgeni Malkin was held out of Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury and has been a limited participant in practice over the last two days.

His status for tonight’s game has not been announced.

The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. and you can watch the game on Root Sports.

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sheavedice

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