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Penguins vs. Canadiens Scouting Report

Wednesday, 10.19.2011 / 9:00 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
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Penguins vs. Canadiens Scouting Report
Pittsburgh Penguins
Home: 1-1-1-3
Road: 3-1-1-7

WHEN: Oct. 20, 2011 - 7:00 pm   |   WHERE: CONSOL Energy Center
ROOT SPORTS  |  LISTEN: Penguins 24/7 Radio, 105.9 FM
Montreal Canadiens
Home: 0-2-1-1

  Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens 






Max Pacioretty
LW  -  #67
  2 Goals
  3 Assists
  5 Points
• Was tied for first with Hamilton and in the American Hockey League in points (17+15=32) when recalled on Dec. 12, 2010 – and proceeded to produce at a blistering pace with Montreal, recording 14 goals and 24 points through 37 NHL contests.

• Suffered a season-ending concussion and neck injury March 8 vs. Boston following a hit by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, where he collided with the stanchion at the end of the bench.

• The 22-year-old from New Canaan, CT is having a fast start to the season, notching a pair of goals and five points while leading the Habs with 27 shots on goal.
Erik Cole
LW -  #72
  0 Goals
  1 Assist
  1 Point
• Veteran winger signed a four-year contract with the Canadiens on July 1 after spending nine of the past 10 seasons with Carolina.

• Posted an impressive 26 goals and 52 points in 2010-11 with the Hurricanes, with 14 of those tallies coming in the third period or overtime.

• The 32-year-old has been playing left wing on a line with center Tomas Plekanec and right wing Lars Eller.
Josh Gorges
D  -  #26
  0 goals
  2 assists
  2 points
• Played in just 36 games last season after suffering a season-ending injury on Dec. 26 vs. New York Islanders.

• Defensive specialist is currently anchoring the Canadiens’ top defensive pairing alongside sophomore blueliner P.K. Subban.

The 27-year-old currently paces the Habs with 15 blocked shots through five games and ranks third in minutes played (20:28).
The Montreal Canadiens have gotten the 2011-12 campaign off to a rocky start, earning just one win through their first five games. They have yet to earn a victory at the Bell Centre, dropping their first three games on home ice – being the first Habs squad to do so since 1938.

Like the Penguins, the Canadiens have suffered an influx of injuries early on – primarily to their backend. Veterans Chris Campoli, Andrei Markov and Jaroslav Spacek are all sidelined with injuries, meaning the young and still developing defenseman P.K. Subban has had to step into a larger role for his team. The offensively gifted blueliner is averaging a team-leading 24:56 of ice time and is playing in all situations. Meanwhile, Josh Gorges – who played just 36 games last season after suffering a season-ending knee injury at the end of December – is also helping shoulder the load.

The good news for Montreal (and not-so-good news for Pittsburgh) is that head coach Jacques Martin confirmed after Thursday's morning skate that sniper Michael Cammalleri will be in the lineup against the Penguins after missing the past three games with a deep leg laceration. Cammalleri is a player that always seems to have the Penguins' number, as he’s netted four goals and eight points in 10 career games vs. Pittsburgh – not to mention he scored seven goals in seven games to lead the Canadiens past the Penguins in the first round of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs. He should provide a much-needed boost to his team.

And despite their struggles, the Habs haven’t been sitting back on their heels. They’ve actually outshot their opponents by quite a large margin in their four losses combined – 152 to 92, to be exact, including a pair of 41-plus shot nights.  In fact, the only game Montreal has held the shots disadvantage is the one they won (5-1 vs. Winnipeg on Oct. 9). It seems to be just a matter of time before the Canadiens start finishing around the net.

Talented young forward Max Pacioretty has been leading the charge for Montreal. He’s back operating at full tilt after he suffered a concussion and neck injury on March 8 vs. Boston that ended the 22-year-old’s promising rookie season. The winger has been playing at a fast, intense clip, leading the team with two goals (tied), three assists, five points and 27 shots on goal.

Goalie Carey Price has gotten all five of the Habs’ starts so far – and he’ll more than likely get the call against Pittsburgh on Thursday. He’s no stranger to an early heavy workload, as he was the second-busiest netminder in the NHL last October. While he’s been playing OK, the Habs will need their promising young goalie to start stealing games for them to turn their fortunes around.
  • Montreal defenseman and former Penguin Hal Gill will appear in his 1,000th career NHL game Thursday. Gill was a key member of the Penguins' 2009 Stanley Cup championship squad, and back-to-back Cup Finalist teams in '09 and '08. Both years, he teamed with Rob Scuderi to form the team’s shutdown defensive pairing and also was one of the team’s top penalty killing blueliners. Gill appeared in 80 games with Pittsburgh, scoring 14 points (3G-11A). He also played in 44 postseason contests, collecting three assists.
  • The Penguins' penalty kill unit has allowed just one goal on 27 opportunities for a 96.3-percent success rate, which ranks first in the NHL. Meanwhile, the Canadiens have converted just two of their 21 opportunities on the man-advantage for a 9.5-percent success rate, sixth-worst in the league.
  • Pittsburgh posted a 1-2-1 overall record against Montreal last season – including a 0-2 mark at CONSOL Energy Center and a 1-0-1 record at the Molson Centre. The Penguins' lone victory came on Jan. 12, 2011, 5-2. That night the Penguins went 4-for-6 on the power play, with Jordan Staal picking up his first three points of the season (1G-2A).
  • The Penguins are looking to snap a two-game home losing streak to Montreal. Pittsburgh has finished with a winning record against Montreal in four of the last six seasons. The Penguins are 13-8-3 against the Canadiens since the lockout.
  • James Neal continues to be red hot, scoring his NHL-leading (tied) sixth goal – his fifth tally in the last five games – at Minnesota Oct. 18. Neal, who is tied for the team lead with seven points and tops the squad with 32 shots, has collected at least one point in six of the team’s first eight games.
  • With six goals through the first eight games, Neal has put himself in great position to become the first Pittsburgh winger to score 30 or more goals since Alexei Kovalev did so in 2001-02.
  • F Arron Asham was originally drafted by the Canadiens in the third round (71st overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. He
    broke into the league with Montreal, playing parts of four seasons with the Canadiens from 1998-02. Asham appeared in 121 games with Montreal, tallying 20 points (11G-9A). Three Penguins – F Pascal Dupuis (Laval), D Kris Letang (Montreal) and G Marc-Andre Fleury (Sorel) are Quebec natives.




2010-11 STAT CHART

F Sidney Crosby, concussion
F Dustin Jeffrey, knee
F Tyler Kennedy, concussion-like symptoms
F Evgeni Malkin, lower-body
D Brooks Orpik, lower abdominal/hernia
Neal (5) Three tied with (2)
Letang (6) Pacioretty (3)
Neal/Letang (7)
Pacioretty (5)
Engelland (11) Subban (6)
Letang (3) Weber (4)
Neal (2) Weber/Plekanec (1)
Three tied with (1)
Fleury (3-2-0)
Price (1-3-1)
Fleury (2.58) Price (2.78)
Fleury (.914) Price (.885)

F Mike Cammalleri, lower-body
D Chris Campoli, lower-body
D Andrei Markov, knee
D Jaroslav Spacek, upper-body
F Ryan White, upper-body





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Author: Michelle Crechiolo
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