NHL Pre-Game Notes: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens

Jean-Yves Ahern – USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins (25-8-0, 50 points) and the Montreal Canadiens (20-6-5, 45 points) will be televised locally on ROOT Sports – Pittsburgh and nationally on RDS. Face off is set for 7:00pm (est) at the CONSOL Energy Center.

Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang will again be out of the lineup tonight against the Canadiens.  They are still considered day-to-day, but are close to returning.  Brenden Morrow will make his debut in a Penguins uniform tonight.  Matt Cooke did not participate in today’s morning skate as he’s been playing with an injury and head coach Dan Bylsma feels it’s better for him to skate just once (for gametime).

The projected line combinations based on this morning’s skate are as follows:

FORWARDS: Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis, Morrow-Dustin Jeffrey-James Neal, Beau Bennett-Brandon Sutter-Tyler Kennedy, Tanner Glass-Joe Vitale-Craig Adams (Malkin);

DEFENSEMEN: Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin, Matt Niskanen-Mark Eaton,Simon Despres-Deryk Engelland, Letang-Robert Bortuzzo. The starting goalie in net for the Penguins tonight is Marc-Andre Fleury.

MONTREAL INJURY / LINE INFO
The Canadiens will be without a few key players tonight against the Penguins. Forwards Rene Bourque (concussion) and Brandon Prust (shoulder injury); and defensemen Raphael Diaz (concussion) and Yannick Weber (knee injury). Carey Price is the projected starting net minder for Montreal tonight.

PROJECTED LINEUP -
FORWARDS:
Max Pacioretty – David Desharnais – Brendan Gallagher
Michael Ryder – Tomas Plekanec – Brian Gionta
Alex Galchenyuk – Lars Eller – Colby Armstrong
Travis Moen – Jeff Halpern – Gabriel Dumont

DEFENSEMEN:
Andrei Markov – Alexei Emelin
Josh Gorges – P.K. Subban
Jarred Tinordi – Francis Bouillon

Stephanie Lewark is a featured Pittsburgh Penguins writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her Facebook page, or add her to your Google+ circle.

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