We've made it this far, game 82 of a grinding, grueling 82 game season. The Penguins will finish the regular season against the Montreal Canadiens, who are 41-29-11, with 93 points and locked into the playoffs as well. Here is what's at stake for both clubs:
--Montreal needs to win this game AND see the New York Rangers lose (in regulation or OT) and then Montreal clinches 7th place. If NYR wins, it doesn't matter what the Habs do, NYR would take 7th and Montreal gets 8th.
--It's a little more complicated for Pittsburgh. To get 4th place, the Pens need to win AND have Carolina not win. Then Pittsburgh would need Philadelphia to get no more than 2 points in their remaining two games. If both Carolina and Pittsburgh win their last game, the Canes would get the higher seed based off of having more wins in the season.
For Montreal, injuries are becoming an issue. Their leading scorer Andrei Markov (12g, 52a) has been out for a week and may not make it back in time for the playoffs. Mathieu Schnieder is in the same boat, having just returned from injury last game and not being 100% out there.
Carey Price has been a train wreck recently, giving up 3 or more goals in 13 of his last 19 appearances. Overall the season numbers for the kid they once called "Hockey Jesus" are not very impressive: 23-15-10, 2.82 GAA, 90.5% save percentage, 1 shutout.
According to the blog All Habs, here's the lines that Montreal used last game as an indication of what to expect tonight:
The second line that Tomas Plekanec centers was the most dangerous one the last time out, so the Pens will have to be on their toes for that.
The season series is currently in Montreal's favor 2-1.