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Penguins vs. Canadiens, Round 2, Game 1

[SBN Habs blog - Habs Eyes on the Prize]

It's been a while with the Pensburgh Pick 'Em Challenge, so if you're looking for a quick reminder on the standings then I got ya covered.

Now, on to the Habs.

The Canadiens are only a few days off from doing what so may have considered unthinkable.  They ousted number one seed Washington from the playoffs in the first round and now will look to do the same to the defending Stanley Cup champions.  Never mind the lack of rest Montreal may have after taking that series to seven games.  It's all adrenaline at this point in the season, and the Habs already have enough motivation heading in that could equal a week's worth of waiting anyway.

The Pens may have rested up a few days, but judging from reports around camp it hasn't improved things much.  Chris Kunitz and Tyler Kennedy both returned to practice yesterday, so that's a plus.  Whether that means they'll be game ready or not for tonight's game is still a skating question mark, as both Kunitz and TK are still labeled as "day-to-day."  Jordan Leopold is skating again, which is a great sign after suffering that head injury in the Sens series, but whether he'll be ready for this game, or even series, remains to be seen.

Hooks filled you in on all of the regular season matches between the Pens and Habs.  But if you caught any of the Habs/Caps games then you know this team is for real.  Jaroslav Halak is playing out of his mind and, much like Semyon Varlamov in Washington last season, could really put this team on his back and take them deep into the playoffs.

On a side note, I can't wrap my head around the fact that all division winners in the East have been eliminated and only 4-6-7-8 seeds remain.  Even funnier if you compare it to the West, where 1-2-3-5 remain.  However, home ice in the Stanley Cup Finals is already in hand for the West, seeing as how Detroit ended the season with one more point than Pittsburgh.  Something to consider I suppose in the later rounds.

Finally, I end on the contest/game:

Format: Winning team name - Score - First Pens goal scorer's last name

Give me the first Penguins goal scorer
Give me the final score (include which team will win)

Example: Penguins - 7-2 - Lemieux