Canadiens’ Jonathan Drouin of the Montreal Canadiens skates through Sidney Crosby, left, and Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Bell Centre on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, in Montreal.
Minas Panagiotakis / Getty Images
This one is HUGE.Of course, every one of the Canadiens’ remaining regular-season games is a biggie. The team is clinging to an Eastern Conference Wildcard playoff berth, with other aspirants nipping at the Canadiens’ heels.But a Saturday night at the Bell Centre … last home game before a California road trip … Sidney Crosby and the Penguins as the visitors …Undeniably HUGE.And there’s a juicy subplot: If Youtube sensation Carey Price beats Crosby & Co., he will tie Jacques Plante atop the team record book with 314 wins.While the Canadiens were beating the Rangers at Madison Square Garden Friday night, Pittsburgh lost 4-3 to Buffalo in OT. The significant stat from that game is ice time for Pittsburgh’s injury-riddled defence: Justin Schultz: 25:54, Jack Johnson and Marcus Pettersson, each 24:38.Shea Weber topped the Canadiens at 23:40. And the latest iteration of the fourth line – Nate Thompson, Dale Weise and Artturi Lehkonen – played double-digit minutes in NYC.Factoring in OT and travel from Buffalo for the Penguins, the Canadiens are likely to be the more rested team Saturday night.Whether that will matter … well, maybe we’ll find out in the third period.The Canadiens played the Penguins twice in October:• Paul Byron scored twice, Joel Armia bagged a shortie and the Canadiens outshot the home team 29-22 en route to a 5-1 win on Oct. 6.• A week later at the Bell Centre, Byron’s goal and Antti Niemi’s Shootout heroics secured a 4-3 win. The Canadiens had battled back from a 2-0 first-period deficit and outshot the visitors 40-28.Can the Canadiens sweep the season series?Puck drops 7:10ish.• Wow! The Ottawa Dumpster Fire