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Game #6 ~ Canadiens @ Penguins. Thursday, October 20th, 2011.


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Milestones and comebacks

BROSSARD – In today’s notebook, Cammalleri heals up, Pacioretty looks to keep things rolling and Gill gets set for a milestone moment.

Get well soon: The Canadiens are in need of a little finish around the net and a healed-up Michael Cammalleri could be just what the doctor ordered. Making the road trip with the team for the first time since suffering a deep laceration in Winnipeg on October 9, the Habs sniper appears to be inching closer to a return.

“There’s no definite answer on when but I feel really good,” confirmed Cammalleri, who scored his first goal of the season against the Jets. “It’s just a matter of seeing what’s under this equipment and we’ll see if it holds up or not. We’re going to have to look at it now and see how it held up through practice and we’ll probably do the same thing tomorrow. I’d obviously love to play as soon as possible.”

Let the good times roll: No one on the Habs roster has had a better start to 2011-12 than Max Pacioretty. With five points in as many games so far this year, the 22-year-old winger knows the secret to maintaining his point-per-game pace is consistency.

“It’s felt like in the last three games I’ve really had my legs under me,” offered Pacioretty, who fired a game-high nine shots on Ryan Miller on Tuesday night. “My intensity level is there. When I’m playing a fast, intense game, that’s when I’m the most successful so I have to just try and keep it up for the whole year.”

Older and wiser: Just one game shy of the 1,000th in his NHL career, veteran blue-liner Hal Gill is looking forward to hitting the milestone against his former team on Thursday night.

“I have a lot good memories from Pittsburgh. I anticipate that it will be a nice experience. To be honest, I’m more excited to get a win than to play my 1000th game,” admitted Gill, who won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009. “I remember that I used to look at the calendar at each 10 game segment to see who we’d play if I’d reach 100 games, 200 games. As you get older, you pay more attention to this. It’s fun and I’m proud of what I’ve done. It’s something that I’d never thought I’d get to, but a win would be a lot nicer right now.”

Wax on, wax off: After spending his rookie season alongside Gill in 2010-11, P.K. Subban has benefitted from Gill’s 999 games of NHL experience more than anyone in the Habs dressing room. He may not be a rookie anymore, but the 23-year-old blue-liner isn’t expecting the lessons from the seasoned veteran to stop coming any time soon.

“It just goes to show how young I am. I just played my 84th game or something like that and he’s got 1,000 – that’s a lot more than I’ve got,” mentioned Subban with a laugh. “It’s pretty cool. I know he just had his baby boy so it’s been an emotional week for him. I’m sure he’d love to get the win in his old team’s barn so it’s going to be an emotional one for him, for sure.

“He’s helped me a lot. Hal’s a guy who can help with a lot of the little things and every day I come to the rink willing to learn and he’s willing to offer his knowledge and his experience,” described Subban, who couldn’t help but get at least one playful jab in on his blue line mentor. “Sometimes it’s like a broken record where he’s saying things over and over, but hopefully by my 1,000th game I’ll get it.”

Last Games Played

Montreal: Sabres 3, Canadiens 1.

Pittsburgh: Penguins 4, Wild 2.


Gill set for game No. 1,000 as Habs visit Pens

CANADIENS (1-3-1) at PENGUINS (4-2-2)


Season Series: This is the first meeting of the season. Montreal won three of four meetings last season, though one victory came in a shootout. Before that, the Canadiens knocked the then-defending Cup champs out of the 2010 playoffs in a seven-game second-round series.

Big story: Montreal defenseman Hall Gill, who won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009, will play his 1,000th career NHL game as he and the struggling Canadiens try to right the ship.

Team scope:

Canadiens: The Canadiens are fresh off an 0-2-1 home stand and have only a win at MTS Centre on Winnipeg's opening night to this point. Montreal is already five points back of improved Buffalo in the Northeast Division. Obviously goal prevention is in the spotlight with three of the team's top six defensemen injured; the Canadiens have allowed 12 goals during their three-game losing skid.

Carey Price was in the discussion for the Vezina Trophy last season, but he has an .885 save percentage in five games. His next win will be No. 100, but like the club he has lost three straight decisions. The Canadiens could also use more scoring, particularly from free-agent signing Erik Cole (one assist) and defenseman PK Subban (one assist).

Penguins: Pittsburgh keeps adding key players to the list of guys who aren't playing instead of welcoming people back, but didn't slow the team Tuesday night in Minnesota. The Penguins were without arguably their four best players (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury) and yet still defeated the Wild 4-2 to snap a three-game skid of their own.

A tough schedule early has been an issue for the Penguins, who have already played a League-high eight games and made two road trips to face Western Conference foes. Without Crosby and Malkin (not to mention Dustin Jeffrey, who would probably slot in on one of the top two lines if their place), free agent addition Richard Park centered one of Pittsburgh's top two lines in Minnesota.

When Letang has played -- he sat out Tuesday and will do so again on Thursday while serving a two-game suspension -- he's been fantastic, and several forwards have been exceeding expectations to help offset the loss of the superstars.

Who's hot: James Neal only scored one goal in 20 regular-season games and one more in seven postseason contests for the Penguins last season after arriving in a trade for defenseman Alex Goligoski, but entering Thursday's games he was tied for the League lead with six.

Injury report: The Canadiens are without one of their top forwards and half the defense corps. Michael Cammalleri is out because of a cut on his leg from a skate in a game Oct. 9 against Winnipeg, though coach Jacques Martin has said he could be back soon. The same cannot be said for defensemen Andrei Markov (knee surgery) and Chris Campoli (torn hamstring). Defenseman Jaroslav Spacek (bruised ribs) is also missing for the Canadiens. … Pittsburgh has been without top centers Crosby (concussion) all season and Malkin (sore knee) in five of the past six games. Defenseman Brooks Orpik (sports hernia) and forward Jeffrey (knee surgery) also have yet to play this season. Right wing Tyler Kennedy is also out with a concussion. This is the second half of Letang's two-game suspension for boarding Winnipeg's Alexander Burmistrov on Monday.

Stat pack: Pittsburgh's power play was ranked 30th out of 30 last season after Crosby went out with the concussion, converting at just 14 percent. Crosby isn't back yet, and Malkin has been missing a good bit but the Penguins look like a new club with the man advantage having connected seven times. Their strong work on the penalty kill has carried over -- Pittsburgh is tops in the NHL with a 96.3 percent kill rate.

Puck drop: Gill has played the last 148 of those 999 career games with the Canadiens, and he was a big part of their success in a surprise run to the conference finals in 2010. He spent eight of his 15 seasons with the Boston Bruins, but his one-plus campaigns in Pittsburgh were his most successful. He played in back-to-back Stanley Cup Finals, arriving in a lightly-publicized trade at the deadline in 2008 before forming a critical shutdown pairing with Rob Scuderi. In his only full season in Pittsburgh he helped the Penguins claim the Cup.

"When he was playing for the Leafs [in 2006-07 and 2007-08], some people probably thought he wouldn't play very much longer," Martin said. "He went to Pittsburgh and won a Cup, and I remember in his early days in Montreal he took a lot of abuse because of his speed. But he uses his size to his advantage, he has a good stick, he blocks a lot of shots and excels in a defensive role."

go Habs go!

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Hopefully ther injuries affect them more than ours have been affecting us. With that said, however, we played a good game against Buffalo. Not perfect by any means but I bet that if we can put close to 40 on Fleury more than one will go in. And hopefully Price will start his groove about now.

Nice thread Clues :) That billboard thing you do always looks great.

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go Habs go!

great_job.gifon your GDT there clues.

Two banged-up teams...lets go habs!

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Pittsburgh's in more injury trouble than the Habs it looks like. Hopefully the Habs can take advantage of this and pull out a win. Play like they played against Buffalo and there's a good chance of that happening.

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With Cammy in, I suspect we'll see the following:


Eller - Gomez - Gionta

Ak- DD- Patches

Thats what I expect from Jacques, although it might be interesting to see Eller stay with Pleks and Cammy & put Cole with Gomez & Gionta. I wouldnt break up line 3 as they have been our only consistently good line so far this season.

Either way, having Cammy back & Moen out of the top 9 should help. I like Moen & I think he's had some strong games so far, but I feel pretty confident in saying that either Eller or Cole on that 2nd line would have buried at least 3 goals that Moen fanned on or shot wide in the last couple of games.

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After the last 2 games Colorado and Buffalo under no circumstances should Pacioretty Desharnais and AK46 be broken up. They have been dominant thus far and with our 3rd line clicking this way if our 1st 2 lines could start clicking WATCH OUT!!!!

With saying that...

Cammy Pleks Cole

Eller Gomez Gionta

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Cammy is Back We May Now Have a Chance :)

Yep. Definitely good news. :D I was little hard on Cammalleri last season. For some reason I felt he wasn't contributing as much as he could. I, however, have faith that he will provide good production for us this season. I'm not sure why I feel like he's prepared for a good year, but I feel strongly that he will "show up."

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