The Canadiens do not have an easy road ahead of them.
Following tonight's home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins they head out on the road for their next five games, which will be their longest road trip of the season. The Canadiens called up Gabriel Dumont late on Friday night from Hamilton to join them on the trip. Head coach Michel Therrien said it was important to have an extra player with them and didn't rule out the possibility of Dumont getting some playing time.
The team had an optional morning skate on Saturday morning, and players to take part included Brian Gionta, Carey Price, Michael Ryder and Francis Bouillon. Raphael Diaz and Rene Bourque are both out with concussions.
Tonight's game will be a special one for the Habs head coach as he faces his former team for the first time. Therrien coached the Penguins from 2005-09, and there are nine players currently remaining on Pittsburgh's roster who were there during Therrien's term as coach: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, Tyler Kennedy, Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, Mark Eaton, and Marc-Andre Fleury.
Therrien has not tried to hide the fact that this will be a special game for him and he appreciated getting a congratulatory text message from Crosby during the off-season when it was announced he was hired by the Canadiens.
Montreal fans have waited quite some time to see Crosby play, as he has not appeared in Montreal since November 26, 2011. The last time he scored at the Bell Centre was back on January 3, 2006, which happened to be his first trip to Montreal.
Sorel, Quebec native Marc-Andre Fleury will not get the start in goal for the Penguins, as head coach Dan Bylsma has decided to go with backup goaltender Tomas Vokoun. Fleury did admit following the morning skate at the Bell Centre that he was disappointed when he found out he wasn't going to be playing tonight. This is the only time the Penguins are scheduled to be in Montreal during the regular season. Bylsma said that he had planned to start Vokoun in this game due to the team's schedule.