Jason Zucker scores twice as Penguins present Canadiens how an injured staff wins

PITTSBURGH — The Canadiens took one other step towards lacking the playoffs for the third straight season after they misplaced Four-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday evening.

As soon as the season is over, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin and proprietor Geoff Molson will little question use accidents as an excuse, and the staff has been hit arduous by them. However the Penguins have been hit even more durable.

Heading into the sport, the Penguins had misplaced 231 man-games to harm, whereas the Canadiens had misplaced 152. However the Penguins improved their report to 35-15-6 as a result of they’ve depth, and the Canadiens dropped to 27-26-7 as a result of they don’t.

It was the third straight loss for the Canadiens.

Jason Zucker scored twice for the Penguins, whereas Kris Letang scored on an influence play and Zach Aston-Reese added an empty-netter. Brendan Gallagher scored on the facility play for his 20th purpose of the season for the Canadiens, who will probably be again in motion Saturday on the Bell Centre towards the Dallas Stars (7 p.m., SNE, CITY, TVA Sports activities, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

Zucker should really feel like he landed in hockey heaven on Monday when the Penguins acquired him from the Minnesota Wild after which put him on a line with Sidney Crosby. Zucker’s objectives have been his first in two video games with the Penguins and Crosby assisted on each. Crosby additionally assisted on Letang’s purpose.

“They’ve finished effectively,” Canadiens coach Julien mentioned concerning the Penguins after Friday’s morning skate. “Give them credit score. Sid’s been out for fairly some time, he’s come again and clearly makes a giant distinction. (Evgeni) Malkin actually performed effectively in his absence. There’s guys that step up and are available and do a very good job. They lose (Jake) Guentzel, huge loss there. They exit and make a commerce (to amass Zucker). They’re one-two actually sturdy down the center (with Crosby and Malkin). Everyone knows that. These form of guys make everyone round them higher, too, and that’s what you’re seeing from the Penguins.”

Crosby missed 28 video games after muscle surgical procedure to restore a sports activities hernia in November. The Penguins went 18-6-Four with out their captain. Malkin posted 11-27-38 totals throughout that span, lacking two video games himself as a consequence of sickness.

The Penguins are actually 7-Three-1 within the 11 video games since Crosby returned and he has 5-12-17 totals throughout that span.

“We’re fairly lucky we bought one of many different finest gamers within the sport, too,” the Penguins’ Jack Johnson mentioned about Malkin after follow Thursday. “We have now loads of different actually good gamers. (Crosby) went out and we simply informed him we’d maintain down the fort till he bought again and we have been in a position to do this.”

Penguins ahead Nick Bjugstad missed his 46th sport on Friday and defenceman Brian Dumoulin missed his 33rd, each with lower-body accidents. Ahead Guentzel missed his 17th with an upper-body harm.

However the Penguins simply hold rolling alongside, whereas the Canadiens head towards one more disappointing end this season.