Hockey Night in Canada

NHL: 4 things to know for Saturday

Another full Saturday of NHL action includes the top teams in the East facing off, two Canadian teams battling to end their recent slides and an Atlantic division matinee.

Top teams in East faceoff; Canadian teams try to reverse slides

Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban is coming off an impressive three assist night. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Another full Saturday of NHL action includes the top teams in the East facing off, two Canadian teams battling to end their recent slides and an Atlantic division matinee.

Here are four things to know:

Top teams in the East meet again

Last season when the Montreal Canadiens (25-11-2) met the Pittsburgh Penguins (24-9-5) it was always a high-scoring affair, including a wild 6-5 shootout victory for Montreal. 

The usually stingy Marc-Andre Fleury has a less than impressive 3.05 goals-against average and .896 save percentage against the Habs, but still boasts a 17-9-3 record. 

It is usually an exciting match up, with the exception of the Canadiens conceding a 4-0 blowout loss to the Penguins on Nov. 18. They were blown out by the Penguins once in the 2013-14 season as well, but still claimed the season series. 

Montreal is enjoying a five-game winning streak, and has won eight of their past eleven. Their record against the Metropolitan division is 8-2-0, and 17-4-1 versus Eastern conference rivals. 

Newly acquired David Perron could make his first appearance with the Penguins since Friday's trade from the Edmonton Oilers. 

Canadian teams try to end slides

The Winnipeg Jets (19-12-7) host the Toronto Maple Leafs (21-15-3) for their first meeting of the season. Winnipeg swept Toronto in last season's series, taking both victories.

Toronto has struggled recently. They have lost six of their last eight games, and this match will end a disappointing seven-game road trip. 

In the Leafs favour is the fact that Winnipeg doesn't seem to play as strong at home. While they are 11-4-4 in away games, their record is 8-8-3 at the MTS centre. The Jets have lost their past two games, both at home. 

Atlantic rivals showing improvement

The Ottawa Senators (15-14-7) visit the Bruins (19-15-4) in Boston for the third time this season. The teams have split the last two meetings, each claiming a win. 

Senators goalie Craig Anderson will get the start for this matinee match. The 33-year-old won two of his three starts against Boston last season, but his only loss came at TD garden. 

Boston has not been living up to expectations so far this season, but is showing improvement. They have gone 3-1-1 in their last five. 

Ottawa has not played since Monday, but are coming off a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres that featured a Bobby Ryan hat trick. 

Canucks hope to get back on track

In their Nov. 30 meeting, the Red Wings (20-9-9) beat the Vancouver Canucks (21-12-3) by a score of 5-3 in Detroit. Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk scored twice, while captain Henrik Zetterberg had two assists to lead their team to victory. 

Both teams have had the benefit of a few days off. The Vancouver Canucks started the year with a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at home on Thursday. Prior to that loss, the team had at least a point in four straight games. 

Detroit last played on New Year's Eve, and ended 2014 with a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. 


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