Habs try to extend win streak versus rebounding Pens

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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Canadiens have a chance on Saturday night to match their longest winning streak of the season.

It won't be easy however as the Habs visit a Pittsburgh Penguins team that is getting healthy and could also debut forward David Perron.

Montreal has won five straight games, including the first four of a five-game road trip that ends tonight. The Canadiens used a big night from Carey Price on Friday to defeat the New Jersey Devils 4-2.

Playing his 400th career game, Price made 22 saves to notch his 200th win. He was helped by Michael Bournival's first two goals of the season and three assists by defenseman P.K. Subban.

Max Pacioretty had a power-play goal and Tomas Plekanec scored into an empty net for the Canadiens, who have won eight of their last nine games and tied the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division.

"We knew we had to be patient. We capitalized on the few chances that we did get," Price said.

Montreal did see forward P.A. Parenteau exit early last night due to an undisclosed injury and his status for this game is unknown as the club tries to match a season-high six-game win streak set from Nov. 5-16.

It also is unknown if Price will get another start tonight or if backup Dustin Tokarski will face the Penguins for the first time. Price is 9-10-2 lifetime versus the Pens with a 3.08 goals against average and .903 save percentage.

The Penguins actually helped the Habs last night by defeating the Lightning 6-3. That win has Pittsburgh tied with the New York Islanders for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with 53 points.

Montreal and Tampa Bay have 52 points.

Steve Downie returned from a five-game absence caused by the mumps to score twice last night, while Sidney Crosby had four assists. Backup goaltender Thomas Greiss made his first appearance since Dec. 13, having also dealt with the mumps, and made 32 saves.

Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Andrew Ebbett and Christian Ehrhoff also scored for Pittsburgh, which has won back-to-back games on the heels of four straight losses.

"We got some more guys back. I think that gave us a boost," said Crosby. "Hopefully we can feed off that and keep playing the right way."

Pittsburgh added Perron to the mix on Friday, acquiring him from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Rob Klinkhammer and a 2015 first-round draft pick. The 26-year-old Perron had a career-high 28 goals last season, his first with the Oilers, and had five goals and 19 points in 38 games with them this campaign.

"Having this kind of opportunity is pretty surreal. We all know the type of players this team has. I'm going to come in, work as hard as I can and try to fit in anyway that I can," Perron told Pittsburgh's website.

Marc-Andre Fleury will start for the Penguins tonight and is 17-9-3 in his career versus Montreal with a 3.05 GAA and .896 save percentage. He shut them out on Nov. 18 with 27 saves for a 4-0 win in the first of three meetings between the clubs this season.

Downie and Crosby had goals, while Price made 18 saves in the loss.

The Pens have won eight of their last 11 versus the Canadiens and five of the past six meetings in Pittsburgh.