The Penguins, looking to extend their record to 5-2-2, are up 2-0 on the 1-3-1 Montreal Canadiens at the end of the second period on the strength of goals by James Neal and Joe Vitale.
The Penguins jumped out to an early lead after Neal netted one nine minutes into the opening period on assists by Steve Sullivan and Richard Park. The Pens extended their margin three minutes into the second period, when Vitale struck on an assist from Matt Niskanen. Each team has sent three players to the penalty box, but neither team has been able to take advantage on a power play yet.
The Pens are playing without Steve McIntyre, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby. Letang was suspended Tuesday for two games for his hit Monday night on Winnipeg's Alex Burmistrov. This is the second game of that suspension. Sidney Crosby has yet to play a game for the Penguins in the 2011-12 season to date, so starting 5-2-2 would be particularly good considering the losses of some of their most dynamic players.
Stay tuned, third period ahead and more updates on the way from SB Nation Pittsburgh.