Saturday, December 7, 2013
W2W4: Bruins host Penguins, 7 p.m. ET
By Joe McDonald
The Boston Bruins (18-8-2, 38 points) will host the Pittsburgh Penguins (20-9-1, 41 points) Saturday night at TD Garden (7 p.m.). Here's what to watch for:
YOU AGAIN: The Bruins and Penguins will play for the third and final time during the regular season when puck drops tonight. The teams split the first two games, with Pittsburgh posting a 3-2 win on Oct. 30 at Consol Energy Center, before Boston earned a 4-3 overtime win on Nov. 25 at TD Garden. Despite a four-game sweep over the Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals last June, the Bruins are 2-8-1 in their last 11 regular-season games against Pittsburgh.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE LATELY: The Bruins are 6-2-1 in their last nine games and 10-3-2 in their last 15. Boston is coming off a dreadful 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night at Bell Centre in Montreal. In that game, the Bruins dominated the first and third periods, but couldn't keep the Habs at bay in the second as they scored a pair of goals en route to victory. The Penguins enter Saturday's game on a season-high five-game winning streak. They defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-1 on Thursday night at Pittsburgh. The Bruins are 12-3-2 on home ice this season, while the Penguins have an 8-6-1 road record. Pittsburgh is 3-0-1 in its last four road games.
MASKED MEN: For the second consecutive game, Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask will face another top goalie in the Penguins' Marc-Andre Fleury. Rask is 14-7-2 with a 1.90 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage in 23 games. Fleury is 16-7-1 with a 2.01 GAA and .922 SP in 25 games. Rask has a 2-5-0 career record against the Penguins, with a 2.73 GAA and a .903 SP. Fleury is 11-5-3, including two shutouts, with a 2.27 GAA and a .924 SP against the Bruins. SPECIAL TEAMS: The Penguins own the best power-play unit in the league with a 26.5 percent success rate. During Pittsburgh's current five-game recent winning streak, it has been dominant on the power play, going 8-for-16. Pittsburgh has killed off 27 of its last 29 penalties in the last 10 games. Boston's PP is ranked 17th in the league (17.3 percent), while its penalty-killing unit is fifth. In the last six games, the Bruins are 3-for-19 on the PP and 15-for-18 on the PK.
KEY INJURIES: The Bruins will be without the services of defensemen Johnny Boychuk (back) and Adam McQuaid (lower body). Pittsburgh star Evgeni Malkin will miss his second consecutive game due to a lower-body injury.