Pittsburgh Penguins (37-21-8, 82pts) @ Boston Bruins (38-19-7, 83pts)
Time: 7:00 p.m | Where: TD Bank Garden
Season Series: Boston leads, 2-1
Streaking: Boston has won 7 straight | PIT has not a won a regulation game since Feb. 4 and are 3-6-4 in their last 13 games
The red-hot Boston Bruins look to extend their winning streak to eight games when the Penguins and Bruins wrapup their season series tonight in Boston.
The Bruins and Penguins have been two teams going in different directions as Pittsburgh has not won in regulation since February 4th and are 3-6-4 in their last 13 games.
Pittsburgh though remains in contention for the top spot in the Eastern Conference as the Philadelphia Flyers dropped their third game in a row this afternoon against the Buffalo Sabres.
Boston will be without leading scorer Patrice Bergeron who will miss tonight’s game due to personal reasons. Pittsburgh, of course, will not have their leading scorer in Sidney Crosby who remains out indefinetely.
The Bruins have outscored the opposition 22-10 during their winning streak and have dealt Pittsburgh two embarrassing losses at the Consol Energy Center this season.
The Penguins have won the only meeting in Boston thus far, defeating Boston 3-2 on January 15, behind a 44 save performance from Marc Andre Fleury. Fleury has won his past two starts in Boston.
Fleury will get the start in goal for Pittsburgh tonight.
There has been no official confirmation on whose in goal for Boston but Tuuka Rask is expected to start. Rask is 1-2-0 with a 2.69 GAA in three career starts against Pittsburgh. He is 4-0 with a 1.75 GAA and one shutout during the Bruins winning streak.
The offensively challenged Penguins have scored 2 goals or less in 9 of their last 13 games. Chris Kunitz will miss his 13th straight game. Kunitz has 18 goals on the season and should return Tuesday night at home. Kunitz traveled with the team and was hopeful to play tonight.
A player to watch for Boston is Milan Lucic who is having a rebound season in 2011. Lucic leads the Bruins with 28 goals and has been a force of late, collecting 9 points during the Bruins seven-game winning streak.
Penguins defenseman Paul Martin logged over 35 minutes of ice time last night. Martin and Zbynek Michalek will likely get the primary matchup against the Bruins top line of Lucic-Krejci-Horton.
Former Penguin Mark Recchi will play in his 1,636th career game, moving him into 6th place in NHL history.
Pittsburgh native Matt Bartkowski will be in the lineup tonight for the Bruins. This will be Bartkowski’s third NHL game and his previous two NHL games have come against his home-town team.
James Neal – Mark Letestu – Alex Kovalev
Matt Cooke – Jordan Staal – Tyler Kennedy
Max Talbot – Dustin Jeffrey – Pascal Dupuis
Mike Rupp – Craig Adams – Chris Conner
Paul Martin – Zbynek Michalek
Deryk Engelland – Kris Letang
Ben Lovejoy – Matt Niskanen
Marc Andre Fleury to start in goal
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Rich Peverley-Mark Recchi
Tyler Seguin-Chris Kelly-Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Tomas Kaberle-Dennis Seidenberg
Matt Bartkowski-Adam McQuaid
Tuukka Rask expected to start in goal