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NHL Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins: The First of Two This Week

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

After pulling out a 3-2 shootout win over the scrappy Ottawa Senators last night, the Boston Bruins will turn around and face the Atlantic Division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins tonight.

The Pens are actually on a five-game win streak right now and are coming off a big 6-1 win over the New York Islanders. However, they will be without the services of Evgeni Malkin for some time, including tonight’s game. That didn’t seem to faze them much against the Islanders because Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz both had five-point nights.

In fact, Kunitz, Crosby, Pascal Dupuis and James Neal all have put away at least 10 goals so far this season. The first three guys I just listed there are all on a line together. To say that the Penguins have some firepower, and that it will be important for the Bruins to play their big defensive game to keep that all in check, is an understatement.

Offense is important too, though, and here are a few Bruins who have good records against the Pens. David Krejci, who just celebrated game number 400, has six goals and eight assists in 17 games. His linemate Nathan Horton has six goals and 12 assists in 24 games. Patrice Bergeron has dished out 15 assists and four goals in 25 games. Zdeno Chara, who will surely be tasked with keeping Crosby’s line in check, can also produce: he has 13 goals and 13 assists in 53 games.

Following his big performance last night, Tuukka Rask may very well get the night off tonight. His record against the Penguins isn’t the best anyway: 1-2-0, 2.69 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. Anton Khudobin has never faced Pittsburgh before, but his road record this season is a 2-1-0, 2.69 and .905.

Chris Kelly has traveled with the team, but it is not clear yet whether he will be in the lineup or not this evening.

It’s been the better part of a year since these two teams last met. Of course, much of that is due to the lockout, but consider this: the last time they met, Marty Turco was in net for Boston.

The game starts at 7:30 p.m. on NESN and NBC Sports Network.

 

Emma Harger is an NHL Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook and add her to your network on Google.