Bruins welcome Matt Cooke & Pittsburgh Penguins to TD Garden

Tonight is the night that Bruins fans have had circled on their calenders for the last week and a half. The Bruins will play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time since Matt Cooke's open ice head shot that left Marc Savard with a grade-2 concussion. Will the Bruins finally stand up for their fallen teammate and seek retribution or will the "Big Bad Bruins" duck and run and head back into the hibernation known as the '09-'10 regular season?

Aside from the Matt Cooke sideshow, the Bruins and Penguins both find themselves in the thick of close playoff races. The B's are currently holding down the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference, but several teams are within striking distance, including the New York Rangers, who are just 3 points back. The Penguins enter tonight's game tied with the New Jersey Devils for first place in the Atlantic Division and second in the Eastern Conference with 87 points after losing 5-2 to the Devils on Wednesday night.

Injury Report


Boston Bruins Injuries

Probable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Patrice Bergeron knee 03/17/2010

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Andrew Ference groin 03/03/2010
Marc Savard concussion 03/08/2010


Pittsburgh Penguins Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Eric Godard groin 01/26/2010
Evgeni Malkin foot 03/17/2010

Notes:

- The Bruins will honor the 1970 Stanley Cup winning team with a pre-game ceremony. There will also be a post-game reception with members of the 1970 that you can attend if you an extra $275 kicking around.

- The Bruins did not practice on Wednesday after not being able to get a charter flight home until Wednesday morning after Tuesday night's game in Raleigh.

- Will the Bruins make Matt Cooke and the Penguins a "grilled cheese sandwich" and if so will the Penguins agree to have a "grilled cheese sandwich" with the Bruins?

- I think if the Bruins don't respond and make Matt Cooke accountable, they are sending the message to the fans that they don't care and they are a milquetoast team. I'm not advocating that the Bruins go after their star players with cheap shots like some have suggested. What I am saying is that the Bruins need to challenge Cooke early in the game and give him an opportunity to defend his actions...and eat an extra large grilled cheese sandwich.

- Colin Campbell will be in attendance at The Garden tonight.

- The NHL has assigned the veteran officiating crew of referees Bill McCreary and Stephen Walkom and linesmen Brian Murphy and Tony Sericolo to tonight's game.

- The NHL is trying to implement a rule about hits to the head before the end of the season.

- Toucher & Rich had Bobby Orr on the show yesterday. Check out the audio here. I promise you it is more interesting than my interview on T&R.

- GM Peter Chiarelli is holding a smoke and mirrors dog and pony show conference call with season ticket holders today from 12:00 to 1:00 pm.

- No word on whether or not Patrice Bergeron will play tonight after leaving Tuesday night's game after being hit in the right leg with a shot. X-Rays on the leg were negative.

- My guess is Tuukka Rask will be the starter.

- I would expect to see Shawn Thornton back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch on Tuesday night. Hopefully, sitting in the press box gave him a big appetite for grilled cheese sandwiches.

- For more on the game, check out Pensburgh

- The game starts at 7:00 and can be seen on NESN or NHL Netowrk (probably outside the Boston market). The Public Skate open thread starts at 6:30.

- Hey, I made it through a whole Penguins game preview without mentioning Sidney Crosby...or calling him a whiny little bitch. It's a Stanley Cup of Chowder first.

- The Obligatory Embarrassing YouTube Fan Video of the Day is back after a brief hiatus due to laziness:

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