Oh man these back-to-backs are KILLER. On one hand, hockey overload is nice after going without it for nine months! On the other hand....
Just the Facts
Game Time: 7:30 EST, Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA. TV Broadcast: New England Sports Network (NESN), NBC Sports Network, TSN, RDS. Radio Broadcast: 98.5 The Sports Hub.
The Other Side's SB Nation Site: Pensburgh
Records: Bruins (17-3-3, 37 points, fourth in the East) vs. Penguins (18-8-0, 36 points, second in the East)
Get tickets here: Boston Bruins Tickets
Projected Penguins lines:
Kunitz - Crosby - Dupuis
Glass - Vitale - Adams
Cooke - Sutter - Kennedy
Neil - Jeffrey - Bennett
Martin - Orpik
Niskanen - Despres
Eaton - Letang
Projected Bruins lines:
Marchand - Bergeron - Seguin
Lucic - Krejci - Horton
Caron - Peverley - Paille
Pandolfo - Campbell - Thornton
Chara - Boychuk
Seidenberg - Hamilton
Ference - McQuaid
Man, it has been a really long time since the Bruins played the Penguins. It's been exactly one year and one day since the last time they played at Consol; slightly less time (11 months and a week) since they played at the Garden. The team looks a little different since last we met.
The Penguins, if you recall, flipped Jordan Staal to the Hurricanes for current third liner Brandon Sutter, a former AHL player for the Charlotte Checkers, and they acquired Tomas Vokoun to back up Marc-Andre Fleury (although arguably, for as swiss-cheese-esque as Fleury can be, arguably it's the other way around). It's actually pretty incredible that the Penguins are doing as well as they are, since all three of their lines behind the Crosby line are a mishmash of grinders and dudes who'd be in the press box if they played on any other team - Joe Vitale, Beau Bennett and Dustin Jeffrey are all borderline minor leagues, and Brandon Sutter is as well, arguably.
Weird stat here - the Penguins and the Bruins have the same exact goals for/against ratio. The Pens are scoring goals at an average pace of 3.65 per night, but they're also allowing goals at a pace of 2.92 per night; meanwhile, the Bruins are obviously much more defensive-minded, scoring at a pace of 2.91 per night while allowing 2.13 per night. It works out to 1.24 goals scored for every goal allowed, oddly.
On the Penguins' side, they've lost Evgeni Malkin to an upper-body injury for 1-2 weeks; on the Bruins' side, Chris Kelly would be a surprise addition to the lineup if he plays, despite travelling with the team to Pittsburgh, after his knee-on-knee collision with Chris Neal last night. With the way Claude has kept guys out for minor injuries, it'd be a shock if Kelly even gets the green light to try.
Yeah, this was Crosby's first fight. Yikes, Alternate Captain Planet.