The Bruins are in Pittsburgh, PA to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at the new state of the art Consol Engery Center, also known as "The House that Mario Lemieux's Lies Built". The Penguins will be without NHL superstar Sidney Crosby, who is out with a concussion. Both teams are looking to snap a 2-game losing streak.
The Bruins are looking to snap a two game skid after a brutal third period collapse on Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens led to a 3-2 overtime loss. The Bruins have called up defenseman Matt Bartkowski from the Providence Bruins. If the Pittsburgh area native is in the lineup tonight, he will be making his NHL debut in his hometown. Chances are, that will be the case because defenseman Adam McQuaid is questionable for tonight's game with an undisclosed injury. Nathan Horton is also considered questionable. The Bruins only held an optional skate this morning. Tuukka Rask was the first netminder to leave the ice, so he could get the nod in net tonight.
The Penguins are also looking to end a two game slide, which ironically also came at the hands of the Minnesota Wild and Montreal Canadiens. Besides Crosby's concussion, the Pens have plenty of other injury and illness concerns. A flu-like bug has made its way through the Pittsburgh room. Aaron Asham has been ruled out due to illness. Pittsburgh have called up Dustin Jeffrey to fill the roster spot. Evgeni Malkin, Brook Oprik, and Chris Conner have all been ill as well, but all three were on the ice for the morning skate and are expected to play tonight. Eric Godard (broken nose), Sidney Crosby (concussion), Mike Comrie (hip surgery), and Alex Grant (broken wrist and strain neck) are all out of the lineup for Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury was the first goalie off the ice this morning for the Pens and will get the start between the pipes.
- After seeing the last episode of 24/7, I'm starting to wonder if Marc-Andre Fleury is the illegitimate son of Denis Lemieux of Slap Shot fame.
- The Penguins have only netted one goal in their last 2 games without Sid the Kid in the lienup.
- It seems like the Bruins caught the Pens at a good time. Hopefully, they bring the same intensity that they would if were facing a full-staffed Pittsburgh team. My only concern is what that intensity level will be.
- The Bruins and Penguins have met once already this season. The Bruins won 7-4 on November 10th in Pittsburgh after a 5-goal effort in the third period to come back from a 2-goal deficit.
- The Bruins placed Mark Stuart on the IR to make room for Matt Bartkowski.
- Matt Bartkowski has 12 points (4-8-12) in 34 games for Providence this season.
- Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com wrote a good piece about Marc Savard's recent struggles.
- This will be the first time that Marc Savard will be on the ice with Matt Cooke since Cooke's concussion-inducing hit last March.
- I am so glad that HBO finally portrayed the Penguins in the final episode as the unlikeable bunch of whiners I always thought they were.
- Tonight's game starts at 7:30 PM ET and airs on Versus. 98.5 FM The Sports Hub has the radio call.
- The Public Skate open thread gets started at 7:00 PM ET.
- I have hockey tonight, so I am going to miss most of this one. Phunwin will have recap duty.
- For more on tonight's game, pop on over to PensBurgh.