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PREVIEW: Bruins play Penguins on consecutive days, looking to regain ground in the East

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Oh boy, here we go hockeyin’ again!

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7 PM

Where: PPG Paints Arena – Pittsburgh, PA

How to follow: NBCSN, TVAS, SportsNet, ATTSN Pittsburgh, Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: PensBurgh

Know your enemy

  • 17-9-1 for 35 points, third in East
  • Sidney Crosby: 11G, 18A, 29PTS; Jake Guentzel: 11G, 15A, 26PTS; Evgeni Malkin: 8G, 16A, 24PTS
  • Tristan Jarry: 12-7-1, 3.00 GAA, .901 save percentage

Game notes

  • In last night’s game, we saw a good amount of jump out of Boston in the first 15 minutes of the game... and that was about it. Boston showed some snarl in the second frame, but could not muster much of an attack and took a few penalties, resulting in one power play goal for the Penguins. Staying out of the box is going to be key... though, they have had some solid shorthanded chances. Let’s just not count on that as a game-winning strategy.
  • TBD at time of publishing, but we will likely get the first regular-season look at the NHL level for either Dan Vladar or Jeremy Swayman. Vladar played during the playoff run last year after Tuukka’s exit from the bubble, a tough intro by any measure, so we’ll have to see if he can handle this new assignment. Swayman, however, might have earned his shot - he’s undefeated in Providence and has a stellar .942 save percentage and 1.57 goals allowed average over seven games, and last had a sub-.900 save percentage when he was 12.
  • Will the real Boston offense please stand up? Pointless at even strength, despite pouring pucks on net. Boston led in that category 20-10 after the first, and ended the game with more than 40 to Pitt’s 20ish. Hell, Matt Grzelcyk had 8 shots on goal. Craig Smith showed promise last night - maybe too little, too late, but he was aggressive on the forecheck and managed to separate the puck several times, keeping the Pens pinned and helping the B’s earn another power play late. There was not much oomph from anybody else in a consistent fashion. Sure, the top line looked good, but they weren’t able to generate much at even strength.