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Preview: Bruins back to business against Penguins tonight

The second half of the season begins!

NHL: Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7:00 PM

Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA

How to follow: NESN, TVAS, SN1, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: PensBurgh

Know your enemy

  • 27-11-8, 62PTS, 3rd in Metropolitan Division
  • Jake Guentzel: 40GP, 23G, 23A, 46PTS; Kris Letang: 42GP, 5G, 36A, 41PTS; Sidney Crosby: 34GP, 12G, 28A, 40PTS
  • Tristan Jarry: 23-8-6, 2.21 GAA, .923 save percentage; Casey DeSmith: 3-3-2, 3.37 GAA, .892 save percentage

Game notes

  • Welcome back, Bruins fans! With the All-Star Weekend behind us, we are back with your regularly-scheduled game day content!
  • The Boston Bruins host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at the TD Garden for the first of the two’s three-game season series. The B’s will wrap up the series with two games in April, including one more at home on April 16.
  • The Bruins edged out the Seattle Kraken, 3-2, on February 1 in their last game before the break. David Pastrnak netted a power-play goal while Taylor Hall added the cushion to put the Bruins up 2-0 after the second. Seattle bounced back with two goals in the third before Pastrnak scored on the power play again to give the Bruins the 3-2 win.
  • While the Bruins dominated in Goals For over Goals Against in January as their secondary scoring found a groove, that scoring has fallen off in the last five games. Including the rocky road trip to end January, the B’s were outscored 18-12. The B’s second line produced seven of those goals.
  • Leading the second line’s production is Pastrnak. In his last 10 games, he has at least a point in nine of those games, accumulating nine goals and seven assists for 16 points. Pastrnak has registered 37% of his 43 points so far this season during that stretch.
  • The Penguins entered the All-Star Break on a four-game losing streak after winning six in a row. They picked up three points though in those games, including their last game on February 1 – a 4-3 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals.
  • In that game, they scored three power-play goals to lead 3-2 early in the second period. But a late second-period goal tied the game for the Capitals before Washington netted a late OT goal to hand the Pens their fourth consecutive loss. Bryan Rust had a two-goal night while Guentzel racked up three points.
  • Although they are on a losing streak, Crosby and Rust have still managed to register impressive points. Crosby has nine points in his last five games on two goals and seven assists. He has four multi-point nights in those games. Rust has five goals and three assists in five games.
  • For the Pens, Evgeni Malkin is in COVID protocol. Pittsburgh recalled Michael Chaput and Valtteri Puustinen from the AHL yesterday.
  • COVID/Practice updates: Erik Haula is out of COVID protocol and skated on the second line during yesterday’s practice. Nick Foligno and Trent Frederic also practiced yesterday. Urho Vaakanainen (upper-body) and Tuukka Rask were absent. Things don’t look great on the Tuukka front. Bruce Cassidy said Rask will not practice this week and they’ll have an update at the end of this week/beginning of next.
  • With Rask out for AT LEAST this week (honestly who really knows what will happen on that front), Jeremy Swayman will start in net tonight. Swayman last started in the Bruins’ 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on January 6. He relieved Linus Ullmark in January 30’s 6-1 loss to the Dallas Stars, making 12 saves on 14 shots.

See ya tonight!