The Boston Bruins (28-9-12, 68 points) head to Pittsburgh for a rematch with the Penguins (29-13-5, 63 points) Sunday afternoon. The Bruins beat the Pens 4-1 at TD Garden Thursday night.
This is the final regular season game of the season between the Penguins and Bruins. The Bruins also knocked off the Penguins 6-4 on November 4th at TD Garden. Puck drop is at 12:30 pm on NBC and 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Rask, Krejci Sidelined
The Boston Bruins will once again be without goalie Tuukka Rask as he recovers from a concussion. They won’t have him until after the All-Star break in fact. Rask was injured just 1:12 into Tuesday’s game when Emil Bemstrom clipped him in the head with an elbow. Rask was placed on injured reserve Thursday with a concussion. Replacing him on the roster again is Dan Vladar, who will serve as the backup to Jaroslav Halak while Rask is out. There is no timetable for his return.
Center David Krejci also missed the game Thursday and will not play again Sunday as he recovers from an upper-body injury. This will be the tenth game that Krejci has missed this season.
Defenseman Connor Clifton remains on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.
Backes Clears Waivers
Veteran forward David Backes cleared waivers Saturday after the Bruins waived him on Friday for purpose of assignment to their AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. Head coach Bruce Cassidy explained that due to Backes veteran status and that he’s been with the Bruins in the NHL all season, Backes will be given until after the upcoming nine-day All-Star break and bye week for the Bruins.
“He will be afforded the same break that our other NHL players will get,” Cassidy said following practice Saturday. “That was the deal with Donny [Sweeney]. They discussed that because he’s been here all year, which I believe is nine or 10 days. He’s not going to report to Providence and play this weekend or anything like that. Whatever happens from there, after the 10 days, Donny will have an update.”
The Bruins also waived forward Brett Ritchie on Wednesday. Ritchie cleared waivers Thursday and was assigned to AHL Providence.
Crosby Stays Hot, Pens Bounce Back With 2-1 OT Win Over Wings
While the Bruins were idle Friday and Saturday night, the Penguins played again Friday night in Detroit. Bryan Rust scored the tying goal early in the third period, and Sidney Crosby scored a power-play goal in overtime as the Penguins beat the Red Wings 2-1 in overtime.
Crosby also scored against the Bruins Thursday night as he had the lone Penguins goal. Since returning Tuesday night after missing six weeks, Crosby now has a goal in each of the three games he’s played in and had three assists in his first game back.
Boston Bruins Lines
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – Charlie Coyle – Anders Bjork
Danton Heinen – Par Lindholm – Karson Kuhlman
Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – John Moore
Bruins lines are subject to change.
Pittsburgh Penguins Lines
Jared McCann – Sidney Crosby – Dominik Simon
Dominik Kahun – Evgeni Malkin – Bryan Rust
Alex Galchenyuk – Andrew Agozzino – Patric Hornqvist
Zach Aston-Reese – Teddy Blueger – Brandon Tanev
Jack Johnson – Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson – John Marino
Juuso Riikola – Chad Ruhwedel
Penguins lines are subject to change. The Penguins are currently without Justin Schultz (lower-body), Jake Guentzel (shoulder), Brian Dumoulin (ankle) and Nick Bjugstad (abdomen).
For more on the Penguins, check out our sister site Pittsburgh Hockey Now.