BRIGHTON, Mass – The Boston Bruins (26-14-3, 55 pts) host the Pittsburgh Penguins (7:05 PM ET, NESN) in what people are expecting is going to be the same matchup in next season’s Winter Classic at Fenway Park.
The Bruins are looking to collect the other bookend victory around the NHL All-Star break after beating the Seattle Kraken last week to go into the break in winning fashion. Boston will be boasting a fairly full lineup with a healthy Nick Foligno returning to anchor the fourth line and rookie goaltender Jeremy Swayman back up from Providence. It will be Swayman between the pipes for the Black and Gold against the Penguins in his first start since being recalled from the P-Bruins in place of the injured Tuukka Rask (lower body).
“I think it was an opportunity to get better mentally physically, and work on my game,” said Swayman, who said he worked on puck play, rebound control and seeing pucks through traffic were the biggest things he was focused on in Providence. “So I don’t want to make it a negative thing at all. I think there were a lot of positives that came out of it and I’m just so excited to be back with the team.
“Being able to go down there and be welcomed with open arms where everybody wants you to get better and be back up here, it was a great environment to work in. I learned a lot with the playing time and the practice, and I’m just excited to be back.”
Trent Frederic (upper body) has also returned to full health and is practicing with the team, but he did not crack Boston’s lineup on Tuesday night with Oskar Steen holding a firm grasp on a third line right wing spot right now.
Per our friends at BetUS, the OVER is 7-0 in the Bruins’ last seven games vs. a team with a winning record. Also, the OVER is 4-0 in the Penguins’ last four games when their opponent allows two goals or less in their previous game.
That’s why our BetUs play for the game here is OVER 5.5 (-125).
Prediction: Bruins 5 Penguins 3
Remember, at BetUS, players get a 125% Bonus (for any sport, but it helps to hype a specific reason, such as hockey or football). Players also get a 200% bonus if they use Crypto. You can join BetUS by clicking here.
Boston Bruins Notes
-The start for Swayman snaps a run of four consecutive starts for Linus Ullmark, who stepped up in a big way when Tuukka Rask went down with some lower body issues in connection with his summer hip surgery. Ullmark is expected to get the start on Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden.
-Boston Bruins defenseman Urho Vaakanainen (upper body) remains out for the Bruins after getting his face smashed into the glass by a hard boarding hit from Yanni Gourde in last week’s win over the Kraken. Vaakanainen left the ice bleeding and also with a suspected concussion.
-Erik Haula has returned from the NHL All-Star break out of COVID-19 protocol and will be centering the second line of Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak again on Tuesday night. Haula had four goals and 11 points in 15 games during the month of January centering that second line and was playing his best hockey of the season prior to getting COVID.
Pittsburgh Penguins Notes
-Tristan Jarry is expected to get the start for the Penguins and is 23-8-6 with a 2.21 goals against average and a sparkling .923 save percentage in a really strong season for Pittsburgh.
-Former Boston University standout Evan Rodrigues is enjoying a standout season in Pittsburgh with 17 goals and 32 points in 46 games, and head coach Mike Sullivan plans on continuing to feed him the puck at the center position as long as he’s producing.
“I think playing center helps at a time. I’ve been playing wing a lot lately and, you know, sometimes that’s a little more static, more up and down the wing,” said Rodrigues. “And you know, you don’t get the puck in the middle of the ice as much. I’ll be playing center here tomorrow, getting some touches early, getting the puck in the middle of the rink will help.”
-The Pittsburgh Penguins are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, but those break down to a six-game winning streak that’s been followed by the Pens losing their last four games headed into the NHL All-Star break. They’ll be looking to snap that four-game losing streak against the Bruins.
-Evgeni Malkin was placed into the league’s COVID protocol on Monday and will be out for the Penguins for Tuesday’s game in Boston. As a result, Michael Chaput and Valtteri Puustinen were recalled from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Monday.
Boston Bruins Lines:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Craig Smith
Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – Charlie Coyle – Oskar Steen
Nick Foligno – Tomas Nosek – Curtis Lazar
Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Connor Clifton
Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:
Jake Guentzel–Sidney Crosby–Bryan Rust
Brock McGinn–Jeff Carter–Kasperi Kapanen
Radim Zohorna–Evan Rodrigues-Danton Heinen
Zach Aston-Reese-Brian Boyle–Dominik Simon
Brian Dumoulin–Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson–John Marino
Michael Matheson–Chad Ruhwedel