Here’s your Boston Hockey Now Boston Bruins Game Day Preview:
Boston Bruins (8-1-0, 16 pts) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (4-4-1, 8 pts)
TIME: 8 P.M. ET, PPG Paints Arena
TV: ESPN, ESPN+
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
If you’re a hockey bettor then you will know that this is what is called a situational bet in the handicapping world. The Boston Bruins, the hottest team in the NHL, go into Pittsburgh riding an emotional high after Linus Ullmark made 30 saves for his first shutout and David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist in a 4-0 win over the Blue Jackets Friday in the second game of a four-game roadie.
Does that sound familiar? If so, that’s because the Bruins find themselves in a very similar situation as they did on Friday. While they won’t be playing in the tail end of a back-to-back tonight, they are once again playing what should be a very desperate team in the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins come into this tilt riding a four-game losing streak after starting the season at 4-0-1. They will be a motivated bunch as they try to snap out of this early funk.
“I expect a hard game,” Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery told the media after his team’s morning skate Tuesday. “I’ve never been in this building and had an easy first 10 minutes. And when you have a leader like [Sidney] Crosby, someone that pushes the pace, usually starts the game – after what they’ve been through. I think they’ve got an unreal coach [Mike Sullivan], so they’re going to be ready, they’re going to be prepared, and they’re going come after us.”
Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand also knows that if the Bruins want to extend their win streak to six games, they wwill need to be ready from puck drop.
“The first 10 [minutes] will be big, the first five will be,” Marchand told the media Tuesday morning. “It will be an interesting start. They always come out hard here. They play really well at home. Especially, they have a lot of guys that have been around for a while that know how to respond and bounce back. We’re really gonna be tested tonight. It will be a good test for our group.”
Boston Bruins Notes
-Brad Marchand did not play Friday night as the Bruins used some load management playing the tail end of a back-to-back. Last Thursday though, in his first game back, Marchand was back in his normal slot on left wing alongside Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron at center and Jake DeBrusk on the right wing Thursday in his first game of the season. The 34-year-old veteran winger didn’t miss a beat and paced the Bruins to a 5-1 win with two goals and an assist.
-Bruins center David Krejci left that game Thursday 8:30 into the second period and is out tonight for a second straight game. Krejci was placed on injured reserve on Monday but did travel with the team to Pittsburgh. Pavel Zacha, who filled in for Krejci between David Pastrnak and Taylor Hall on Friday, will likely be their center again tonight.
-Boston Bruins winger Craig Smith will also miss tonight’s game with an upper-body injury and is day-to-day. After being recalled from Providence – along with defenseman Mike Reilly – Jakub Lauko will draw in and play right wing on the fourth line with Tomas Nosek at center and Nick Foligno on the left wing. A.J. Greer will jump up and fill in for Smith on the right wing of the third line with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic.
-Linus Ullmark (6-0-0, 1.70 GAA, .945 save percentage) will be back between the pipes for the Bruins tonight.
Pittsburgh Penguins Notes
-Penguins captain Sidney Crosby leads his team in goals and assists with two of each, and in points with four
-Per our man in the Burgh, Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: ‘The Penguins will be without top defenseman Kris Letang, who is sick. Letang missed practice on Monday and did not participate in the optional skate on Tuesday morning. He is a game-time decision, according to coach Mike Sullivan.’
Forward Jeff Carter is out of the lineup with a lower-body injury. Sam Poulin or Drew O’Connor will take his spot. Poulin has been the third-line center over the last three games, but the Penguins recalled O’Connor on Monday. O’Connor centered the third line in drills, but Poulin took the net front spot on PP2.
-Tristan Jarry will get the nod in goal for the Penguins. Jarry is 4-2-0 with a .923 save percentage
Boston Bruins Lineup:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall-Pavel Zacha-David Pastrnak
Trent Frederic-Charlie Coyle-A.J. Greer
Nick Foligno-Tomas Nosek-Jakub Lauko
Hampus Lindholm-Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort-Connor Clifton
Matt Grzelcyk-Anton Stralman
Pittsburgh Penguins Lineup:
Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker-Evgeni Malkin-Rickard Rakell
Danton Heinen-Drew O’Connor-Kasperi Kapanen
Brock McGinn-Ryan Poehling-Josh Archibald
Brian Dumoulin-Chad Ruhwedel
Marcus Pettersson-Jeff Petry
P.O. Joseph-Jan Rutta