12:30 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Penguins just got done playing a bunch of teams that were not in the playoff race and they played quite well against them. They are now riding an eight game winning streak and are only four points back of first place with only 15 games left for both themselves and the Rangers. This afternoon starts of one of two four game stretches of games which will determine where the Penguins finish in the standings and give us a glimpse of what the playoffs are going to be like. The Penguins stack up against the Boston Bruins today at the CONSOL Energy Center before heading to MSG to play the Rangers on Thursday followed by games against New Jersey and Philadelphia. Huge games. This is what it's all about.
The Bruins were once out in front of the Northeast Division by a healthy margin but now are only two points ahead of Ottawa with two games in hand. They have only won back-to-back games one time since January 12 and just haven't been the same dominant team since the beginning of the season.
Marc Andre Fleury is red hot for the Penguins. In his last six starts he is 6-0-0 with a 1.14 GAA. There are goaltenders that are playing some good hockey and then there is Marc Andre Fleury. Not many are better than this guy right now.
The Penguins are looking to get healthy as Sidney Crosby is very close to a return and Deryk Engelland and Paul Martin should be game time decisions but I would expect them to play and have them penciled in as probables.
The season series (Tied 1-1):
December 5, 2011 - Boston 3, Pittsburgh 1
February 4, 2012 - Pittsburgh 2, Boston 1
The Penguins probables:
Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Steve Sullivan - Jordan Staal - Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke - Joe Vitale - Tyler Kennedy
Arron Asham - Craig Adams - Richard Park
Paul Martin - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Zbynek Michalek
Deryk Engelland - Ben Lovejoy
Marc Andre Fleury
The Bruins probables (via Empty Netters):
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Tyler Seguin
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Brian Rolston
Benoit Pouliot - Chris Kelly - Jordan Caron
Lane MacDermid - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Greg Zanon - Adam McQuaid