7:30 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Last Penguins Game:
March 16, 2013 - Pittsburgh 3, New York Rangers 0 [Recap]
The Penguins roll in with an eight game winning streak and have put a great deal of distance between themselves and anyone else in the Atlantic Division but today will be a battle of two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. While Montreal is currently atop the standings the Bruins have a few games in hand plus I just think they are a better team. All that being said I think this is a matchup of two of the teams who will be fighting for the top overall seed in the Eastern Conference.
Earlier in the week the Penguins downed the Bruins 3-2 with a thrilling come from behind victory as the Penguins scored a all three goals in the third period after the Bruins held a two goal lead for nearly the entire game. The Penguins were the better team for much of the game but the Bruins really sat back and didn't even try to score for the second and third period. If they get a lead today I don't think they would do the same thing so it would probably be good for the Penguins not to fall behind by multiple goals today.
Last time out Zdeno Chara did a really nice job of bottling up Sidney Crosby and held the leagues leading scorer off the score sheet and really was a big reason why the Penguins didn't have a goal until about seven minutes left in the game. Even though the Penguins are at home and have the last change the Chara pairing was on the ice a lot against Crosby and I assume that Dan Bylsma will try to do a better job of changing that this time.
The Penguins power play has scuffled a big lately only cashing in on five of their last 31 power play chances and while their unit is still clicking at a nearly 25% rate they have really looked a little lost lately. The Bruins penalty kill isn't going to make that easy as they rank tops in the league killing 93% of chances only giving up seven power play goals in 100 chances. Pretty impressive.
The Penguins will get a much stiffer test in net today as Tuuka Rask will play for the Bruins. He ranks third in the league with a 1.91 goals against average and third with a .930 save percentage. Rask has given up three or more goals only five times in 19 starts and has only given up three goals in his last three starts. Gonna be interesting to see how Rask stacks up against the Penguins offense.
Tomas Vokoun in net for the Penguins. He hasn't played in a week but has played really well in his last two starts only giving up a single goal in wins against the Flyers and the Islanders.
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Beau Bennett - Dustin Jeffrey - James Neal
Matt Cooke - Brandon Sutter - Tyler Kennedy
Tanner Glass - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams
Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Simon Despres - Kris Letang
Matt Niskanen - Deryk Engelland
Boston (19-4-3) (via Penguins website)
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Jay Pandolfo - Rich Peverley - Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Dougie Hamilton
Adam McQuaid - Andrew Ference
The Season Series (Penguins lead 1-0-0)
March 12, 2013 - Pittsburgh 3, Boston 2