NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 17th (All times Eastern)
Boston Bruins (19-4-3) at Pittsburgh Penguins (21-8-0), 12:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins aim to keep their perfect March intact on Sunday afternoon when they host the Boston Bruins for the second time in less than a week.
The Pens closed out February with consecutive road losses, but have since ripped off eight straight victories to begin this month. Pittsburgh's longest winning streak since taking 11 in a row from Feb. 21-March 17 of last year has pushed the club 10 points ahead of New Jersey for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Pittsburgh is also tied with the Montreal Canadiens for the most points in the Eastern Conference with 42, one ahead of Boston. The Bruins have won five of their past six, with the lone loss in that span a 3-2 setback in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Zdeno Chara and Tyler Seguin scored first-period goals for the Bruins, but the Penguins used a late rally to claim their fourth straight victory in this series. Brandon Sutter scored the tying goal less than a minute after Chris Kunitz got the Penguins on the board and Sutter's second goal of the game put Pittsburgh ahead with 2:03 to play.
The Penguins have won nine of their last 12 versus the Bruins overall.
Pittsburgh extended its winning streak on Saturday with a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers. Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves to record his first shutout of the season and 23rd of his career, breaking Tom Barrasso's franchise-record mark for most career shutouts.
"I've been looking forward to this for a while now," Fleury said of setting the franchise record. "I'm definitely happy to get it."
Beau Bennett, Tyler Kennedy and Pascal Dupuis each scored once for the Penguins, who have won their past four without Evgeni Malkin in the lineup. The forward has been sidelined with an upper-body injury, but has not been ruled out for this game.
The Bruins, meanwhile, have won a pair of 4-1 decisions since their loss to the Penguins. That includes Saturday's win over the Washington Capitals that saw the line of Nathan Horton, David Krejci and Milan Lucic combine for nine points.
Horton, who snapped an eight-game goal drought, and Krejci both had a goal and two assists, while Lucic notched three assists.
"When you see big bodies like that coming at the speed that they come at, it certainly puts guys on their heels and that's what creates turnovers," Bruins head coach Claude Julien said of the impact of his top line.
Andrew Ference and Rich Peverley also lit the lamp and Anton Khudobin ran his record to 5-2-0 this season with a 32-save effort.
Boston begins a four-game road trip with Sunday's matinee.
03/17 10:22:46 ET