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
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
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
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