BRUINS (17-3-3) at PENGUINS (18-8-0)
TV: NBCSN, TSN
Last 10: Boston 8-1-1; Pittsburgh 7-3-0
Season series: It’s the first meeting between the teams. They’ll see each other twice in the next six days.
Big story: The Bruins will be playing their second game in as many nights against a Pittsburgh team that put up six goals against the New York Islanders on Sunday behind five-point performances from Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz.
Bruins: Boston got off to a slow start against Ottawa on Monday, but rallied back to eventually top the Sens in a shootout, 3-2. It was a physical game at Scotiabank Place – one that cost the Bruins forward Chris Kelly early in the second period. After the game, coach Claude Julien addressed the injury.
“He’s been looked at, but we’re going to bring him with us to Pittsburgh. We’ll see how things pan out.”
Boston may have one of the toughest defenses in the NHL, but they will need to recover quickly if they hope to contain the Pens’ high-octane offense.
Penguins: Not much is new in Pittsburgh, as the Pens are on a five-game winning streak and putting up big numbers on a nightly basis. After a quiet night in Toronto, Kunitz had a career-high five points against the Isles. His linemate, Crosby, tied a career high with five assists on the night.
It will be a tall order when Crosby goes up against Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. With Evgeni Malkin (upper body) out of the lineup, Chara will focus much of his energy on containing Crosby’s line. The combination of Crosby, Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis is one of the top lines in hockey, and the only one to have each forward boast 10 or more goals. Add James Neal to the mix, and the Pens have four double-digit scorers.
Who’s hot: Fresh off being named the National Hockey League’s second star of the week, Crosby put up 11 points in four games and sits on top the League’s point-leader board.
Injury report: Malkin is expected to miss 1-2 weeks. … The Bruins will likely be playing without Kelly after Monday’s collision.