After defeating the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Penguins have won eight straight games, and look to make it nine Sunday afternoon against the Boston Bruins in a battle of top teams. Like Pittsburgh, Boston also played yesterday afternoon, defeating the Washington Capitals, 4-1.
When and where: Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh, PA); 12:30pm/est (NBC, RDS, NHLN-CA)
Season series: Penguins lead 1-0
Last meeting: The Penguins and Bruins met in Pittsburgh last Tuesday, March 12. That night, Boston held a 2-0 lead into the third period, and then Brandon Sutter struck. After Chris Kunitz made it a 2-1 game, Sutter scored two straight goals to give Pittsburgh the 3-2 victory. In the loss, Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin stopped thirty-one of thirty-four Penguins shots.
Keys to the game:
1. Tuukka Rask: In their last meeting the Penguins saw Anton Khudobin instead of Tuukka Rask. That will change this afternoon as Khudobin started against the Capitals on Saturday. Rask enters Sunday with a goals against average under two and a .930 save percentage. Rask has had decent numbers against Pittsburgh, going 1-2-0 in three games, but only allowing eight goals in that span.
2. Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin line: The second line for the Bruins, consisting of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and Tyler Seguin has been the best line for Boston, and arguably one of the top lines in the NHL this season. Bergeron leads the team in points with twenty-four, but Marchand and Seguin are right behind him with twenty-three and twenty-one respectively.
Penguins: C Evgeni Malkin (upper body)
Bruins: C Marc Savard (post-concussion syndrome), C Chris Kelly (broken tibia)
Projected lines (via dailyfaceoff.com):
14 Chris Kunitz (A)-87 Sidney Crosby (C)-9 Pascal Dupuis
19 Beau Bennett-16 Brandon Sutter-18 James Neal
24 Matt Cooke-15 Dustin Jeffrey-48 Tyler Kennedy
10 Tanner Glass-46 Joe Vitale-27 Craig Adams
44 Brooks Orpik (A)-7 Paul Martin
4 Mark Eaton-58 Kris Letang
2 Matt Niskanen-47 Simon Despres
92 Tomas Vokoun (6-3-0; .896 Save %; 3.07 GAA)
17 Milan Lucic-46 David Krejci-18 Nathan Horton
63 Brad Marchand-37 Patrice Bergeron (A)-19 Tyler Seguin
29 Jay Pandolfo-49 Rich Peverley-38 Jordan Caron
20 Daniel Paille-11 Gregory Campbell-22 Shawn Thornton
33 Zdeno Chara (C)-55 Johnny Boychuk
44 Dennis Seidenberg-27 Dougie Hamilton
54 Adam McQuaid-21 Andrew Ference (A)
40 Tuukka Rask (14-2-3; .930 Save %; 1.91 GAA)