NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 15th (All times eastern)
Pittsburgh Penguins (27-14-4) at Boston Bruins (24-12-7), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins will try to match their longest winning streak of the season this afternoon, when they welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins for today's clash at TD Garden.
The Bruins have won three games in a row, moving Boston within one victory of the four-game win streak they posted from Oct. 10-21. Boston has exploded offensively during the run, notching 17 goals in its last three games.
Boston dominated Ottawa in a 6-0 win on Tuesday, but was engaged in a back- and-forth offensive showcase Thursday against Philadelphia. Steven Kampfer notched the game-winner late in regulation as the Bruins outlasted the visiting Flyers, 7-5, in a wild contest at TD Garden.
Mark Recchi, Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Gregory Campbell all posted a goal and one assist for the Bruins, who are four points ahead of Montreal in the Northeast Division (55-51). Bergeron is carrying a five-game point streak into today's test and has six goals and four assists during the tear.
Tim Thomas was shelled for five goals on 35 shots but improved to 20-4-6 on the year for Boston, which tallied five times in the third period.
"Yes, that was a roller coaster. Sometimes the best laid plans don't work out that way, and you got to roll with the punches and we did a good job with that," said Thomas of the contest, which featured multiple lead changes. "That's part of keeping the even keel is no matter what adversity you face or what comes your way, you just figure out a way to overcome it and do your job."
The Bruins, who are playing the third test of a four-game homestand today, are 11-7-3 as the host this season.
On the injury front, Bruins forward Milan Lucic and defenseman Andrew Ference are questionable for today's game with undisclosed injuries. Lucic has missed the last two games, while Ference was injured in Thursday's game against the Flyers.
Also, Boston defenseman Mark Stuart, who has been sidelined since early December with a broken right ring finger, has returned to practice, but he has not yet been cleared for game action.
While the Bruins are aiming to match their longest win streak of the season tonight, Pittsburgh is trying to post consecutive victories for the first time in over three weeks.
The Pens, who last recorded two wins in a row during a three-game win streak from Dec. 20-23, are coming off Wednesday's solid victory in Montreal. Alex Goligoski scored twice with an assist as Pittsburgh topped the Canadiens, 5-2, at Bell Centre.
Kris Letang and Jordan Staal each posted a goal and two helpers for the Penguins, who recorded four power-play goals to help them halt a three-game skid. Staal, who missed the first three months of the season due to injuries, posted his first three points of the year in his sixth game of the 2010-11 campaign.
"Sitting out watching 40 games wasn't fun," Staal said. "I got an opportunity to get out on the power play and it was nice. I got my first goal and contributed elsewhere as well. My legs, hands, and my shot were all coming together. It was just a matter of time."
The Pens would certainly benefit if Staal can continue to produce on offense, as the club is still without leading scorer and team captain Sidney Crosby, who is currently sidelined with a concussion and will miss his fifth straight game today.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 20-of-22 shots for his 19th win of the season.
The Penguins, who also snapped a three-game road losing streak on Thursday, are 13-5-3 as the visiting club this year.
Pittsburgh is 0-2-0 against the Bruins this year, losing both meetings so far on home ice. The Pens have still taken four of seven in the series overall and Pittsburgh also has four victories in its last seven trips to Beantown.
01/15 10:37:39 ET