Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 16, 2020
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Mass
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Pittsburgh Penguins showed their mettle while playing without Sidney Crosby for more than two months and quickly demonstrated how lethal they can be with their superstar captain back in the lineup. After putting on a spectacular show in his return, Crosby seeks to lead Pittsburgh to a season high-tying fifth straight win at the Boston Bruins tonight.
Crosby missed 28 games after undergoing core muscle surgery in November but looked like he was never away, collecting a goal and three assists in Tuesday’s 7-3 rout of Minnesota. “It’s hard to get surprised by what Sid accomplishes on the ice,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “When you watch what he’s been able to do, and certainly in my time here, it’s just hard to get surprised. He’s just so capable.”
While the Penguins have their most important player back in the fold, the Bruins are dealing with a potentially devasting injury after No. 1 netminder Tuukka Rask suffered a concussion when he took an elbow to the head in Tuesday’s 3-0 loss at Columbus. “Maybe it’s not as bad as they first thought,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said of Rask’s condition.
However, Rask is out of action tonight.
TIME: 7 p.m. ET. TV: AT&T Sportsnet-Pittsburgh, NESN
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (29-12-5): Crosby’s return had a ripple effect throughout the lineup and was certainly a boost to a power play that converted twice for the second straight game. “He elevates the game of everybody around him and that’s a testament to him,” forward Bryan Rust said. “With him out there, they’ve got to pay attention to one of, if the best player in the world.” Two of Crosby’s assist came with the extra skater on goals by Evgeni Malkin, who has four goals and as many assists during a four-game point streak.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (27-9-12): Cassidy attempted to downplay his team’s lack of reaction to the perceived cheap shot against Rask. “Should our guys have had a better response? I think there could have been, yeah. But I don’t know if they saw it in real time,” Cassidy said. “It was pointed out after the first period that our goaltender got bumped. Listen, it’s a little bit late then. You can’t take the law into your own hands.” Still, forward Brett Ritchie, expected to provide a physical presence, was placed on waivers Wednesday.
- Bruins backup G Jaroslav Halak has yielded 12 goals in splitting four decisions versus Pittsburgh over the past two seasons.
- Crosby was a minus-4 in a 6-4 loss at Boston on Nov. 4 but has 53 points in 40 games versus the Bruins.
- Bruins F Brad Marchand is second on the team in scoring but has only two goals in his last 23 games.