Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, December 14, 2018
Where: PPG PAINTS Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
The Boston Bruins answered a three-game slide by rattling off three straight victories and can match their longest winning streak of the season when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night. The home team has won eight in a row during the rivalry and the Bruins are riding a five-game point streak (4-0-1) against the Penguins, including a 2-1 overtime victory Nov. 23.
Boston’s potent top line took a huge hit when center Patrice Bergeron suffered a chest injury a month ago, but David Krejci is settling in with the No. 1 unit, collecting three assists in Tuesday’s 4-3 win over Arizona to extend his point streak to four games. “It’s been fun,” Krejci said of playing with linemates Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. “Those are two world-class players, so I’m just happy to be on that line and happy to help the team win games.” After an ugly stretch in which they lost nine of 10, the Penguins had turned things around and were on a 6-2-2 run before absorbing a 6-3 drubbing at Chicago on Wednesday. “We’ve played a lot of good hockey over the last three or four weeks,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “We’re trying to string some wins together and points together and momentum. When you have a night like (Wednesday), it sets you back.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TVAS, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet Pacific, NESN (Boston), AT&T Sportsnet-Pittsburgh
ABOUT THE BRUINS (17-10-4): Some of Boston’s walking wounded were on the ice before Thursday’s practice as Bergeron and injured defensemen Zdeno Chara and Kevin Miller all skated and “are getting closer to joining practice,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. Forward Jake DeBrusk did not skate Thursday and will sit out his fourth consecutive game because of a concussion, although Cassidy said he was “going in the right direction.” Forward David Backes averted joining the injured players on the sideline after taking a skate to the face Tuesday but returned to the lineup after receiving a few stitches.
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (13-11-6): Matt Murray, activated off injured reserve Wednesday, appears in line to make his first start since he suffered a lower-body injury Nov. 17 at Ottawa. The two-time Stanley Cup champion is off to a rough start this season with a 4-5-1 record and a ghastly 4.08 goals-against average, and is winless in his last six appearances (0-5-1). “I was playing with it for a few weeks and it was fine,” said Murray, who said the injury did not affect his play. “I just tweaked it one day. It didn’t hinder many parts of my game. It’s a specific place. Just giving it time to heal is the biggest thing.”
1. Penguins F Bryan Rust had the team’s fourth hat trick in the past nine games against Chicago.
2. Pastrnak has six goals and 14 points in 10 games against Pittsburgh.
3. Murray is 3-2-0 with a 2.73 GAA against Boston.