Pittsburgh at Boston
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 26, 2017
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Mass
BOSTON – (Special Preview by The Sports Xchange) – The Pittsburgh Penguins look to pick up the pieces on Thursday after a lackluster performance in their last outing when they visit the Boston Bruins, whom they dismantled earlier in the week. Pittsburgh’s high-octane offense was stuck in neutral in Tuesday’s 3-0 setback to St. Louis, ending the team’s streak of scoring at least four goals during its four-game winning streak, including a 5-1 rout of Boston on Sunday.
“I think the power play definitely didn’t help us. We struggled there, and to get that (six) opportunities and not generate a whole lot I think probably was a big difference in the game,” said captain Sidney Crosby, who highlighted his three-point performance on Sunday by scoring his league-leading 28th goal overall while his team enjoyed the man advantage against Boston. The Bruins, who snapped a season-high four-game losing skid with a 4-3 overtime victory over Detroit on Tuesday, have killed off 12 of 13 penalties during the past five games. David Pastrnak (team-leading 20 goals), who ended a 17-game goal drought by scoring in the extra session, has collected a goal and two assists in the two meetings with Pittsburgh this season.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL.TV, ROOT (Pittsburgh), NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (30-12-5): Evgeni Malkin extended his season-high point streak to seven games with two assists versus Boston on Sunday, but sustained a lower-body injury two nights later and will miss the return battle versus the Bruins as well as the upcoming NHL All-Star Game. “(Malkin) will be evaluated after the break and we’ll probably have more information at that point,” coach Mike Sullivan said on Wednesday. Fellow forward and Massachusetts native Conor Sheary torched his hometown team by scoring twice on Sunday to earn NHL First Star of the Week honors, increasing his goal total to nine in as many games before being held off the scoresheet by the Blues.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (24-21-6): Brad Marchand scored twice Tuesday to increase his point total to 16 (nine goals, seven assists) in his last 11 games, but the pesky Nova Scotia native is expected to receive a phone call from the league on Thursday. Marchand, who has been suspended four times in his career, tripped Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall away from the action during the first period on Tuesday. The 28-year-old scored a goal in Boston’s 4-3 setback to Pittsburgh on Dec. 14 and has a team-leading 47 points this season.
1. Pittsburgh is 3-for-5 with the man advantage versus Boston this season.
2. Bruins C David Krejci has scored a goal in each game versus the Penguins in 2016-17.
3. Pittsburgh G Matt Murray has turned aside 85 of 89 shots to win both meetings versus the Boston this season.