Tonight, the Bruins are in Pittsburgh to play the Penguins.
The Bruins have had a nice little three game winning streak going, having beaten Toronto, Ottawa and most recently, Arizona. This leaves them tentatively in the first wildcard slot in the eastern conference, which is roughly where they have been for a while. David Krejci was moved up to center the Marchand-Pastrnak line, and som chemistry developed there. In the past three games, Krejci and Pasta each have a goal and 5 assists, and Marchand has 3 goals and 5 assists. Also finding a groove was Torey Krug, who has 2 goals and 3 assists in the last 3 games.
Let’s do those lines.
Injuries remain an issue for the Bs. Team captain and alternate captain Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron have begun skating with each other, but not participating in practice. Urho Vaakanainen was a bit further ahead, but is out with flu-like symptoms. Defenseman Kevan Miller – suffering from a bruised larynx – has begun skating at practice – he was paired with Jeremy Lauzon on Thursday, wearing a non-contact jersey. David Backes caught a skate blade to the face but did not miss any practices. Forward Jake DeBrusk is officially in the concussion protocol and isn’t going to play for a while. Sean Kuraly has been wearing a full face visor/cage to protect his broken nose during practice. An update summary:
#NHLBruins pregame updates per Bruce Cassidy:
Jaroslav Halak starts in goal tonight against Pittsburgh.
Sean Kuraly is good to go and will be the fourth-line left wing.
Noel Acciari will be back in the lineup and center the fourth line.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 14, 2018
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#41 Jaroslav Halak||(#40 Tuukka Rask)|
Tonight’s opponent is the Pittsburgh Penguins. The last time the Pens met the Bruins, the flightless fowl were playing comparatively poorly and were near the bottom of their division. They have improved their lot since then, but are still not quite their ususal dapper selves and are not so near a playoff spot.
They are running at a record of 13-11-6 and their #1 goaltender Matt Murray is just coming back from Injured Reserve from a lower body injury. It looks like DeSmith will start, Murray will hold the bench door, and Jarry will turn back into a pumpkin. Patric Hornqvuist is suffering from an upper body injury and is unlikely to play vs the Bruins. Tanner Pearson & Derick Brassard have filled in for him on Crosby’s wing in the meantime. Matt Cullen missed the last 11 games, but looks to be activated tonight, displacing Jean-Sebastian Dea. (h/t Daily Faceoff and Penguins radio guy Josh Getzoff ):
Tanner Pearson — Sidney Crosby — Jake Guentzel
Zach Aston-Reese — Evgeni Malkin — Phil Kessel
Riley Sheahan — Derick Brassard — Bryan Rust
Derek Grant — Matt Cullen — Garrett Wilson (Jean-Sebastien Dea)
Brian Dumoulin — Kris Letang
Olli Maatta — Jamie Oleksiak
Marcus Pettersson — Jack Johnson