Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins Gamethread

Jamie Sabau

The Boston Bruins have the best winning percentage in the East and Pittsburgh is outscoring half the NBA. Zdeno Chara and Sidney Crosby will be the match-up of the game.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins (18-8-0, 36 points) have won each of their five games this month, scoring 26 goals in the process.

The Boston Bruins (17-3-3, 37 points) trail the Montreal Canadiens by just one point for the conference's top spot but hold the East's best winning percentage, having lost just three games in regulation.

They'll meet for the first time this season Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins won their final three meetings against the Bruins last season, going 3-1-0 in their season series. One important difference for tonight's match-up will be the absence of Evgeni Malkin, who will miss his second straight with an upper-body injury.

Malkin had a goal and four assists in Pittsburgh's three wins over Boston last season.

Without Malkin, the Pens have still generated offense at will. The top line of Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis has generated 24 goals as a unit.

Crosby and Kunitz rank first and third in league scoring, and with Dupuis are the only line in the NHL in which all three members have at least 10 goals.

Dan Bylsma's job tonight will be to keep that line away from Zdeno Chara, who is again leading Boston to league-best defensive numbers.

The Bruins feature the league's best penalty kill and are third in goals against per game.

Pittsburgh is 5-1-0 against Northeast Division this season. Either team can grab at least a share of the East's first seed with a win Tuesday.

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