Who: Boston Bruins (27-14-6, 60 points, 4th place in the Eastern Division) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (31-14-3, 67 points, 1st place in the Eastern Division)
When: 7:00 p.m. eastern
How to Watch: AT&T Sportsnet in Pittsburgh, NESNplus in Boston
Opponent Track: The Bruins have now lost two straight after dropping the hard-fought 1-0 game to the Pens on Sunday afternoon. After tonight, Boston gets two games against Buffalo, two against New Jersey and two more against the Rangers before ending their season with games against the NY Islanders and Washington.
Pens path ahead: After tonight, the Pens hit the road for their final regular season road trip. Pittsburgh plays in Washington on Thursday and Saturday, followed by two games in Philly next week on 5/3 and 5/4 and then the Pens come back to Pittsburgh to finish the season with two games against Buffalo on 5/6 and 5/8 and then the 56 game schedule will be complete.
Season Series: Boston is up 4-3 on the season series (though Pittsburgh is a 3-3-1 from their perspective). The Bruins won 3-2 in OT back on January 26th in the first PIT/BOS game of the season. And then on January 28th the Bruins took a 4-1 decision. The Pens struck back at home for a 4-1 win on 3/15 and then Boston took the game on 3/16 by a score of 2-1. In game 6 on April 1st, the Pens won 4-1, but the Bruins bounced back to win 7-5 two days later. The Pens took Round 7 on Sunday by a score of 1-0. Today will be the last PIT/BOS games of the regular season.
Recent History: The Penguins are 8-1-0 vs Boston in the last nine games played in Pittsburgh.
Hidden Stat: Pittsburgh has earned points in 16 of their last 19 games overall (14-3-2)
SBN Team Counterpart: Check out Stanley Cup of Chowder for the latest news to know about the Bruins.
Player Stats at a Glance
—It’s pretty striking to see the drop off of goals scored once you get past three top three forwards to the rest of the team. Boston is badly going to need Taylor Hall to help pump some life into David Krejci and Craig Smith if they are to make a playoff run.
—Remember when Ondrej Kase used to be a thing? He hasn’t played since January 16th and coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t sound very confident a few days ago that he will be able to return to play in the near future, though he is skating. Boston gave up a 2020 first round pick to get him, and his age/style isn’t far off from what the Pens did to get Kasperi Kapanen. But while Kapanen has been a huge and important addition for Pittsburgh, Kase’s season has been completely derailed.
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall - David Krejci - Craig Smith
Nick Ritchie - Charlie Coyle - Jake DeBrusk
Sean Kuraly - Curtis Lazar - Chris Wagner
Matt Grzelcyk / Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly / Kevan Miller
Jeremy Lauzon / Steve Kampfer
Possible starting goalie: ?
Scratches: Jarred Tinordi, Connor Clifton, Jakub Zboril, Karson Kuhlman, Anton Blidh
IR: John Moore, Ondrej Kase, Brandon Carlo
And now for the Pens..
Sunday game lines
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Jared McCann - Jeff Carter - Jason Zucker
Zach Aston-Reese - Teddy Blueger - Kasperi Kapanen
Colton Sceviour - Mark Jankowski - Evan Rodrigues
Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang
Mike Matheson / Cody Ceci
Marcus Pettersson / John Marino
Possible starting goalie: Tristan Jarry
Scratches: Radim Zohorna, Chad Ruhwedel, Mark Friedman, Sam Lafferty, Frederick Gaudreau (injured)
IR: Evgeni Malkin, Brandon Tanev
Taxi Squad: Juuso Riikola, Yannick Weber, Emil Larmi, Maxime Lagace
—The Pittsburgh PK is one area of concern. They’re just 23rd in the league at a 77.6% rate. The team has been doing better in recent weeks and months (they’re at 81.7% in the last 29 games) but overall these games that don’t have a lot of penalties may be a positive for the Pens, because their PK hasn’t always been great this season.
Two dudes scoring lots of points
Over the last seven weeks, the tandem of Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby have been lighting up the league like almost no others. This includes the only goal of the game on Sunday, where Crosby setup Guentzel. From the team’s PR department:
The Penguins have emerged as one of the NHL’s top teams thanks to the consistent play of Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. Pittsburgh is one of just four team with two 50-point players along with the Colorado Avalanche (Nathan Mackinning/Mikko Rantanen), Edmonton Oilers (Leon Draisaitl/Connor McDavid) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (Auston Matthews/Mitch Marner).
The Crosby/Guentzel duo is the second-highest scoring duo in the NHL since March 6, helping the Penguins go 20-5-2 and accumulate a league-high 42 points.
Team Teammates Combined Points
NYR Artemi Panarin/Mika Zibanejad 75
PIT Sidney Crosby/Jake Guentzel 70
COL Nathan MacKinnon/Mikko Rantanen 67
EDM Connor McDavid/Leon Draisaitl 66
DAL Jason Robertson/Roope Hintz 58