The Boston Bruins will see the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time in 2016-17 tonight at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. Last season, Boston was able to dominate in all three meetings between the clubs. They were able to score 14 goals, only give up three and take all three victories.
The Bruin’s were able to end their three-game losing streak against Montreal on Monday. Now the club will try to stay on the winning track, but the Penguins have won their last six games by a score of 35 to 14.
This will certainly be an interesting matchup as both teams have offensive weapons, great goaltending and solid defense. The Bruins will need to lean on David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand to help get some pucks past Matt Murray who has been playing well this season.
This game will also be a big test for Brandon Carlo, as the rookie will be seeing players like Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin on most shifts. Another rookie defenseman, Matt Grzelcyk, should be making his NHL debut tonight for the Bruins against the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins
PPG Paints Arena-7:30 p.m. E.S.T
Broadcast Channels-NBCSN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
2016-17 Season Series: First Meeting of the Season
Boston Bruins-16-12-2- 34 Points
Road Record: 9-5-2
Hot Players: David Pastrnak, Austin Czarnik, Brad Marchand
Key Injuries: Matt Beleskey, John-Michael Liles, Frank Vatrano
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Backes
Tim Schaller-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Ryan Spooner-Austin Czarnik-Jimmy Hayes
Dominic Moore-Riley Nash-Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Matt Grzelcyk-Kevan Miller
Pittsburgh Penguins-19-7-3- 41 Points
Home Record: 12-2-1
Hot Players: Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Kris Letang
Key Injuries: Daniel Sprong
Conor Sheary-Sidney Crosby-Patric Hornqvist
Carl Hagelin-Evgeni Malkin-Phil Kessel
Chris Kunitz-Nick Bonino-Bryan Rust
Scott Wilson-Matt Cullen-Tom Kuhnhackl
Brian Dumoulin-Kris Letang
Olli Maatta-Trevor Daley
Ian Cole-Justin Schultz
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Sidney Crosby currently leads the NHL with 21 goals. Not far behind him is David Pastrnak with 18 on the season.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] Matt Grzelcyk could be making his NHL debut tonight. Grzelcyk has 12 points in 25 games in his first professional season in the AHL. He hails from Charlestown, Massachusetts and played his college hockey at Boston University.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] The Bruins lead the all-time series with a record of 110-61-21-6 against the Penguins. This will be the 199th meeting between the two teams.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] Boston has been impressive on the road this season going 9-5-2, but the Penguins have dominated in their building to a record of 12-2-1.
Coach Claude Julien decided to switch up the forward lines last game in an attempt to create more offense. It appears he will be keeping the lines from last game, but this game could end up being decided by the goaltenders and not the goal scorers.
Tuukka Rask is 15-5-0-2 this season with a 1.80 GAA and a save percentage of .932. On the other side, Matt Murray has a record of 11-2-0-0 to go along with his 1.84 GAA and .936 save percentage. Both goaltenders are at the top of their game lately and should be very busy in net this evening. One big mistake could end be being very costly at the final buzzer.
Anthony Pagliarulo is a Boston Bruins contributor for The Hockey Writers. He is a Massachusetts native and a Worcester State University alumni. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @APags87.