Playoff-bound teams meet as Bruins host Penguins
Monday, 04.02.2012 / 9:42 AMPENGUINS (48-25-6) at BRUINS (47-28-4)
TV: NBCSN (HD), TSN2, ROOT (HD), NESN (HD)
Pittsburgh 5-4-1; Boston 7-2-1
This is the fourth and final meeting between the clubs. The visiting team had prevailed in each of the first two meetings before the Penguins scored a 5-2 victory on home ice on March 11. Pittsburgh's James Neal
had 1 goal and 2 assists and Marc-Andre Fleury
made 34 saves in the triumph.
The Northeast Division-winning Bruins are locked into the second seed in the Eastern Conference standings. The Bruins have gone 7-1-1 in the last nine games, allowing just 16 goals over that stretch. The Penguins, meanwhile, are clinging to the fourth seed in the conference with 48 wins and 102 points, one ahead of the fifth-seeded Philadelphia Flyers.
Pittsburgh lost for the third time in four games on Sunday following a 6-4 setback to the Flyers at Consol Energy Center. The loss enabled the Rangers to capture the Atlantic Division title and secure the top seed in the conference. The Penguins and Flyers combined for 23 penalties totaling 68 minutes on Sunday. Steve Sullivan
struck for 2 goals while Evgeni Malkin
and Sidney Crosby
had 2 assists apiece in the loss.
The defending Stanley Cup champions locked up their second straight Northeast Division title on Sunday following a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Goalie Tim Thomas
made 33 saves and Dennis Seidenberg
and Patrice Bergeron
scored for the Bruins. Boston has allowed 30 or more shots in 41 games this season and is 27-12-2 in those contests.
Malkin is riding a five-game points streak, connecting for 3 goals and 6 assists over that span. He's scored at least a point in 11 of his last 12 games, during which he's collected 10 goals and 23 points. … Bruins center David Krejci
has 3 goals and 3 assists in the last four games and has 18 points in the last 18 games.
The Bruins are without defenseman Adam McQuaid
(upper body), forward Nathan Horton
(concussion) and goalie Tuukka Rask
(abdominal/groin). … For the Penguins, defenseman Ben Lovejoy
is out 3-4 weeks.
Thomas is 5-1-1 in his last seven games and has played in 18 of the last 19 contests and 26 of the previous 29. For the season, Thomas is 34-19-1 with a 2.35 goals-against average and .921 save percentage.
Fleury needs one victory to equal Tom Barrasso's franchise record of 226 career wins. He's 225-143-43 in 432 games.