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Need to Know: Bruins vs. Penguins

by Christopher Weyant @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

BostonBruins.com - Fresh off an overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings in an electric TD Garden on Tuesday night, the Bruins will look to exact revenge against a Penguins team who beat them 5-1 just four days prior.

 

The Bruins have dropped both meetings against the Penguins this season by a combined score of 9-4.

 

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST on NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

 

Here is what you need to know:

 

Moving Forward

 

The Bruins (24-21-6, 54 points) got off to a fast start on Tuesday night, jumping out to a lead, logging 12 shots on goal before Detroit could muster their first (which, to the B's chagrin, resulted in a goal).

 

Though ebbs and flows were evident in the effort, the B's finished on a high note thanks to David Pastrnak's overtime blast that lifted them to a 4-3 win. The goal was Pastrnak's first in 18 games and helped snap the team's four-game losing streak. 

 

"Did you miss me?" Pastrnak quipped to the laughter of gathered reporters during his postgame media availability after the OT win. 

 

The next order of business for Pastrnak and the B's will be avoiding letdowns throughout the game, such as the second period on Tuesday night where a 2-1 lead quickly became a 3-2 deficit. For the team, consistency is the magic word.

 

"This season, it's happened a lot where we have one good game and then the next game, we don't play as well," said David Krejci.

 

"The consistency is big. We have to prove tomorrow that last night's game wasn't just one of those nights."

 

Hopefully for Claude Julien and the Bruins, who engaged in a half hour video session and an intense, hour long practice on Wednesday morning, they will flip the script against a Pittsburgh team who tagged them for five goals this past Sunday.

 

"I really thought we were sloppy," Julien said of his team's previous effort against Pittsburgh. "We were better with it [on Tuesday] night, but I think we can still improve there as well."

 

Opposing View: Pittsburgh Penguins

 

The Penguins (30-12-5, 65 points) currently sit in third place in what has been an extremely competitive Metropolitan Division. The Pens, whose four-game winning streak was snapped on Tuesday in a 3-0 shutout against the St. Louis Blues, will be eager to get back to their winning ways against the Bruins on Thursday.

 

As B's fans witnessed first-hand on Sunday afternoon, the likes of Sidney Crosby will likely need to be contained in order to have success against Pittsburgh. Crosby registered a goal and two assists in the game Sunday, bringing his point total to 54 (28 goals and 26 assists) in just 41 games.

 

Another familiar face for B's fans is Winchester, MA native and University of Massachusetts-Amherst alumni Conor Sheary, who scored a pair of goals on Sunday. Sheary helps round out a balanced Penguins attack, supporting the likes of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

 

If goaltender Matt Murray leads Pittsburgh on the ice during pregame warm-ups, the Bruins know they will face a tough test. Murray, who stopped 44 of 45 Bruins shots on Sunday, sports a 17-5-1 record with a 2.35 goals against average and a .922 save percentage.

 

With all of the offense in the Steel City, it should be no surprise that the Penguins sport one of the top power plays in the league, sitting in fourth with a 22.8% success rate. Even though the Bruins remained disciplined on Sunday giving up only one power play, Pittsburgh was able to capitalize on a Sidney Crosby goal. 

 

Pittsburgh ranks first in the NHL in goals for (3.55 goals per game) and 22nd in the NHL in goals allowed (2.89 goals per game). 

 

Wait, There's More

- Patrice Bergeron was the only Bruin absent from practice on Wednesday morning, and his absence was termed a "maintenance day" by Claude Julien.

 

- Thursday will mark the 201st career meeting between the Bruins and the Penguins. The Bruins hold a 110-62-21-7 record against the Penguins.

 

 

 

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