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Bruins-Penguins Preview @NHLdotcom
Bruins-Penguins Preview

GAME: Boston Bruins (23-23-9) at Pittsburgh Penguins (12-33-11).

TIME: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Boston Bruins will try to avoid their third loss in a row and stay above .500 when they meet the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Boston has won six in a row from Pittsburgh, averaging more than five goals per game.

"(Pittsburgh) has good players and theyre a proud group. We are playing a team that will play with urgency. Weve got to be prepared to play," Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said.

The Bruins have just five losses in their last 12 games, but three of those setbacks have come in a shootout, including a 4-3 loss Saturday to the league-leading Carolina Hurricanes.

Boston has dropped five games in shootuts this season, four of them at home.

"We have guys that are capable of scoring," Sullivan said. "For whatever reason, we haven't had success in shootouts."

Goaltender Tim Thomas made 40 saves in regulation and overtime, but lost for the just the second time in 12 games when newly acquired Doug Weight scored the game-winner in the shootout.

"I can't say enough about (Thomas)," Bruins defenseman Nick Boynton said. "He's been playing great. He makes key saves when he has to give us a shot."

Thomas is 4-1-0 on the road this season and has not allowed more than two goals in any of those contests.

Pittsburgh dropped its sixth in a row and 16th in 17 games after a 5-2 loss Monday to the Ottawa Senators. Ryan Malone had a goal and and an assist for Pittsburgh, which has a league-low 35 points.

Trailing 2-1 in the second period, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury gave up power-play goals 66 seconds apart to Bryan Smolinski and Peter Schaefer.

"We gave them momentum there when they got those goals and any time you give a great team like that chances they're going to take advantage of them," Penguins rookie Sidney Crosby said. "We just weren't able to fight those off and that was really the difference in the game."

Fleury is 3-14-4 when he allows more than three goals in a game.

STANDINGS: Bruins - 55 points, 5th place, 22 PB, Northeast Division. Penguins - 35 points, 5th place, 37 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Bruins - Marco Sturm, 20 goals; Patrice Bergeron, 29 assists and 46 points; Hal Gill, 74 PIM. Penguins - Sidney Crosby, 26 goals, 35 assists and 61 points; Sergei Gonchar, 80 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Bruins - Power play: 15.5 percent (46 for 297), 24th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.3 percent (274 for 325), 8th. Penguins - Power play: 18.2 percent (63 for 346), 13th. Penalty killing: 77.6 percent (291 for 375), 30th.

GOALTENDERS: Bruins - Andrew Raycroft (7-16-2, 0 SO, 3.68 GAA); Thomas (7-2-3, 1, 1.88). Penguins - Fleury (6-19-4, 0, 3.31); Sebastien Caron (5-4-4, 0, 4.29).

SEASON SERIES: Bruins, 3-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 5; Bruins, 6-3. At Boston, Jiri Slegr scored two power play goals in a 35-second span in the first period and Joe Thornton added two goals for the Bruins. Mark Recchi scored twice for Pittsburgh.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bruins - 12-13-4 on the road; Penguins - 7-15-6 at home.

Associated Press

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