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Bruins-Penguins Preview @NHL

If their recent history against the Pittsburgh Penguins is any indication, the Boston Bruins have a good shot at bouncing back from their first loss in five games.

It also won't hurt that the Bruins won't have to face Penguins star Sidney Crosby.

Boston looks to continue its recent domination of Pittsburgh on Wednesday when the teams meet at Mellon Arena.

The Bruins (8-8-2) have won seven in a row against the Penguins since a 3-2 overtime loss on Nov. 1, 2003. The Penguins have only three regulation wins in the last 22 meetings.

If the Pens are going to snap that slide, they'll have to do it without Crosby, who injured his groin during a 5-3 victory in Philadelphia on Monday night. He was optimistic Tuesday that he would be ready to play against the Bruins, but during Wednesday's pregame morning skate, coach Michel Therrien decided that Crosby wouldn't play.

The 19-year-old center's status is uncertain for games Friday at the New York Islanders and Saturday at home against the New York Rangers.

Crosby, fourth in the NHL in scoring with 10 goals and 20 assists in 19 games, has one goal and four assists in four career games against the Bruins.

Boston lost 3-2 to Florida on Monday, ending its longest winning streak since March 2004. Glen Murray scored his team-leading 10th and 11th goals in the third period for the Bruins, who remain in last place in the Northeast Division.

Boston had not won consecutive games all season before the four-game win streak.

"If we would have played the entire game like we played the third period we would have had a better result," center Patrice Bergeron told the team's official Web site Tuesday. "I think we have to build from that third period and bring it into tomorrow."

Goalie Tim Thomas started all four games during the winning streak, allowing an average of two goals per game. He gave up three against the Panthers, and is expected to start against the Penguins.

"I'm disappointed with the loss," said Thomas, 1-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average against the Pens. "But at this point in the year, you have to learn not to get too high and not to get too low."

The Bruins will look to rebound against a Penguins club that has won three of four. Pittsburgh's other rookie stars, Evgeni Malkin (nine goals, nine assists), and Jordan Staal (seven goals) will be looked upon to step up in Crosby's absence.

Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 22 shots against Philadelphia to win his third straight start. He is scheduled to start against the Bruins, against whom he is 1-1 with a 2.48 goals-against average.

The Penguins have won four of their last six home games.

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