BOSTON -- It's been six months since the Eastern Conference Final and the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins are more than a quarter into the 2013-14 regular season.
So the Penguins' first visit back to Boston since getting swept with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line, Monday night at TD Garden, isn't dredging up old memories, except for the lessons the Penguins hope to put into practice to avoid a similar fate this season.
"Unfortunately it was pretty short. It was four games, we only played two here. And it wasn't our best," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said after his team's morning skate. "I thought our best two games in the series were actually here. I think we've all turned the page. It's something that we'll hopefully learn from. But I think we're all moving on and making sure that we learn from it."
The Bruins and Penguins met earlier this season with Pittsburgh prevailing, 3-2, at home Oct. 30. Last season, all three games between the teams prior to the Stanley Cup Playoffs were decided by one goal, and Boston won two one-goal games in the conference finals.
"I think the last 20 games we've played against Boston feel very similarly scripted, very similar types of games," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. "The teams play it tight to the vest, they're fight-for-every-inch type of games, and they've been close one-goal games in most of those games. The playoffs was that to the nth degree I think, and the last game was almost a carbon copy of the four we played in the playoffs. I think it's a patient game, it's a patient defending game, but it's also a patient game offensively and we're fully expecting that here in this building tonight."
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Loui Eriksson
Carl Soderberg – Chris Kelly – Reilly Smith
Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara – Dougie Hamilton
Torey Krug – Johnny Boychuk
Matt Bartkowski - Kevan Miller
Scratched: Jordan Caron
Injured: Dennis Seidenberg (lower body), Adam McQuaid (lower body)
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Pascal Dupuis
Jussi Jokinen – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Brian Gibbons – Brandon Sutter – Matt D'Agostini
Zach Sill – Joe Vitale – Craig Adams
Paul Martin – Kris Letang
Matt Niskanen – Brooks Orpik
Olli Maatta – Robert Bortuzzo
Scratched: Andrew Ebbett, Deryk Engelland
Injured: Beau Bennett (undisclosed), Chuck Kobasew (lower body), Tanner Glass (undisclosed), Rob Scuderi (ankle), Tomas Vokoun (blood clot)