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Preview: Penguins at Bruins

Pittsburgh without injured forward Evgeni Malkin; goalie Tuukka Rask to make ninth straight start for Boston

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

PENGUINS (30-12-5) at BRUINS (24-21-6) 

7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, NESN, ROOT, NHL.TV


Penguins team scope

The Pittsburgh Penguins are without forward Evgeni Malkin, who is out because of a lower-body injury he sustained in a 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. Malkin, whose 54 points are tied with teammate Sidney Crosby for second in the NHL, will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break. Forward Patric Hornqvist took part in the morning skate after missing practice Wednesday because of a lower-body injury he sustained against the Blues. "I feel better today than I did yesterday, so it's going to be a game-time decision. But I'm positive," Hornqvist said. Goaltender Matt Murray will start his sixth straight game. Murray was 3-0-0 with three goals allowed in three starts before Tuesday. "We've liked what Matt has done here," coach Mike Sullivan said. "We feel like he's gotten on a little bit of a roll. He's made some real good saves for us. He had great success against Boston the last time we played them." Forward Bryan Rust will play his 100th NHL game. The Penguins are 4-1-0 in their past five games and 17-5-2 in their past 24.


Bruins team scope

Goaltender Tuukka Rask will start his ninth straight game for the Bruins, who are 11-12-0 at TD Garden. The Bruins, who ended a four-game losing streak (0-3-1) with a 4-3 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, hope to avenge a 5-1 loss to the Penguins on Jan. 22. "For me it's not a bad thing to have to go back at these guys again and try to make sure you fix those things and get a better result," coach Claude Julien said. The Bruins outshot the Penguins 45-36 but felt the wrath of their speed, especially when they scored three goals in the third period, and believe they will make the necessary adjustments to avoid a similar fate. "They want to play with that puck, they want to keep it, especially in the neutral zone and I think if we deny that speed and deny their space, we might get the puck back and from there we can create some offense," forward Patrice Bergeron said. "And we have to go in their zone and try and hold onto the puck and sustain the pressure that sometimes we had in Pittsburgh." 


Penguins projected lineup

Conor Sheary -- Sidney Crosby -- Bryan Rust

Jake Guentzel -- Carter Rowney -- Patric Hornqvist

Carl Hagelin -- Nick Bonino -- Phil Kessel

Chris Kunitz -- Eric Fehr -- Scott Wilson

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Olli Maatta -- Trevor Daley

Brian Dumoulin -- Chad Ruhwedel

Matt Murray

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Tom Kuhnhackl

Injured: Kris Letang (lower body), Matt Cullen (foot), Evgeni Malkin (lower body)


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Frank Vatrano -- David Krejci -- David Backes

Matt Beleskey -- Ryan Spooner -- Riley Nash

Tim Schaller -- Dominic Moore -- Jimmy Hayes

Zdeno Chara -- Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Kevan Miller -- Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask

Zane McIntyre

Scratched: Austin Czarnik, Joe Morrow, John-Michael Liles

Injured: None


Status report

Sullivan said the Penguins' forward lineup would be a game-time decision. … Rowney was called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Thursday. He had 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 24 games in the AHL and has yet to make his NHL debut. Defenseman Steve Oleksy was reassigned. ... Marchand is available to play after the NHL Department of Player Safety fined him $10,000 but did not suspend him for a dangerous trip of defenseman Niklas Kronwall in the win against Detroit.


Who's hot

Sheary has nine points (six goals, three assists) in his past five games. ... Crosby has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his past six games. ... Rust has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past five games. ... Marchand has 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in his past 11 games.

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