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Penguins vs. Bruins Game Preview

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins

Overall:
7-7-1-15
Home: 2-4-0-4
Road: 5-3-1-11

WHEN: Nov. 10, 2010 - 7:00 pm   |   WHERE: CONSOL Energy Center
WATCH:
FSN  |  LISTEN: Pens HD Radio, 105.9 FM
Boston Bruins
Overall:
7-3-1-15
Home: 2-2-1-5
Road:
5-1-0-10

  Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins 
 
      
Milan Lucic
F  -  #17
  5 Goals
  5 Assists
  10 Points
• With 99 career points (39G-60A), the guy they call ‘Looch’ is one point shy of recording his 100th career point.

• The Bruins’ second-leading scorer thus far has also proven to be clutch, leading Boston with a pair of game-winning goals.

• Leads the Bruins with a 22.7 shooting percentage, scoring five goals on 22 shots.
 
Mark Recchi
F  -  #28
  0 Goals
  6 Assist
  6 Points
• Is two penalty minutes shy of recording 1,000 career penalty minutes, which would make him the 30th player in NHL history with 1,000 points and 1,000 PIM.

• Was one of Boston’s best players during last season’s postseason run, notching 10 points (6G-4A) in 13 games.

• With 1,491 career points (563G-928A), he sits just nine points shy of becoming the 13th player in NHL history to record 1,500 points.
 
Dennis Seidenberg
D  -  #44
 0 Goals
5 Points
2-Plus Rating
• Acquired from the Florida Panthers at last season’s trading deadline, Seidenberg fit into Beantown quickly, recording two goals and nine points in 17 games with Boston last season before suffering a season-ending injury right before the playoffs.

• Is currently on a stretch which has seen him post assists in five of his last eight games for the Bruins.

• Never shy to step in front of an opposing shot, he leads the Bruins with 28 blocked shots. Last season he led the NHL with 215 blocked shots.
One of the questions surrounding the Boston Bruins at the outset of the 2010-11 regular season was how they would respond to squandering a 3-0 series lead to the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round of last season’s playoffs.

Judging by the first five weeks of the season, the Bruins have come back quite strong.

Led by the goaltending of Tim Thomas, the Bruins enter Tuesday night’s games as the fifth-best team in the Eastern Conference with a 7-3-1 record. Thomas, who won the Vezina Trophy as the National Hockey League’s top goaltender two years ago, is back to playing at that rarified level with a 7-0 record that accompanies his league-leading goals-against average (1.05) and save percentage (.967) figures.

Offensively, the Bruins are led by offseason addition Nathan Horton. The power forward was acquired over the summer from the Florida Panthers in a deal which sent Dennis Wideman the other way. Horton leads the Bruins in both goals (6) and points (11). When he is at the top of his game, Horton is an immovable presence in front of the net and in the cycling game.

Helping Horton shoulder the offensive load is all-around performer Patrice Bergeron, a playmaking whiz who also excels in his own zone. Although Bergeron has just two goals and six points thus far, he is a proven 20-goal, 50-point scorer who is the catalyst for the Boston offense.

Rookie Tyler Seguin, the No. 2-overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, appears as though he is becoming more and more comfortable at this level, scoring twice in his past four games after tallying just once through the first six games.

On the back end, former Norris Trophy (best defenseman) winner Zdeno Chara continues to log heavy minutes in all situations. Although his offensive numbers are down a bit for the second season in a row, Chara is still one of the best shutdown defenders in the game and almost assuredly will draw the assignment of shadowing Sidney Crosby.
  • After a stretch which saw the Penguins play seven of eight games on the road and spend 15 of 18 days outside the Pittsburgh city limits, the team will now get to spend some time at home, as five of the next six games will be played at CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins survived their brutal stretch well, improving their road record to 5-3-1, giving them a NHL-best 11 road points.
  • Wednesday’s game comes almost a full calendar year after the Penguins and Bruins played one of the most exciting regular-season contests in the history of the series. Trailing 5-4 with time running out, former Penguin Bill Guerin tied the game for the Penguins with 0.4 seconds remaining in regulation. Pascal Dupuis then secured the 6-5 Pittsburgh win in overtime when he tallied his second goal of the night and 100th of his career.
  • Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin always enjoys facing the Bruins. In 14 career games against Boston, Malkin has picked up 10 goals and 16 points. His 10 goals against the Bruins are his second-highest total against any non-division opponent behind the Ottawa Senators (11).
  • Rookie forward Mark Letestu is earning himself a reputation as a clutch performer during the first couple of weeks of the season. Letestu scored the game-deciding goal Nov. 6 in a 4-3 shootout defeat of the Phoenix Coyotes, giving him the winning tally in three of Pittsburgh’s seven victories. Letestu leads all rookies (tied) with two game-winning goals.

 

      
Captain Stays Hot: When the Penguins are playing at their best, they win games with a total team effort. That said, it’s usually Sidney Crosby leading that charge. It appears as though Crosby is on the verge of leading the Penguins on one of those tears, as he has recorded multiple-point nights in three of his past four games.

Keep the Shots Coming: During the Penguins’ most-recent road swing, head coach Dan Bylsma felt the team struggled a bit at times getting enough shots towards opposing netminders. That all changed during the 4-3 shootout win over Phoenix, when Pittsburgh threw 36 shots at Ilya Bryzgalov. With Boston’s Tim Thomas playing so well, the Penguins have to get plenty of shots and traffic his way to score.
C Jordan Staal, foot/broken right hand (up to 5 weeks)
C Marc Savard, post-concussion syndrome (indefinitely)
D Johnny Boychuk, broken left forearm (2 weeks)
LW Marco Sturm, knee (due back at the end of Nov.)
C David Krejci, head (day-to-day)
 
 
 
 
G
Crosby (9) Horton (6)
A
Crosby/Letang (10) Krejci (8)
PTS
Crosby (19) Horton (11)
PIM
Engelland (40) Campbell (26)
+/-
Letang (+7) Lucic/Ference (+5)
PP
Crosby (4) Horton (3)
SH
Cooke (2)
Bergeron/Marchand (1)
W/L
Johnson (6-1-1) Thomas (7-0-0)
GAA
Johnson (1.63) Thomas (1.05)
SVP
Johnson (.943) Thomas (.967)

Mark Letestu - The rookie center continues to impress, coming up huge in the shootout on Saturday night by recording his first game-deciding shootout goal. Earlier in the contest, Letestu picked up the primary helper on the game-tying goal by Chris Kunitz, giving him eight points (4G-4A) on the season, second-most (tied) among all rookies.
 
Patrice Bergeron - The 25-year-old center is arguably the Bruins’ glue. When he is on his game, like he is right now, Bergeron is a factor at even strength, the power play and penalty kill. Bergeron is currently riding a hot streak which has seen him post five points (2G-3A) over his last six games.
 
 
 
 


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