PENGUINS (33-10-0) vs. BRUINS (26-11-5)
WHEN: April 20, 2013 - 12:30 p.m. | WHERE: TD Garden
The Penguins are in Boston to play the Bruins on
Friday at TD Garden (the game was rescheduled for Saturday at 12:30 p.m.). The B’s are coming off an emotional 3-2 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday, which was the first major sporting event in the city since the tragic events at the Boston Marathon.
Wednesday’s game started with a passionate national anthem and heart-wrenching tributes to the victims and heroes. The Bruins players spoke after the game about how tough it was trying to hold it together through all of that. They also spoke after the game about how upset and disappointed they were not to get the win for the people of Boston. So the Penguins can expect the Bruins to really regain their focus and be an extremely motivated team come Saturday, especially with the events of Friday and as a win over Boston clinches the top seed in the East for Pittsburgh (the magic number is three).
The Bruins may have lost the Jarome Iginla sweepstakes, but still managed to land another future Hall of Famer in former Penguin Jaromir Jagr. And Double J’s still got it at 41 years old. He is tied for first on the team with 33 points and is tied for second with 15 goals. And as Penguins fans have learned over the years since he left the team, Jagr always seems to do well against his former team – with 21 goals and 42 points in 42 career games against Pittsburgh.
The Bruins, winless in their last three games (0-2-1), got two key players back in the lineup on Wednesday after both recovered from concussions. Center Patrice Bergeron returned after missing six games and winger Brad Marchand (who leads the team with 16 goals) was back after missing two. They reunited with usual linemate Tyler Seguin and didn’t seem to miss a beat. They are the Bruins’ best line and the one combination that’s stayed intact throughout the season.
As for the rest of the lineup, that seems to be a fluid mix. Milan Lucic skated on the fifth line in Thursday’s practice and there’s a very good chance he could be a healthy scratch Friday, as coach Claude Julien said Swedish prospect Carl Soderberg – who skated with Chris Kelly and Jagr – is “probable” to play against Pittsburgh. When Julien was asked about the possibility of Lucic being a healthy scratch Friday, he told BostonBruins.com "you saw where he was this morning, and it indicates that he may not play tomorrow. But I haven’t decided that yet." Julien is also rotating his nine defensemen, resting certain players to get looks at other guys. Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk, Dennis Seidenberg, and Dougie Hamilton have played the last two games, while Wade Redden, Matt Bartkowski, Aaron Johnson, Andrew Ference and Adam McQuaid have rotated in and out.
These were the lines the Bruins used at Thursday's practice...
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Carl Soderberg - Chris Kelly - Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton
Milan Lucic - Kaspars Daugavins - Jay Pandolfo
Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg - Johnny Boychuk
Matt Bartkowski - Adam McQuaid
Andrew Ference - Aaron Johnson
BRUINS: JAROMIR JAGR
He’s back! After a short stint with Dallas, the Stars traded Jagr to the Boston Bruins at the trade deadline. This will be the first time the Penguins see Jagr since he wore the orange and black of the enemy Flyers for the 2011-12 season, where the former Penguin scored big goals against Pittsburgh that season. They may see that salute again on Friday, as Jagr is having another big season even at 41 years old. Jagr has six assists in his last four games and has 15 goals and 33 points on the season.
As Penguins fans prepare to see Jagr, Bruins fans are doing the same for Iginla. This will be Iginla’s first game against the Bruins since the team lost out on the Jarome Iginla sweepstakes at the trade deadline, and he’s expecting to hear Bostonians voice their displeasure that he ended up coming to Pittsburgh. The best way to answer that is with his play on the ice. Look for ‘Iggy’ to build off his performance on Wednesday against Montreal, where he scored a goal and assist to become just the 58th player in NHL history to reach the 1,110-point mark.
F Sidney Crosby, broken jaw
F Evgeni Malkin, upper body
D Paul Martin, broken bone in hand
F James Neal, concussion
F Marc Savard, concussionAuthor: Michelle Crechiolo