The Bruins and Penguins will both be at less than full strength as two of the top teams in Eastern Conference clash Sunday in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins have won eight straight despite their myriad of injuries, and they are about to get much healthier. They aren't likely to get many reinforcements for Sunday's game however. Star center Sidney Crosby was cleared for contact and initially eyed this game as a possible return date, but now is targeting Thursday's showdown with the Rangers as a possibility for his return from his latest concussion.
Standout defenseman Kris Letang (concussion) and physical blueliner Deryk Engelland both practiced on Saturday but will not play Sunday. They also could be back on Thursday. Defenseman Paul Martin, who missed practice Saturday with an illness, is questionable for Sunday.
On the Bruins side, Benoit Pouliot will miss his second straight game with a lower-body injury. He was a surprising scratch Saturday after warm-ups, forcing the Bruins to dress seven defensemen and use Mike Mottau as a forward. They're better prepared for Sunday, with forward Max Sauve having been recalled from Providence. Sauve will make his NHL debut against Pittsburgh.
Andrew Ference (lower body) could also return. He will take warm-ups and be a game-time decision. Mottau and Daniel Paille (upper body) skated earlier in the morning and appear to be out for this one.
Bruins coach Claude Julien would again not reveal his starting goalie before the game. It's possible newcomer Marty Turco could see his first action as a Bruin with Tim Thomas having appeared in eight straight games and started the last four, including Saturday's 4-3 loss to Washington. Thomas will have to rest at some point, but there's no indication yet if that will come against the Penguins.
Marc Joanette and Mike Leggo will be the referees, with Michel Cormier and Derek Amell working the lines.
Projected Bruins lines
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jordan Caron
Max Sauve-Chris Kelly-Brian Rolston
Lane MacDermid-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo
Greg Zanon-Adam McQuaid
Scratches: Nathan Horton (concussion), Rich Peverley (knee), Daniel Paille (upper body), Andrew Ference (lower body), Tuukka Rask (groin), Benoit Pouliot (lower body), Mike Mottau
Projected Penguins lines
Chris Kunitz-Evgeni Malkin-James Neal
Steve Sullivan-Jordan Staal-Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke-Joe Vitale-Tyler Kennedy
Arron Asham-Craig Adams-Richard Park
Brooks Orpik-Zbynek Michalek
Matt Niskanen-Simon Despres
Brian Stait-Ben Lovejoy
Scratches: Sidney Crosby (concussion), Deryk Engelland (lower body), Paul Martin (illness), Kris Letang (concussion), Dustin Jeffrey (illness), Brent Johnson, Eric Tangradi