The Boston Bruins return to the ice Wednesday night for a matchup against one of the NHL’s best teams — the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Boston has lost three straight games (all in overtime or a shootout) and owns a 5-6-5 record since the start of December. The B’s have had three previous losing streaks of three games this season and all of them ended with a road win.
Boston will hope to continue that trend with a victory Wednesday night, but it’ll be a tough challenge against a Pittsburgh team that ranks seventh in the NHL in goals scored per game, fifth in goals against average, fifth in power-play success and second in penalty killing.
The Penguins are a well-rounded team with the scoring depth to punish opposing teams who make mistakes in the defensive zone. The Bruins will need a stellar performance from goaltender Tuukka Rask, assuming he starts. Rask made 30 saves on 33 shots for a .909 save percentage in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Penguins on Nov. 24 at TD Garden.
Exciting prospect David Pastrnak won’t play for the Bruins on Wednesday, per head coach Claude Julien. The 18-year-old forward is expected to enter the lineup Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:
BOSTON BRUINS (19-15-6, fifth in Atlantic)
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Seth Griffith
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
Chris Kelly-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Craig Cunningham
Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg-Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug-Kevan Miller
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (24-10-5, first in Atlantic)
David Perron-Sidney Crosby-Steve Downie
Nick Spaling-Evgeni Malkin-Beau Bennett
Chris Kunitz-Brandon Sutter-Bryan Rust
Zach Sill-Andrew Ebbett-Craig Adams
Paul Martin-Kris Letang
Christian Ehrhoff-Robert Bortuzzo
Rob Scuderi-Simon Despres
Thumbnail photo via ames Guillory/USA TODAY Sports Images
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