The kids are all right. The Pittsburgh Penguins (4-2-0) veteran lineup with a few newbies is now complete with a couple of rookies playing their first NHL games, too. Last Friday, defenseman P-O Joseph made his NHL debut. Tuesday night, college free agent signee Drew O’Connor will most likely wear the Penguins sweater for the first time as the Boston Bruins (3-1-1) host the Penguins at TD Garden.
“These guys bring a certain level of enthusiasm to the rink every day. They’re thrilled to be a part of it,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said. “In my experience, that enthusiasm can be contagious.”
The Penguins have won four in a row but didn’t win a game in regulation until Sunday, when Jake Guentzel (1) scored with 91 seconds remaining to beat the New York Rangers, 3-2.
Here’s the PHN Turning Points column to catch up. Tristan Jarry stopped 23 of 25 shots and won his second straight game. Jarry looked close to top form with several acrobatic saves.
The Penguins are in second place, just one point behind the Washington Capitals for the East Division (Presented by Mass Mutual) lead.
What to Watch
Boston has owned the Penguins since 2015 at the TD Garden, where Penguins are winless (0-7-1). The Boston top line has been dominant. Patrice Bergeron had three goals in three games and was a plus-5. The Penguins counterpart Sidney Crosby had three points (1g, 2a) but was a minus-4.
Last season, Boston won the President’s Trophy with 100 points.
However, Boston sniper David Pastrnak is still out after offseason surgery. Pastrnak skated on Monday but is not yet expected back.
Pittsburgh Penguins Lines
|Jake Guentzel||Sidney Crosby||Bryan Rust|
|Jason Zucker||Evgeni Malkin||Rickard Rakell|
|Danton Heinen||Ryan Poehling||Kasperi Kapanen|
|Brock McGinn||Sam Poulin||Drew O'Connor|
|Brian Dumoulin||Kris Letang|
|Marcus Pettersson||Jeff Petry|
|P.O Joseph||Jan Rutta|
Boston Bruins Lines
|Brad Marchand||Patrice Bergeron||David Pastrnak|
|Taylor Hall||David Krejci||Craig Smith|
|Nick Ritchie||Sean Kuraly||Charlie Coyle|
|Trent Frederic||Curtis Lazar||Chris Wagner|
|Matt Grzelczyk||Charlie McAvoy|
|Mike Reilly||Kevan Miller|
|Jeremy Lauzon||Steve Kampher|
F Zach Aston-Reese (6 consecutive, 6 total)
D Zach Trotman (6 consecutive, 6 total)
F Sam Miletic (6 consecutive, 6 total)
D Mike Matheson (4 consecutive, 4 total)
D Marcus Pettersson (2 consecutive, 2 total)
D Juuso Riikola (2 consecutive, 2 total)
2020-21 Total Regular-Season Man-Games Lost: 26
*Kasperi Kapanen has five points (2g, 3a) in his last four games against Boston. Kapanen was a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs for all of those games.
*Massachussettes native John Marino scored his first-career NHL goal in front of dozens of family and friends in his debut at TD Garden on Nov. 4, 2019.
*On Sunday, the Penguins tied a franchise record with their fourth-straight comeback win. The Penguins trailed 2-1 at the start of the third period.
*Bryan Rust has a five-game points streak (2g, 3a).
*Defenseman Cody Ceci will appear in his 500th NHL game.
*Evgeni Malkin is one point away from tying Jaromir Jagr for third place on the Penguins all-time scoring list.
Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Odds
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This season, we’re 4-3 with our picks, and we were 1-1 in the last game. We hit the UNDER but missed the Penguins +1.5.
The OVER/UNDER is 5.5 for Tuesday night. Six goals doesn’t seem like much, but that’s a tough call, so we’re going to leave that alone, this time. The Penguins are an underdog, but Vegas likes the Penguins to cover the 1.5, so we’re not going to touch that, either.
What we do like is the Penguins on the money line, $10 gets you $21.50.
Off the record, we also like the Penguins in the first period (+500). So, a $10 would get you $60. If Rust and Crosby hit the ground running, that could pay.
As always, this is for fun. Don’t bet more than is enjoyable or more than you can lose.
How to Watch
TV: AT&T SportsNet; Radio: 105.9 The X