PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins (13-11-6) trail the New York Islanders by one win for third place in the Metro Division but trail the Montreal Canadiens by five points for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins host the Boston Bruins (17-10-4) in the first of the Penguins back-to-back games this weekend. The Penguins lines got another overhaul, Friday morning, too.
Boston beat the Penguins on Nov. 23 in OT at TD Gardens.
The Penguins are hoping to rally from a flat 6-3 loss the Chicago Blackhawks, Wednesday. Bryan Rust scored the Penguins fifth hat trick this season and fourth in the past nine games. It was Rust’s second career hat trick. Casey DeSmith started in goal and gave up four goals.
DeSmith (9-5-4, 2.43 GAA. .921 SV%) will make his seventh straight start tonight. Matt Murray will serve as the backup and likely start Saturday against the LA Kings.
Jaroslav Halak (9-4-2. 2.30 GAA. .930 SV%) will start in net for Boston
The Penguins have been fending off criticism since Wednesday night, with a heap going to Evgeni Malkin. Watch Kris Letang defend Malkin, here.
The Penguins are 6-3-2 in their last 11 games. The Bruins have won three in a row (TOR, OTT, ARI).
|TEAM||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||20.3% (16th NHL)||82.4% (7th NHL)|
|New Jersey Devils||17.7% (22nd NHL)||82.0% (10th NHL)|
Scouts in Attendance
LA Kings (Pro Scout)
Winnipeg Jets (Mark Dobson, Director of Pro Scouting)
Detroit Red Wings (Mark Howe, Director of Pro Scouting)
Colorado Avalanche (Pro Scout)
Ottawa Senators (Pro Scout)
Expected Penguins Lines
|Jason Zucker||Sidney Crosby||Conor Sheary|
|Patrick Marleau||Evgeni Malkin||Bryan Rust|
|Evan Rodrigues||Jared McCann||Patric Hornqvist|
|Brandon Tanev||Teddy Blueger||Sam Lafferty|
|Brian Dumoulin||Kris Letang|
|Marcus Pettersson||John Marino|
|Jack Johnson||Justin Schultz|