PenguinsExperience.com - A Pittsburgh Penguins Blog © 2009
Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Game Preview: Boston Bruins @ Pittsburgh Penguins


Mellon Arena

Game Time: 7:30pm/ET
From: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
Penguins Record: 19-13-4 (7th in Eastern Conference)
Bruins Record: 27-5-1 (1st in Eastern Conference)
Last Meeting: October 20th, 2008 @ Boston (2-1 Pens [SO])

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS LINE COMBINATIONS:
Pascal Dupuis - Sidney Crosby - Miroslav Satan
Ruslan Fedotenko - Evgeni Malkin - Petr Sykora
Maxime Talbot - Jordan Staal - Matt Cooke
Mike Wallace - Dustin Jeffrey - Alex Goligoski

Brooks Opik - Rob Scuderi
Hal Gill - Ryan Whitney
Phillipe Boucher - Mark Eaton

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS PROBABLE GOALTENDER:
Marc-Andre Fleury (11-6-2 / 2.86 GAA / .909 SV%)

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS INJURIES:
Sergei Gonchar (left shoulder surgery) - on injured reserve
Tyler Kennedy (sprained knee) - on injured reserve
Mike Zigomanis (upper body) - out indefinitely
Kris Letang (lower body) - day-to-day, will miss tonight's game


BOSTON BRUINS LINE COMBINATIONS:
Milan Lucic - Marc Savard - Phil Kessel
P.J. Axelsson - Stephane Yelle - Chuck Kobasew
Blake Wheeler - David Krejci - Michael Ryder
Shawn Thornton - Vladimir Sobotka - Martin Pierre

Zdeno Chara - Mark Stuart
Dennis Wideman - Matt Lashoff
Matt Hunwick - Shane Hnidy

BOSTON BRUINS PROBABLE GOALTENDER:
Tim Thomas (15-3-3 / 2.04 GAA / .935 SV%)

BOSTON BRUINS INJURIES:
Andrew Ference (right leg surgery) - on injured reserve
Petteri Nokelainen (right arm/hand) - on injured reserve
Marco Sturm (knee) - on injured reserve
Aaron Ward (leg/ankle) - on injured reserve
Patrice Bergeron (concussion) - out indefinitely


PITTSBURGH PENGUINS LEADERS:
GOALS: Malkin (14)
ASSISTS: Malkin (44)
POINTS: Malkin (59)
+/-: Malkin (+22)

BOSTON BRUINS LEADERS:
GOALS: Kessel (22)
ASSISTS: Savard (32)
POINTS: Savard (43)
+/-: Savard (+23)


Hal Gill returns to the Penguins line-up tonight. The Penguins defenseman has missed 10 games with a shoulder injury. He has not played since December 6th.

Interestingly it looks like, rather than making a defenseman a healthy scratch, Alex Goligoski will be moved to right wing on the fourth line. I also assume he will spend some time on defense, especially on the powerplay. Dressing seven defensemen is something the Penguins did last year, so we'll see how it works out.

Eric Godard will be the scratched forward for the Penguins.

Also, it looks like Tim Wallace will return to the Penguins line-up tonight. He provides a sort of toughness that the Penguins need, so it will be good to see him in action once again.

The Bruins are definitely hot. They lead the Eastern Conference and they have won eight games in a row going into tonight. The Bruins only loss this month came on December 10th in Washington. They are 11-1 on the month so far.

This will be a test for the Penguins who started slumping around the same time the Bruins started heating up. The Penguins December record is 5-7-1 and they have not won two games in a row since the middle of November.

The effort was there on Saturday night against Montreal, so hopefully the team will begin to trend upwards from there.

Gill returning will definitely help, especially on the penalty kill.

Tonight's game is the first of a home-and-home. The Penguins play in Boston on New Years Day.

Tonight will also be the 250th NHL game for Sidney Crosby and the 200th game for Jordan Staal. Staal will become the youngest player in NHL history to play 200 games.

Prediction: 4-2 Bruins

3 comments:

Damian M. Romano said...

Any word on Gonchar's condition? Is he still due back on the ice in March?

PenguinsExperience.com said...

I haven't heard anything different, so I assume that he will be back late March.

In my opinion, the Pens seriously miss him.

Damian M. Romano said...

Yeah, and tonight's blowout shows it. We need one more aggressive forward, maybe two to really compete (or just someone to step up). Hossa and Malone are sorely missed.

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