PENS GAME #21: PENGUINS AT BRUINS
After finally nabbing a win on Thanksgiving Eve, the Penguins return to the ice tonight to face the Bruins in Boston in the "battle of the black and gold". The Pens lit up Dallas 5-1 on Wednesday in a tremendous, total team performance as Sidney Crosby returned from a brief injury. Now they aim to down the Eastern Conference 5th place Bruins. But Pittsburgh has to break a long streak to do so, they haven't won in Boston since November 2014 or for 5 straight games in the city.
Pittsburgh Penguins (8-8-4) at Boston Bruins (11-6-4) at TD Garden in Boston, MA at 7:30PM (EST)
The Pens come into the game with the relief of having snapped their 4-game loss streak in emphatic fashion vs the Stars, and with the hopes of putting their stretch of losing 8 of their last 10 games further behind them by finally winning 2 in row for the first time since since October.
The major news pre-game is that Tristan Jarry has finally been called up from the minor leagues and will make his season debut for the Penguins in net tonight, due to an apparent injury to Matt Murray. That last part the most surprising aspect as Murray certainly has not played well this year, but no whispers of injury were floating about until it was announced by the team today.
Bringing Jarry into the fold is a great move for the Penguins, and particularly something I've been advocating for since early October as you might remember from this article. Getting Tristan Jarry to move from top prospect to legitimate NHL commodity is not just a pressing need of the moment but the best thing for the organization. As anyone who has watched this team at all this year can attest, having too much goaltending is never a problem. It's always needed. Even when you're in clover with a super hot goalie in net, injury can strike just a quickly as a slump can. More talent in the mix is always welcome.
Out in front of the net, the Pens will try to overwhelm Boston with the same might they did to Dallas, where 5 different Penguins players scored and the majority of the line-up (10 players total) put up points. They'll have an added advantage in that quest, as the Bruins are injury riddled. Their top scorer, and primary foil for Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron will not play. Captain Zdeno Chara is out as well. The Bruins are also missing Brandon Carlo, Charlie McAvoy, and Urho Vaakanainen.
These key losses are a huge opening that the Pens can take advantage of to score the victory.
Now the details...
PENS BULLET POINTS
MATCH-UP INFORMATIONAL BREAKDOWN
Tristan Jarry: 23-years-old, 6’2”/194lb, 2 year NHL Veteran, 2013 Round 2 Draft Pick (Records- 2018-19: First Game; Last Season: 14W-6L-2OTL in 26GP; Career: 14W-7L-0OTL in 27GP | Goals Against Average- 2018-19: First Game; Last Season: 2.77; Career: 2.78)
Jaroslav Halak: 33-years-old, 5'11"/185lb, 12 year NHL Veteran, 2003 Round 9 Draft Pick (Records- 2018-19: 7W-2L-2OTL in 13GP; Last Season: 20W-26L-6OTL in 54GP; Career: 239W-152L-50OTL in 462GP | Goals Against Average- 2018-19: 2.07; Last Season: 3.19; Career: 2.49)
Penguins: 20 Points, Metropolitan Division- 8th, Eastern Conference- 15th
Bruins: 26 Points, Atlantic Division- 4th, Eastern Conference- 5th
Penguins: 1 Win
Bruins: 1 Loss
Goals For & Against:
Penguins: Goals For- 69; Goals Against- 67
Bruins: Goals For- 60; Goals Against- 52
Home vs. Away Records:
Penguins Away Record: 4-3-2
Bruins Home Record: 7-2-0
Team Physical Averages:
Penguins: Average Size- 6'1"/199lbs, Average Age- 28.04
Bruins: Average Size- 6'1"/195lbs, Average Age- 26.52
Penguins Alumni for BOS: None
Bruins Alumni for PIT: Phil Kessel, Ast. Coach Mark Recchi, Head Coach Mike Sullivan
BOS Locals for Penguins: Ast. GM Bill Guerin (Worcester, MA), Head Coach Mike Sullivan (Marshfield, MA)
PIT Locals for Bruins: None
-Goals- #1-Kessel (10), #2-Crosby/Hornqvist (9), #3-Malkin/Guentzel (8)
-Assists- #1-Malkin (20), #2-Kessel (15), #3-Crosby (13)
-Points- #1-Malkin (28), #2-Kessel (25), #3- Crosby (22)
-Shots- #1-Hornqvist (66), #2-Letang (61), #3-Kessel (59)
-Goals- #1-Pastrnak (17), #2-Bergeron (9), #3-Debrusk (8)
-Assists- #1-Bergeron (17), #2-Marchand (15), #3-Krejci (14)
-Points- #1-Bergeron (26), #2-Pastrnak (25), #3-Marchand (21)
-Shots- #1-Pastrnak (87), #2-Bergeron (63), #3-Marchand (45)
-Penguins vs. Bruins History-
Cup Count: Pens- 5, Bruins- 6
Season Series vs. Bruins: 0-0, First game
Last Season Series vs. Bruins: 1W-2L (With 13 Goals For, 17 Goals Against)
All-Time Record vs. Bruins: 70W-108L-21T-5OTL in 204GP
All-Time Record of Pens at TD Garden: 15W-26L-2OTL in 43GP
[Based on last game lines, practice lines, announced line-up changes]
Guentzel | Crosby | Hornqvist
Pearson | Malkin | Kessel
Aston-Reese | Brassard | Simon
Rust | Grant | Sheahan or Rust | Sheahan | Sprong
Dumoulin | Letang
Maatta | Riikola
Johnson | Oleksiak
S: Jarry | B: DeSmith
(Scratches: Chad Ruhwedel, Daniel Sprong/Derek Grant(Inj.) | Injured: Matt Cullen, Matt Murray, Justin Schultz.)
CURRENT PERFORMANCE HIGHS/STREAKS
-Derick Brassard has points in 3 of his last 5 games played. (Stretching back pre-injury to his last time playing in October.)
-Sidney Crosby has a 4 game point streak and goals in 3 of his last 4 played. (Stretching back pre-injury to his last time playing on November 13.)
-Jake Guentzel has a 2 game goal streak and points in 4 of the last 6 games.
-Patric Hornqvist has a 4 game point streak, has points in 5 of the last 6 games, and has goals in 4 of the last 6 games.
-Jack Johnson has points in 4 of the last 7 games.
-Phil Kessel has a 6 game point streak and has goals in 3 of his last 5 games.
-Kris Letang has points in 3 of the last 4 games.
-Evgeni Malkin has a 5 game point streak.
-Tanner Pearson has a 2 game goal streak.
FINAL NOTES ON THE GAME
-Pens Roster Moves: Matt Murray has been placed on Injured Reserve. Tristan Jarry has been called up in his place to the main roster.
-Derek Grant is a game time decision for the Pens, with an undisclosed injury. Should he sit out, Daniel Sprong will slide into the 4th line on wing, while Riley Sheahan moves over to the center position.
-After getting an assist on Wednesday, Olli Maatta's next point will be his 100th career point.
-As mention the Pens are 0W-5L in their last 5GP in Boston, all loses in regulation. That's going back specifically to November 24, 2014.
-Tonight will be the first time in his career that Sidney Crosby faces the Bruins without Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara in the line-up for them.
-Tonight's goalie match-up is a lop-sided affair in experience: 12 year vet, Halak with 462 career games played vs. 1 year vet Jarry with 27 games played.
-Boston goalie Halak can get his 240th career win tonight.
-Malkin got his first goal in 9 games on Wednesday.
EXTRA MISC. THOUGHTS & INFO
*Carolina, Edmonton, Vegas, and Montreal scouts were at Wednesday's Pens game.
*I've brought back the very popular Pens original wallpaper creations to the operation, the first new 2 are available HERE.
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