The Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins will square off at TD Garden in Boston on Monday night. Boston is currently on a five-game winning streak, while the Penguins are 3-2 over their last five games.
Looking For Road Win
The Penguins have started the season 8-5-1 after dropping their last game 2-1 to the Edmonton Oilers at home. They will have to get back on track and play at their top level if they want to stop the red-hot Bruins in Boston.
It’s no surprise that Penguins captain Sydney Crosby is leading the team in points this season with 17. Crosby has been the star of the team since he was named the captain at 19 years of age over 10 years ago. Center Jake Guentzel is leading the team in goals so far with seven, and the 25-year-old also has six assists.
The Penguins are relying on other players to step up right now with both Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist on their injured reserve list. They will be looking for big games out of guys like Crosby and Guentzel to make up for all the extra ice time from their absence.
Pittsburgh is averaging 3.36 goals a game while allowing 2.36. The Penguins have a solid penalty kill of 85.3 percent, which will have to be at top form against the Bruins’ power play, which is ranked first in the league.
In net for the Penguins has been Matt Murray this year, who has started 7-3-1 with one shutout. He carries a 2.17 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage this season.
The Bruins are red hot right now and ranked No. 1 in the NHL.com power rankings. They have won their last five games and claimed points in their last nine.
Boston is averaging 3.54 goals a game while allowing just two. The Bruins lead the league in shutouts so far this season with three. As mentioned before, they have the top-scoring power play in the league, and they also carry an 85.7 percent success rate on the penalty kill.
The two Boston goalies this season are Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak, both of whom have been extremely hot to start. Halak is 3-1-1 this season and has a shutout under his belt already. Rask is 7-0-1 and yet to give up a regulation loss.
Rask may be the biggest key for the Bruins’ early success. He has two shutouts to his name already, a 1.49 goals-against average, and a .949 save percentage. Rask has already had a long career, recently playing in his 500th NHL game, but this could be his best start ever.
The key for the Bruins is their top line, which consists of David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, and Patrice Bergeron. That line has produced more than some entire teams already to start this season. Pastrnak currently has 27 points with 13 goals, while Marchand leads the team in assists with 15 and has seven goals himself.
Center, and long-time alternate captain, Bergeron already has a hat trick this year, as he’s contributed six goals and eight assists as well.
What To Expect
While the Penguins are a talented team and no one to overlook, the Bruins are just too hot right now to bet against at home. Their top line is firing on all cylinders, both their goalies have been unstoppable, and their power play is at the top of the league. It may be a close game, but I will take the Bruins at home.