Preview: Penguins at Bruins
The Boston Bruins have more streaks than an improperly washed window, as the team owns five straight victories and at least a point in nine consecutive games (7-0-2) heading into Monday's contest versus the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins. To boot, Brad Marchand boasts a career-best 12-game point streak (eight goals, 15 assists) and David Pastrnak is riding an 11-game run (13 goals, 14 assists).
"We're all doing well and playing with a lot of confidence, so obviously that helps. But yeah, we're winning, and that's the major thing," Pastrnak told reporters after collecting a goal and two assists in Saturday's 5-2 victory over Ottawa. Marchand scored and set up a goal against the Senators, with his helper on Patrice Bergeron's second-period tally extending his career-best assist streak to 11 games. Pittsburgh saw one streak come to a halt on Saturday afternoon as it lost for the first time in seven contests when superstar captains Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby squared off. Evgeni Malkin highlighted his return to the lineup following an 11-game absence due to a lower-body injury by registering six shots on goal in the 2-1 overtime loss to Edmonton.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet Pacific, TVA, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (8-5-1): Pittsburgh fielded a full roster for all of one game as the team placed veteran forward Patric Hornqvist on injured reserve Sunday with a lower-body ailment. Bryan Rust replaced the 32-year-old Swede on the second line during Sunday's practice. Hornqvist wasn't the lone Penguin off the ice on Sunday, although defenseman Brian Dumoulin's absence was excused as he awaited the birth of his first child.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (10-1-2): Bergeron set up Marchand's power-play goal in the third period on Saturday to become the sixth player in franchise history to reach 500 career assists, joining Ray Bourque, Johnny Bucyk, Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and Wayne Cashman. A four-time Selke Trophy, Bergeron has notched 24 assists and 34 points in 43 career encounters with Pittsburgh. Defenseman Torey Krug has moved within two points of 300 for his career after registering eight assists in his last eight games.
1. Pittsburgh G Matt Murray sports a 4-2-0 record with a 2.59 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in six career appearances (five starts) versus Boston.
2. Bruins LW Jake DeBrusk, who scored a goal on Saturday, also tallied against the Penguins in a 2-1 overtime win on Nov. 23.
3. Pittsburgh has failed to score a power-play goal in its last eight games.
PREDICTION: Bruins 4, Penguins 3