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  • Game Day Preview: Penguins at Bruins

    Game Day

    Game Day Preview: Penguins at Bruins

    Tim Rosenthal November 24, 2014

    For the first time since last year’s debacle with Shawn Thornton, Brooks Orpik and James Neal, the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins finally get a chance to renew acquaintances.

    This year’s version will be without Thornton, Orpik or Neal. Thornton, who now plays with the Florida Panthers, was suspended 15 games after losing his cool on Orpik (now with the Washington Capitals). Neal (now lacing up the skates with the Nashville Predators), was banned for five games for kneeing Brad Marchand.

    Even with a new cast of members, and a possible debut of David Pastrnak, the first 2014-15 installment featuring the Bruins and Penguins should still be very entertaining.

    Here is your complete Penguins-Bruins preview:

    Gametime: 7:00 PM
    TV/Radio: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
    Records: Bruins 13-9-0, 26 points/Penguins 13-4-2, 28 points
    Location: TD Garden

    Bruins’ projected lines

    Brad Marchand/Matt Fraser-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
    Milan Lucic-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
    Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Simon Gagne
    Jordan Caron-Alexander Khoklachev-David Pastrnak

    Dennis Seidenberg-Kevan Miller
    Dougie Hamilton-Joe Morrow
    Torey Krug-Matt Bartkowski

    Tuukka Rask
    Niklas Svedberg

    Penguins’ projected lines

    Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Blake Comeau
    Nick Spaling-Evgeni Malkin-Patric Hornqvist
    Beau Bennett-Brandon Sutter-Steve Downie
    Zach Sill-Marcel Goc-Craig Adams

    Paul Martin-Kris Letang
    Olli Maata-Christian Ehrhoff
    Rob Scuderi-Simon Despres

    Marc-Andre Fleury
    Thomas Greiss

    Who to watch for Bruins: David Pastrnak

    “Pastamania” is about to run wild in Boston, and no I’m not talking about Hulk Hogan’s failed adventure either.

    David Pastrnak, the Bruins’ first round pick in 2014, is set to make his debut with the Black and Gold, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. With the B’s still hit with the injury bug, and with Pastrnak shining in his first month and a half in the American Hockey League, the 18-year old will have his first chance to showcase his skills in a matchup with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Penguins.

    Related: Pastrnak shines in Providence, earns chance in Boston

    Pastrnak, who tallied 18 points (5 goals, 13 assists) in 17 games with the P-Bruins, skated with Jordan Caron and Alexander Khoklachev during the morning skate. That trio performed well in Providence, so it’s easy to see why Claude Julien would want to keep this unit together. At the same time, they’ll likely be getting fourth line minutes.

    As excitement from Bruins fans continues to grow, Pastrnak will hope to give them something to cheer for in his debut.

    Who to watch for Penguins: Patric Hornqvist

    Anytime a member of the Penguins skates with Sidney Crosby and/or Evgeni Malkin, they are bound to get a boost in production. The same can be said for Patric Hornqvist.

    Through 23 games, the former Nashville Predator has compiled 23 points (good for a tie for sixth in the NHL) on 10 goals and 13 assists and has a plus-6 rating. Additionally, his presence on the power play gives the Penguins another weapon as he’s tallied 11 points on the man advantage.

    With all the injuries to the Bruins’ defense, they’ll need to minimize their mistakes, get pucks out of their own end quickly and try to keep the Penguins’ lethal attack in check. Otherwise, they will be in for a long night.

    Game Day Edge: Get traffic in front of Marc-Andre Fleury

    Although the Bruins fired 33 shots towards Carey Price during their 2-0 loss to the Canadiens on Saturday night, they did not get enough traffic in front of Carey Price. For the most part, the Black and Gold had to settle with chances from the perimeter and didn’t do enough work in the dirty areas. Some of that was due to the Habs getting the shooting lanes, and some was due to the inexperience and reshuffling of the forward lines.

    All of this will need to change on Monday. For the criticism he’s received over his shaky performances in the playoffs the last few years, Marc-Andre Fleury is very capable of stealing a game if needed. With his 6-foot-2 stature, Fleury gives up little space and his quickness is certainly an asset when pucks get in the dirty areas. The Bruins will need to get bodies in front of him and make him work, otherwise they’ll be in for another long night.

    Game Day Video

    Relive what Milan Lucic had to say about the Dalton Prout punch.

    Also, hear what the Bruins had to say after their loss to the Canadiens on Saturday night.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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