Boston Bruins vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - 12/7/13
Pittsburgh Penguins (20-9-1) at Boston Bruins (18-8-2)
NHL Hockey: Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm (TD Garden)
The Line: Boston Bruins -121 / Pittsburgh Penguins +110 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
Losing a player of Evgeni Malkin's caliber to an injury is never going to be easy regardless of the team but the Pittsburgh Penguins are better suited to survive it than most clubs. At 20-9-1 and in first place in a mediocre Metropolitan Division the Penguins have the luxury of being able to hit a bump in the road and not let it affect them. Pittsburgh has won five games in a row and they're coming off a dominating win over the San Jose Sharks, one of the best teams in the NHL. After a scoreless first period the Penguins exploded int he first half of the second period to take control of the game and run away with it for good. Pascal Dupuis scored just 27 seconds in, Jayson Megna followed up a few minutes later, and Chris Kunitz tallied twice before the first half of the period was over to give Pittsburgh a 4-0 lead. Kris Letang added his sixth of the season in the third period to finish the scoring for the Penguins who just can't lose right now. Marc Andre-Fleury was excellent in this one, stopping 44 of 45 shots to pick up his 16th win of the season. Their opponents on Saturday night are the 18-8-2 Boston Bruins, a team that has had Pittsburgh's number of late. Boston had won two in a row before Thursday night's loss to the Montreal Canadiens. Gregory Campbell gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead late in the second period with his second goal of the season but Montreal scored twice in the third on goaltender Tuukka Rask sending Boston to a 2-1 loss. These are two clubs that are evenly matched during the regular season but in the playoffs they are completely different. At some point it's imperative for the Penguins to prove to themselves, and the Bruins, that they're able ot match up with them physically and beat them in an extended series. These are the types of games during the regular season that bring confidence to a team if they can find a way to win. Boston has the pedrigree but I'll take the road team with value that's playing some excellent hockey right now.