The Penguins have come out of the Olympic break with three straight wins and look as if they might be hitting their typical stretch run stride. This team has shown an ability to catch fire when the games count the most, at least over the past 4 seasons. Their March record dating back to the 06-07 season is 35-7-5, pretty amazing numbers when you consider that most of the contenders are starting to play playoff style hockey during this time of year. The Birds will be putting their winning streak on the line this afternoon when they meet the Boston Bruins at Mellon Arena.
The Bruins have been hot as of late themselves, going 6-2-2 in their last ten games. They are fighting tooth and nail for playoff positioning with several other teams and currently find themselves holding onto the seventh seed with 69 points.
Today marks the third meeting of the season between these two teams, with the Penguins going 1-1-0 against them thus far. The previous meeting between these two teams provided a good bit of drama, as Bill Guerin managed to score the tying goal with .4 seconds remaining on the clock, which set the stage for Pascal Dupuis’s game winning goal in overtime. The Penguins trail the all-time series against the B’s having posted a 55-97-24 record against them. Their home record is a bit better, where they find themselves just two games under .500, 34-36-17.
The Bruins have been road warriors as of late, having picked up six of their last seven victories away from home. They have also won five consecutive road games and are hungry for their sixth in a row.
Sidney Crosby leads the way against the Bruins, having posted 24 points (5G-19A) in 15 career games against the B’s.
The goaltending match-up for today is still up in the air, head coach Dan Bylsma said that his goaltender would be a game time decision. However, it would be great to see Marc Andre Fleury get back in there to build upon the momentum he generated with his third period performance yesterday afternoon. As for the Bruins, Tuukka Rask is close to making a return, could it be today? We shall find out.
I will be live at Mellon Arena blogging the action live for you.
Sidney Crosby enters today’s game with points in 13 of his last 15 games posting 26 points (14G-12A) over that stretch. Crosby has picked up 14 goals in his last 15 games, which has pushed him into the league lead with 44.
The Penguins lead the Atlantic Division with a 39-22-4 record, if they were to win today’s contest, they will have hit the forty win mark in 66 games. The second fastest in franchise history. (65 games 95-96 40-21-4)
March is good for Marc… Marc Andre Fleury has been dominant in March posting a 27-3-5 record in the month that dates back to the 06-07. He has also posted a 2.03 goals against average, .926 save percentage and four shut outs in over that stretch.
The special teams have been hot as of late. The PK has killed off 61 of the 71 power plays against, including a stretch of 20 in a row. The Birds have also scored a power play goal in five straight games, going 6-16 over that stretch. (37.5 %)
The Penguins will play 7 of their next 8 games on the road.