Boston Bruins (8-8-2, 18 pts) at Pittsburgh Penguins (10-7-2, 22 pts)
Are the Penguins ready to take the next step? Are they ready to beat the teams they "should" beat? I hope so, because this is one of those games. They should beat the Bruins.
The Bruins have an odd schedule this year - they opened with five straight games on the road, and then played 11 out of 13 games at home. Before their loss to Florida on Monday, they'd won four straight at home (one in OT and two in a shootout), so they're playing a little bit better. The Bruins are one of those teams that the Pens could be competing against for the last playoff spot, so it would be nice to make sure they come away from tonight's game with zero points.
On the road, the Bruins are only 2-4-1. They are tied for the second worst PK in the league at 75.9%, and have allowed 14 goals in 48 chances on the road. This means they're averaging almost 7 short-handed situations per game on the road. Certainly the Penguins should be able to take advantage of this.
The Pens need to toughen up their PK. They started out the season really well, but are starting to slip back to number similar to last year. Right now, they're at an 82% efficiency rate on the PK, and that won't bode well for long term success. They allowed three PP goals by the Flyers on Monday night.
The Pens also seem to have a "magic formula" - they haven't lost this season when they've scored at least four goals. In fact, their record when scoring 3 or less is 2-7-2, and when scoring 4 or more is 8-0-0. Crank up the offense!
Let's hope that Sidney's groin isn't serious, and that Army can net his first goal tonight - he was close the other night a few times.
Let's Go Pens!