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The Boston Bruins (28-9-12, 68 points) will visit the Pittsburgh Penguins (30-13-5, 65 points) in an NHL game between two of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference. Boston defeated the Penguins 4-1 on Thursday on their home ice at TD Garden and lead the Atlantic division by six points over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Pittsburgh is coming off a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday and sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division four points behind first-place Washington and five points ahead of the third-place New York Islanders. Star center Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal for Pittsburgh and its victory over the Red Wings in just his second game back from a two-month layoff due to an injury.
Bruins lead in the Atlantic division is slowly shrinkingAlthough the Bruins defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Thursday their lead in the Atlantic division has shrunk to just six points over the surging Tampa Bay Lightning. At one point, Boston led by as many as 15 points in the Atlantic division. The Bruins own one of hockey's best lines and goaltender tandems and are allowing just 2.49 goals per game.
Patrice Bergeron, the #NHLBruins, and @985TheSportsHub teamed up for the 2020 Pucks & Paddles ping pong tournament on Friday, raising $125,000 for Floating Hospital for Children at @TuftsMedicalCtr.— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 18, 2020
📸 Full Photo Gallery: https://t.co/HB8b7UILn8 pic.twitter.com/qf7sLedcki
David Pastrnak leads all Bruins skaters with 36 goals and in points with 68. Brad Marchand is the assists leader with 43 that includes 17 assists on the power play. The Bruins are allowing an average of 2.49 goals per game while scoring an average of 3.33 goals per game. The Bruins power play sits at 26.6% while the penalty kill is a solid 83.3%.
Penguins Climbing the Metropolitan Division StandingsPittsburgh lost to the Bruins earlier this week but bounced back with a win over the Detroit Red Wings and has won five of its last six. The improved play by the Penguins has helped Pittsburgh move to within just four points of first place in the Metropolitan Division. With Sidney Crosby back on the ice the Penguins hope to make a run over the second half of the season.
Bryan Rust is the leader in goals scored for Pittsburgh with 20. Evgeni Malkin is the leader in assists with 34 as well as in points with 49. Pittsburgh has a power play of 20.3% and a penalty kill of 81.4%. The Penguins are allowing an average of 2.71 goals per game while generating an average of 3.35 goals per game.
- Pittsburgh is 8-1 in the last nine vs. an opponent with a record over .500
- The Penguins are 8-1 in the last nine games when playing on just one day's rest
- Boston is 1-2 in its last three
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Pittsburgh Penguins have suffered through numerous injuries to their top offensive players, but the Penguins sit in third place in the Eastern Conference just three points behind second-place Boston. At home the Penguins are an impressive 17-5-3 which is second in the NHL to just the St. Louis Blues. The Penguins have won 19 of their last 26 overall and love to play on Sundays evidenced by winning 29 of the last 41.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Penguins
Full-Game Total Pick
The total has gone over in five of the last six played between the Bruins and Penguins on Pittsburgh's home ice and in 10 of the last 13 games overall between the two Eastern Conference rivals. Pittsburgh has seen the total go over in five of the last six when the opposition has a winning record.