With Crosby Back, Penguins March Over Bruins For 2nd Straight Win

Jimmy Murphy

Thursday, November 22, 2018 5:00 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018 5:00 PM UTC

It will bethe March of The Penguins and a really Black Friday for the Bruins, as Sidney Crosby and the Pens march out of Boston with a win!

Murphy: 32-28-2

Pittsburgh (8-8-4, 8-12 ATS) at Boston (11-6-4, 11-10 ATS)Friday, 7:30 PM ETFree NHL Pick: Penguins PLBest Line Offered: Bovada

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Sid is back. I repeat, Sid is back!

The return of Sidney Crosby and the Mash camp that is the Boston Bruins, amazingly wasn’t enough for the oddsmakers to make the Pens the favorite in this Black Friday nightcap in Boston, but you should be grateful for this bargain price and jump all over Pittsburgh to get their second straight win, after losing 4 straight, and 3 without their captain who was out with an upper-body injury. Crosby returned Wednesday in Pittsburgh to get a goal and an assist and pace the Penguins to a 5-1 win over the Dallas Stars. Pittsburgh will now try to build some momentum with another win in Boston and climb back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Meanwhile, the Bruins continue to be the walking wounded. Already playing with a depleted blue line, they found out last Saturday they would be without captain Zdeno Chara (knee) for at least 4 weeks and then on Wednesday they got even worse news, that they will be missing star center, and the heart and soul of their team, Patrice Bergeron for at least the same amount of time, if not more.

Bergeron sustained a rib and sternoclavicular injury in last Friday's overtime loss at Dallas. While Boston has battled valiantly through these injuries and somehow was able to accumulate 4 points, going 1-1-2 on their recent four-game roadie, there’s only so much any team can take and sooner or later it will catch up to them. The fact that two of their longtime anchor players in Bergeron and Chara are out for at least a month each, makes it difficult to take them in any games for the foreseeable future.

One thing that might be worth dabbling in though is the under in Bruins games. The last 3 Boston games have gone under as head coach Bruce Cassidy is forced to play a conservative system to alleviate the injuries, especially on the blue line. Overall, the B’s are 6-14-1 and 3-5-1 on the 'over/under' this season. Boston has scored 60 goals and allowed 52. The Bruins are 11-10 against the spread and 7-2 at home. They’re 12-9 on the puck line and 6-3 at home.

The injured Bergeron still leads the team in points with 26 and assists with 17. David Pastrnak leads the team with 17 goals, but hasn’t scored in the first two games his linemate Bergeron missed. In fact, Pastrnak and Marchand have been held pointless as the league’s best line will be no more for at least a month. Bergeron’s absence means center David Krejci will need to step up. He enters this game with 2 goals and 14 assists.

The Penguins are 8-12 against the spread and 4-5 on the road. Pittsburgh has scored 69 goals and allowed 67. They’re 8-8-4 on the 'over/under' and 4-4-1 on the road. The Pens are 7-13 on the puck line and 4-5 on the road. With the Penguins’ struggles so far, they’ve gone from +1100 to +1600. Given the skill they still have and the fact GM Jim Rutherford will not stand still and likely still make a major move to improve his club, they’re definitely worth a future bet right now! Evgeni Malkin leads the team in points with 28 and assists with 20 helpers. Phil Kessel leads the team in goals with 10 lamplighters. Crosby has 9 goals and 13 assists.

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Hornqvist: \"Wow! 87! What a delicious goal!\" pic.twitter.com/cNtCbEoeEi

— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) 22 de novembro de 2018
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Goaltending Matchup

Casey DeSmith could be taking over the top spot between the pipes in Pittsburgh. Head Coach Mike Sullivan surprised everyone on Wednesday when he broke the then rotation he had going with DeSmith and incumbent starter Matt Murray and gave the former the start. DeSmith delivered, making 18 saves in the win to improve to 4-3-0-3 with a 2.39 GAA and .924 save percentage. Murray is 4-5-0-1 with a 4.08 GAA and .877 save percentage.

For the Bruins, Tuukka Rask has been brilliant in his last two starts, despite the Bruins losing both in overtime. He stopped a combined 60 out of 64 shots against in those two games and is now 4-4-0-2 with a 2.80 GAA and .909 save percentage. Jaro Halak, who should get the start Friday, is 7-2-0-2 with a 2.07 GAA and .935 save percentage.

M*A*S*H Report
  • For the Penguins, forward Matt Cullen (lower-body injury) is out indefinitely.
  • Defenseman Justin Schultz (leg) is on injured reserve.
  • For the Bruins, in addition to Chara and Bergeron, defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Urho Vaakanainen are nearing returns and day-to-day with concussions. Defenseman Brandon Carlo is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Prediction: Penguins 4, Bruins 1

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