NHL Hockey Las Vegas Prediction: Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins
Sunday, March 17, 2013
by Tomas Lopez
The Pittsburgh Penguins are riding high on the strength of an eight-game winning streak. The Boston Bruins were in prime position to end Pittsburgh's impressive stretch on Tuesday before squandering a two-goal lead en route to a 3-2 setback. The Bruins will look to redeem themselves on Sunday afternoon when they return to the Consol Energy Center to face the Penguins.
Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside all 23 shots he faced to set a franchise record with his 23rd career shutout on Saturday in Pittsburgh's 3-0 triumph over the New York Rangers. Fleury may take the role of a spectator with the Penguins playing on back-to-back days. In that light, Tomas Vokoun would get the call as Pittsburgh attempts to secure its fourth straight victory over Boston.
Boston Bruins (19-4-3): Nathan Horton and David Krejci collected a goal and two assists apiece as Boston avenged an early-season meltdown to Washington by posting a 4-1 victory over the Capitals on Saturday afternoon. Anton Khudobin, who finished with 32 saves, was solid in net on Tuesday prior to Pittsburgh's third-period uprising. Tuukka Rask has won three straight starts, but is just 1-2-0 in his career versus the Penguins.
Pittsburgh Penguins (21-8-0): Chris Kunitz started Pittsburgh's late surge against Boston by scoring with 6:18 remaining in the third period. Kunitz, who has collected 11 goals and seven assists in his last 10 contests, has seven tallies and 10 points in 14 career games versus the Bruins. Pittsburgh, which scored a power-play goal on Saturday, is just 5-for-31 with the man advantage in its last nine contests. Boston, which boasts the league's best penalty kill, has thwarted 25 straight short-handed opportunities.
1. Boston D Andrew Ference, who turns 34 on Sunday, gave himself an early birthday gift by scoring his first goal versus Washington.
2. Pittsburgh LW Pascal Dupuis has netted seven goals in his last six games, but was held off the scoresheet versus the Bruins.
3. Boston captain Zdeno Chara opened the scoring versus the Penguins on Tuesday. Chara, who turns 36 on Monday, is riding a four-game point streak.
NHL Hockey Prediction: Bruins 3, Penguins 2.