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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 7th (All times Eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (20-9-1) at Boston Bruins (18-8-2), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Thanks to the play of Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins don't need to rush Evgeni Malkin back from his current injury.

Malkin is expected to miss his second straight game on Saturday night when the streaking Penguins visit the Boston Bruins for the final time this season.

Most teams would be left scrambling when a player like Malkin went down late with an injury, but most teams don't have Crosby. The superstar forward leads the NHL with 41 points (Malkin is second with 37) and notched three assists in Thursday's 5-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

Chris Kunitz scored twice during a four-goal second period for the Pens and praised the play of Crosby afterwards.

"He did so many things, little things people don't always see," Kunitz said of Crosby. "He just dominated."

Malkin missed the game with a lower-body injury that caused him to leave the morning skate early. He is day-to-day, but did not travel to Boston.

In his absence, Crosby ran his assist total to 26 on the season in his 500th career game. It was a long-awaited milestone for the 26-year-old, who had dealt with injury during his career. That includes a right ankle ailment early in his career and serious concussion that caused him to miss the last 41 games of the 2010-11 campaign and limited him to just 22 contests the following season.

Still, Crosby has notched 253 goals and 453 assists for 706 points in his eight-plus seasons.

"Looking back I probably think about how many I've missed more than playing 500," Crosby said prior to the game. "But it's been great. It's gone by quick, that's for sure. But to get to 500 is definitely a nice number."

Crosby wasn't the only star of Thursday's game as Marc-Andre Fleury made a season-high 44 saves. Pascal Dupuis, Jayson Megna and Kris Letang also scored, though Dupuis suffered an undisclosed injury in the victory over one of the top teams of the Western Conference.

Andrew Ebbett has also been placed on injured reserve due to a broken ankle, so the Pens recalled forward Harry Zolnierczyk from the American Hockey League on Friday. He has notched a team-leading nine goals in 18 games with Wilkes- Barre/Scranton this season.

Pittsburgh has now won a season-high five straight games since an overtime loss to Boston on Nov. 25. The Bruins saw first-hand just how dangerous Crosby can be as he netted a game-tying goal with just 0.3 seconds left in the third period.

However, the Bruins rebounded on Torey Krug's tally 34 seconds into the bonus frame for a 4-3 win that snapped the Penguins' seven-game series winning streak.

Pittsburgh also lost for the first time in its last seven trips to Boston.

This is the third and final meeting of the regular season between the clubs. Fleury and Boston's Tuukka Rask have split the first two contests, with Fleury going 11-5-3 with a 2.28 goals against average in his career versus the Bruins.

Rask is 2-5-0 with a 2.74 GAA in his career against the Penguins. He made 25 saves in Thursday's 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Gregory Campbell scored the only goal for the Bruins, who were 6-1-1 in their previous eight games and fell a point behind the Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic Division.

Already without defenseman Adam McQuaid due to a nagging lower-body issue, fellow blueliner Johnny Boychuk left the game early in the contest. He was hurt while battling at the left-corner boards with Montreal's Max Pacioretty, who pushed Boychuk into the boards head first.

Boychuk laid on the ice for several minutes with trainers attending to him. He was conscious the whole time and his whole body was immobilized before he was carted off the ice on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital.

Head coach Claude Julien said after the game that Boychuk was cleared to fly back to Boston with the team and did not know the severity of the injury.

He wouldn't blame the setback on the loss of the defenseman either.

"You've got to take the blame for what you did and didn't do," said Julien. "We didn't show up for the second period and allowed them to score two goals on us. That's the only place that cost us the game."

Boston begins a four-game road trip with a stop in Toronto on Sunday.

12/07 10:37:29 ET

Other Stories

Hurricanes

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Kentucky at Missouri

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. St. Louis

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ND 77
DUKE 73
Final
SAN 95
CHA 86
Final
NCSU 57
CLEM 68
Final
MEM 70
ECU 58
Final
PHI 89
DET 69
Final
CLE 99
POR 94
Final
TOR 119
SAC 102
Final
MIN 110
BOS 98
Final
ATL 113
BRK 102
Final
HOU 99
DAL 94
Final
NOP 85
DEN 93
Final
NYK 100
OKC 92
Final
SAN 95
CHA 86
Final
UTA 89
LAC 94
Final
PHO 106
WAS 98
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
MIL
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
NYK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
CHI
 
Final
VERM 44
GTDNS 47
 
Final
NAVY 64
AMER 54
 
Final
UMBC 56
BING 68
 
Final
JMU 88
DEL 82
 
Final
RICH 86
DUQ 55
Final
UNCW 82
ELON 65
 
Final
USB 72
HART 66
 
Final
WMARY 100
HOF 79
 
Final
COL 54
LAF 59
 
Final
PSU 63
MINN 58
Final
MAINE 58
UNH 63
 
Final
DREX 65
NE 60
 
Final
FORD 63
RIU 64
Final
SFLA 52
SMU 63
Final
MARQ 70
SHU 80
Final
LSU 64
SCAR 58
Final
UCF 62
TEMPL 86
Final
LONG 64
UNCA 74
 
Final
FSU 82
WAKE 76
Final
CCAR 68
WINT 75
 
Final
OU 84
WRST 76
 
Final
ND 77
DUKE 73
7:30pm Wednesday
GHND 0
HC 0
 
Final
CSOU 77
RAD 84
 
Final
OKLA 81
TTU 36
Final
BRAD 57
DRAK 69
 
Final
BUCK 68
LEH 62
 
Final
WICHS 58
LOYC 47
Final
ILLST 67
MIZST 57
 
Final
PEAY 69
MORE 82
 
Final
SDKST 86
NEOM 64
 
Final
ARST 73
ORST 55
Final
HOU 59
RICE 48
Final
SILL 52
NIOWA 59
Final
NCSU 57
CLEM 68
Final
MEM 70
ECU 58
Final
MIAMI 50
GT 70
Final
PURD 83
IND 67
Final
TCU 61
KU 64
Final
BC 72
LOU 81
Final
MISS 79
MSST 73
Final
CREI 77
STJ 74
Final
SJST 52
AFA 66
Final
ARZ 90
OREG 56
Final
WASH 74
STAN 84
2:00pm Today
PROV
DEP
 
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RUTG
MSU
 
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ARMY
BU
 
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RFLSH
BRY
 
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MERC
CHAT
 
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LIU
CCST
 
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TOWS
COC
 
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UMASS
DAY
 
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FUR
ETST
 
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ODU
FIU
 
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RMU
FD
 
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CHAR
FATL
 
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LIB
HIGH
 
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UNF
KNST
 
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FLGC
LIP
 
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OSU
MD
 
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Terriers
MNTER
 
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STET
NKENTUCKY
 
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WAGN
SHU
 
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GMAS
STLU
 
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JVU
USCU
 
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VMI
WCU
 
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LATU
WKENT
 
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UNCG
WOFF
 
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DET
YOUNG
 
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GSOUT
APP
 
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TENNM
EILL
 
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GHND
HC
 
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CIN
UCONN
 
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NDST
DEN
 
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SD
MAST
 
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UWMIL
ILLCH
 
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BEL
JVST
 
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SMISS
MARS
 
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TXSA
MTST
 
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PETE
RIDE
 
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SEMIZ
SIUE
 
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TENST
TENT
 
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NDAK
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SALA
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TXARL
UGST
 
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TROY
LAMON
 
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EKENT
 
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NCOL
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MIZZ
KENT
 
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GONZ
PORT
 
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UTEP
UAB
 
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GRCN
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WLVRN
CHIST
 
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USC
COL
 
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UCI
CPSL
 
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CSNO
HAW
 
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PAC
PEPP
 
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SDU
SCU
 
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UCD
UCSB
 
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UCLA
UTAH
 
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PORST
MONT
 
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SACST
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CSFU
LBSU
 
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GAELS
LMU
 
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WASU
CAL
 
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BYU
USF
 
Final
NJD 2
TOR 1
Final
WAS 4
PIT 0
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NYI
BOS
 
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NYR
MON
 
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PHI
WIN
 
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TOR
ARI
 
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FLA
CLB
 
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OTT
DAL
 
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TAM
DET
 
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STL
NAS
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CAL
MIN
 
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EDM
BUF
 
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ANA