Penguins Notebook: No place like home for weary Bruins
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The Penguins have been to Sweden for two games and home for a four-game run. Tonight, they play a team that, by comparison, has been downright nomadic.
The Boston Bruins began the season with four road games. Their 4-2 win Saturday at Ottawa gave them a 2-1-1 start after games in Colorado, Minnesota and Montreal.
Matchup: Penguins at Boston Bruins, 7:08 p.m., TD Banknorth Garden, Boston.
TV, radio: FSN Pittsburgh, WXDX-FM (105.9).
Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury for Penguins. Tim Thomas for Bruins.
Penguins: F Evgeni Malkin has 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists) the past two games, was tied for NHL lead with 10 points and led with 8 assists through yesterday. ... After a slow start, have scored on 8 of past 21 power-play chances with at least one goal in five games in a row. ... Have one win in regulation.
Bruins: C Marc Savard was tied for third in NHL with 9 points. ... Were fifth in league with 3.75 goals a game. ... Were tied for 28th in penalty killing, 70.6 percent.
Hidden stat: Penguins C Sidney Crosby's ice time average of 22:54 through yesterday ranked fifth in NHL among forwards.
Now they get a chance to finally play their home opener, against the Penguins at TD Banknorth Garden.
"It's been a long camp and a four-game road trip," Bruins center Marc Savard told the Boston Globe. "That was our goal -- go home over .500 and go from there."
The Bruins have seen enough of opponents' early season celebrations.
"I'm tired of listening to other teams' chants and listening to everyone else's grand opening and anniversary ceremonies," defenseman Aaron Ward wrote on his blog. "I am so sick of sitting around on their blue lines listening to how great their organization is, and I can't wait to see a lot of black and gold in the stands at the Garden."
The Penguins, meanwhile, will be playing what could be considered their first true road game after going 2-1-1 on their homestand. They and Ottawa each were credited with a home game in Stockholm, even though that was essentially a neutral site as part of NHL Premiere.
Several minutes after his teammates were out of their pads and skates and moving around the Penguins locker room and training area Saturday night after a 4-1 win against Toronto, Sidney Crosby remained seated at his stall, still partly in uniform.
Looking relaxed and maybe a little relieved after a breakout game with a goal and three assists, the center and team captain finished his interviews and was chatting with a few stragglers when equipment manager Dana Heinze handed him three souvenir pucks.
One was from Crosby's 100th career goal, one from his 200th assist and one from his 300th point. He held them for a photo.
Then Evgeni Malkin sat next to Crosby and they posed with the puck that Crosby scored with -- which also was Malkin's 200th career point, an assist.
With one puck representing milestones for two players, Crosby proposed a solution.
They plan to have the puck sawed in half.
The Penguins and Bruins were given the day off from practice by their respective coaches. ... Top-line winger P.J. Axelsson missed Boston's game Saturday because of muscle spasms. Coach Claude Julien said it wasn't serious and Axelsson could return tonight.
First Published October 20, 2008 12:00 am