The Boston Bruins (2-1-1) make their home opener at the TD Banknorth Garden tonight, after a four games road trip, and will face the Pittsburgh Penguins (3-2-1) of Sidney Crosby in what is expected to be a highly offensive matchup.
will play without P.J. Axelsson, their very reliable checking forward, as announced today by coach Claude Julien. Axelsson is out with an undisclosed injury, but should be back later on this week. Youngster Milan Lucic should take the first line spot along with Savard and Ryder, as it was the case in last game against Ottawa (a 4-2 win) .There's also a high chance that Tim Thomas will be in net, as he ended his workout first this morning. Marc Savard and Michael Ryder are red hot, both having a four games point streak in as many games played this season. Savard comes up with 5 goals and 4 assists, while Ryder posted 1 goal and 4 assists. Phil Kessel and Patrice Bergeron – who returns after missing last season to an injury – will be dominant threats from the second line, probably along with Marco Sturm. Chuck Kobasew is still out indefinitely with a fractured right leg suffered Oct. 9 in Colorado. Defensively, Zdeno Chara will be the focal point of the rearguard, but with few talent around him. In their lifetime series, the Bruins have a 60-17-6-1 record at home against the Penguins.
's side, it has been announced that Dany Sabourin will be in goal for tonight's game. This lets Marc-Andre Fleury having some rest on the bench. In defense, Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney are on the shelf, letting the first probable pair to Orpik and Letang. Up front, Michel Therrien made adjustments to his lines in the past game against Toronto (a 4-1 win), and there's a high chance that he goes the same way tonight in Boston. The main modification is putting Crosby and Malkin together on the top line, with Pascal Dupuis on the left wing. Both Crosby and Malkin had a 4 points night against Toronto while playing together. The other lines should be made of Fedotenko – Staal – Sykora, Kennedy – Talbot – Satan, and Cooke – Zigomanis – Godard.
So both teams should produce great offensive play with a lot of speed, but a lack of defensive quality. It should all comes down to the goalies, and the opposition Thomas vs Sabourin is clearly at the advantage of the Bruins netminder. Plus, it's the home opener for the Bruins, so they'll bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the game.
Bet on the Bruins
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