NHL On Tap: Bruins host Penguins, look to climb in East Division

Bruins look to continue success against Penguins

The Boston Bruins will host the Pittsburgh Penguins with an opportunity to gain ground in the MassMutual East Division (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN, NESN, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV). The Bruins, who are 3-1-0 against the Penguins this season, trail them by seven points but have played four fewer games. Pittsburgh went 12-3-1 in March, and their 25 points during the month were second in the NHL to the Colorado Avalanche (27). The game features two of the best forward lines in the NHL: the Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak (combined 37 goals this season) against the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust (combined 42 goals). Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin (lower body) and goalie Tristan Jarry (upper body), and Boston goalie Tuukka Rask (upper body) are not expected to play because of injuries. — Pete Jensen, senior fantasy editor

Senators return after six-day layoff

The Ottawa Senators will be well rested when they host the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, TSN2, NHL.TV). It will be the first game for the Senators since a 3-2 overtime loss at home to the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 25. The extended break was due to the rescheduling of games against Montreal on Saturday and Tuesday because of NHL COVID-19 protocols. If the Senators need an example of how quickly teams can shake off the rust after a lengthy gap between games, they need only look at the Canadiens. Playing their first game in 10 days due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, the Canadiens returned to the ice Tuesday, scored 18 seconds into the game and defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-0. The Senators are 3-2-0 against the Canadiens this season; four of the five games have been decided by one goal. — Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

Predators hoping for lucky seven

The Nashville Predators will look to extend the longest active winning streak in the NHL to seven games when they host the Dallas Stars (8 p.m. ET; BSSO, BSSW, NHL.TV). The six-game streak is the longest by the Predators since a 10-0-0 stretch in 2017-18. Nashville defenseman Roman Josi needs one point to become the all-time leading NHL scorer among Switzerland-born players. He scored a goal in a 3-2 overtime win against the Stars on Tuesday to give him 434 points (113 goals, 321 assists) in 662 games, tying him with former NHL defenseman Mark Streit. Predators rookie forward Eeli Tolvanen has three goals and six assists during a six-game point streak, the longest by a rookie in the NHL this season. Dallas rookie forward Jason Robertson scored 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 17 games in March, becoming the second Stars rookie with at least that many points in a single month since the franchise moved to Texas in 1993, joining Jere Lehtinen in February 1996 (16 points in 13 games). — Mike G. Morreale, staff writer

Thursday schedule

Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+, SN, NESN, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

The Penguins begin a six-game road trip with two straight against the Bruins, who are 4-1-1 in their past six games.

New York Rangers at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m. ET (MSG-B, MSG, NHL.TV)

The Sabres play the second of a back to back after getting their first win in 18 games (0-15-3), 6-1 against the Philadelphia Flyers 6-1 in Buffalo on Wednesday. Rangers forward Ryan Strome has points in an NHL career-high 10 consecutive games (two goals, 13 assists). Defenseman Adam Fox has points in eight straight (two goals, 13 assists).

Washington Capitals at New York Islanders, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+, MSG+, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

The Islanders, who are 13-1-2 at Nassau Coliseum this season, begin a six-game homestand two points behind the Capitals for first in the MassMutual East Division. Washington has allowed four third-period goals in each of its past two games.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m. ET (BSSUN, BSOH, NHL.TV)

The Lightning will try to end a season-long three-game losing streak. Columbus ended a four-game skid (0-3-1) with a 3-1 victory at Tampa Bay on Tuesday behind 37 saves from goalie Elvis Merzlikins, 20 in the second period.

Detroit Red Wings at Florida Panthers, 7 p.m. ET (BSFL, BSDET, NHL.TV)

The Red Wings and Panthers conclude their eight-game season series. Florida is 12-2-1 in its past 15 games against Detroit, including 5-2-0 this season.

Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators, 7 p.m. ET (TSN5, RDS, TSN2, NHL.TV)

The Canadiens are scheduled to play 24 games in the final 41 days of the regular season. The Senators start a run of 20 games in a 40-day stretch.

Carolina Hurricanes at Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

The Blackhawks are tied with the Nashville Predators for fourth in the eight-team Discover Central Division, where the top four teams will make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Forward Patrick Kane has scored seven points (one goal, six assists) during a five-game point streak. The Hurricanes are third in the division, one point behind the Lightning and Panthers.

Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. ET (BSSO, BSSW, NHL.TV)

The Stars are 1-2-3 in their past six games, seven points out of fourth place in the Central and four ahead of the last-place Red Wings one season after a six-game loss to the Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final. Predators forward Eeli Tolvanen’s six-game point streak is one behind forward Filip Forsberg‘s Nashville rookie record, set in 2014-15.

Minnesota Wild at Vegas Golden Knights, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN, SN, ATTSN-RM, BSN, BSWI+, NHL.TV)

The Golden Knights are out of first place in the Honda West Division for the first time since Feb. 21 but can reclaim the top spot from the Colorado Avalanche with a victory against the Wild. Minnesota is 0-4-1 in its past five road games.

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