NHL Game Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins - Date: 11/24/2017 Time: 1:00 PM EST Venue: TD Garden , Boston, Mass., 02114 / BOSTON -- Anton Khudobin doesn't really have any answers. He just knows it's all working for him." I don't know. Fighting Predictions. The puck is the same size," the goaltender said Wednesday night after stopping 40 shots in 65 minutes and then turning aside 10 more in a lengthy shootout that gave the Bruins -- and Khudobin -- their third straight win. "Kind of joking around saying the puck is bigger right now ... but maybe hard work pays off." The victory in New Jersey came after wins in Los Angeles and San Jose. And Khudobin, the alleged backup to Tuukka Rask, has stopped 99 of 103 shots on goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins visit for a Black Friday matinee -- presumably with Khudobin in the Boston goal. Khudobin is 11-0-2 in his last 13 games dating back to last season. His hot streak has come at a perfect time, while Rask has opened the season with a 3-7-2 mark." He's been playing great hockey," said rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who ended the long shootout against the Devils with a goal against Corey Schneider. "He gave us a chance tonight when they put the pressure on -- he bailed me out a couple times. When you have a goalie that makes 10 saves in the shootout you owe it to him to get those two points." "Doby," as they call him, leads the league with a .938 save percentage and is third with a 2.13 goals-against average. As far as playing him until this stops, coach Bruce Cassidy said Wednesday, "The only decision (on Thursday) is how much turkey to have. Good problem to have. I don't think we can go wrong with whomever we have in there Friday. Gotta give the guy credit, he's been really good for us ... Doby's feeling it right now." Khudobin is 1-2 with a 2.39 GAA and .929 save percentage against the Penguins (Rask is 9-6-2). Cassidy said Rask isn't thrilled to be sitting but understands what's going on and backs his teammate. While the Bruins (9-7-4) have their first three-game winning streak of the season and continue dealing with injuries, the defending-champion Penguins (11-9-3) are coming off a 5-2 home loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Sports Handicapping Service Units Gained. The Pens have lost two straight and are just 4-6-2 after a 7-3-1 start. Sports Handicapper Scams. They have scored three goals in their last two games. While the Bruins played without both Brad Marchand and Torey Krug Wednesday night, Pittsburgh lost Evgeni Malkin to an upper-body injury." He's not going to travel with us to Boston," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Thursday. "We'll evaluate him when we come back. One of the reasons he's not going to travel with us is because it's an afternoon game and he's got an opportunity to skate here." Sullivan said Malkin could return Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Center Carter Rowney, who has missed the last 14 games with an upper-body injury, is skating and closing in on a return, saying, "It feels like I've been out for months on months right now. I'm at the end here hopefully, and as long as there's no setbacks or anything like that, I'll hopefully be back soon." Pittsburgh hasn't scored an even-strength goal in the two straight losses." It's never easy when you don't win," Sullivan said. "Our expectation when we go into every game is that we're going to win. That's the standard that's been set here, so when you don't have success, that's never an easy experience. I've never been one to take losing very easily, and I don't think our players are either. We've got a very competitive group and I think they have an expectation to win as well. I think the important thing is that we react and respond the right way." Matt Murray, 11-6-1 this season, is 2-1 in three career starts against the Bruins, posting a 2.67 GAA and .937 save percentage. The Bruins have swept the three games from the Penguins at TD Garden the past two seasons, but the Pens won last year's two games in Pittsburgh for a 2-1 series win.
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