National Hockey League
Preview
Boston at Pittsburgh
When: 3:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 22, 2017
Where: PPG PAINTS Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Boston tries to snap a three-game losing streak when it visits the explosive Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday in what could be the final game for the winningest coach in Bruins history. The rumblings concerning Claude Julien's job security are getting louder after Friday's 1-0 loss to Chicago dropped Boston to 8-10-5 in its last 23 games as it clings to a playoff spot in the crowded Eastern Conference and tries to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs after a two-season drought.

“Well I’m not into shock journalism so I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind,” Julien, who won 416 games and a Stanley Cup in nine-plus seasons in Boston, told reporters when asked about his employment. Pittsburgh, the defending Stanley Cup champion, is firing on all cylinders as it scored 19 goals during a three-game winning streak, including a 7-1 victory at Carolina on Friday. "I get to watch this group from the back end each night," Penguins goaltender Matt Murray (16-4-1) told reporters after making 27 saves. "We know we have a good group in here and we have a good team. When we play the way we can, we can take over a game like we did (Friday)." Pittsburgh won the first of three meetings this season 4-3 on Dec. 14 on Bryan Rust's overtime goal to snap a five-game slide in the series.

TV: 3 p.m. ET, NHL Network, Sportsnet, NESN (Boston), ROOT (Pittsburgh)

ABOUT THE BRUINS (23-20-6): Brad Marchand leads the club with 28 assists and 45 points after recording two of his 17 goals and seven points in two of the last four games with Boston getting shut out in the other pair. David Pastrnak (club-high 19 goals) hasn't scored in the last 16 contests and is minus-3 during that span, dropping his team-best rating to plus-14. Tuukka Rask (22-11-4, 2.08 goals-against average, .920 save percentage) is 3-5-1 with an .884 save percentage in January.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (29-11-5): On a team loaded with at least a pair of future Hall of Famers, Conor Sheary (15 goals, 31 points) is emerging as more than a support player with four goals in his last three games and six in seven January contests. "(Sheary) really has a nose for the net,'' Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan told reporters. "He's an elusive guy. He's an undersized guy (5-8, 175 pounds), but he plays with a ton of courage. He goes to the battle areas and he's in the traffic. He's not afraid to go there." Sidney Crosby, who is 11 points shy of 1,000, leads the NHL with 27 goals but scored only once during the three-game winning streak while Evgeni Malkin (team-high 52 points) scored five of his 22 goals in the last four games and is five assists shy of 500.

OVERTIME

1. The Penguins had the third-best power play through Friday's games at 23.2 percent (6-for-21 in seven January games) while the Bruins owned the No. 2 penalty-killing unit at 87.1, extinguishing all 11 short-handed situations over the past three contests.

2. Pittsburgh D Justin Schultz boasts team bests of seven goals and 25 assists among blueliners, recording six assists in his last three games.

3. Boston won five of the last seven meetings in Pittsburgh (5-1-1), including playoffs.

PREDICTION: Penguins 7, Bruins 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Boston 23-20-4-2 L3 10-12-0-0 13-8-4-2 6-1-1-0 17-19-3-2 12-5-0-1
Pittsburgh 29-11-4-1 W3 19-2-2-0 10-9-2-1 1-1-0-0 28-10-4-1 12-5-0-0
Last Meeting
Boston Pittsburgh
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
12/14/16 BOS 3 PIT 4 (OT) 44 33 0-4 37 41 2-4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Boston D. Pastrnak 2
Pittsburgh J. Schultz 3
Goals Player  
Boston D. Krejci 1
Pittsburgh N. Bonino 1
Assists Player  
Boston D. Backes 1
Pittsburgh J. Schultz 2
Saves Player  
Boston T. Rask 33
Pittsburgh M. Murray 41
Season
Total Points Player  
Boston B. Marchand 45
Pittsburgh E. Malkin 54
Goals Player  
Boston D. Pastrnak 21
Pittsburgh S. Crosby 27
Assists Player  
Boston B. Marchand 28
Pittsburgh E. Malkin 31
Saves Player  
Boston T. Rask 921
Pittsburgh M. Fleury 838
Quickchart Matchup
Boston Off vs  Pittsburgh Def
2.45 GF
2.93 GA
33.9 Shots
32.1 Shots
26 PP
33 PK
Pittsburgh Off vs  Boston Def
3.6 GF
2.49 GA
34.6 Shots
26.5 Shots
36 PP
21 PK