Sidney Crosby certainly isn't lacking for accolades, but the NHL bestowed yet another one on him nonetheless. Fresh off being named the NHL's Second Star of the Week, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain will look to guide his team to its sixth straight victory when it hosts the Boston Bruins on Tuesday. Riding an eight-game point streak (five goals, 15 assists), Crosby highlighted the surge by matching a career high with five helpers in the Penguins' 6-1 triumph over the New York Islanders on Sunday.
Boston is surging in its own right after overcoming an early two-goal deficit to record a 3-2 shootout victory over Northeast Division rival Ottawa on Monday. David Krejci scored the decisive tally in the fourth round of the bonus format and added an assist to extend his point streak to five contests while playing in his 400th career NHL game. Boston improved to 9-1-1 in its last 11 contests while setting a franchise-best 12-game road record to start a season (9-1-2).
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports, RDS
ABOUT THE BRUINS (17-3-3): Center Chris Kelly suffered an injury to his left leg after colliding with Ottawa's Chris Neil in the second period. He did not return to the contest and will be re-evaluated prior to Tuesday's tilt. Boston killed off both of Ottawa's power plays to improve upon its top-ranked penalty kill. The Bruins have thwarted 82-of-91 opportunities (92.3 percent), but the Penguins recorded a power-play goal in 15 of their last 18 games. Tuukka Rask turned aside 30 shots Monday, but may give way to Anton Khudobin (4-1-0, 2.41 goals-against average).
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (18-8-0): Evgeni Malkin is expected to be sidelined 1-to-2 weeks with an upper-body injury. The reigning Hart Trophy winner and two-time Art Ross Trophy recipient was blasted by Toronto's James van Riemsdyk during the late stages of the third period Saturday. Malkin sat out Sunday's contest with the ailment, which coach Dan Bylsma maintained is not a concussion. A concussion was to blame earlier in the season, however, as Malkin missed four games following an incident against Florida on Feb. 22. The Penguins have won three of five contests without Malkin in 2013.
1. Pittsburgh LW Chris Kunitz recorded his fourth career hat trick - and second this season - by collecting three goals and two assists Sunday. Kunitz has 11 tallies in his last nine games.
2. Like Kunitz, teammate James Neal also has 17 goals. Neal has points in eight straight home games, but has scored only twice in eight career contests versus the Bruins.
3. With his next victory, coach Claude Julien (245) will move past Milt Schmidt for the second-most wins in Boston history. Art Ross leads the club with 361 victories.
PREDICTION: Penguins 4, Bruins 3