Now that most of their players are healthy again, the Boston Bruins (32-22-6) are back in playoff position in the Eastern Conference. They’ve won 11 of their last 18 games to vault into third place in the Atlantic; Boston’s opponents this Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins (30-20-8), are on an even bigger roll at 9-3-1 in their last 14, but injuries could halt their playoff push.
The Penguins, who sit in fourth place in the Metropolitan at press time, could be missing as many as five players when they arrive at the Garden Wednesday night (7:30 PM ET, NBCSN). The most important of the five: centre Evgeni Malkin (23 goals, 26 assists), who sat out the last nine games with a lower-body injury, believed to be his knee. Malkin is questionable to face the Bruins.
Boston’s lineup is almost completely intact, except for centre Chris Kelly, who was lost for the season back in November with a broken leg. Centre Ryan Spooner (illness) and defenseman Torey Krug (upper body) were both back in the lineup for Monday’s 4-6 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets (+140 away). Krug leads the Bruins’ power play with 12 assists.