Streaking Bruins visit Pens for matinee clash

( - The surging Boston Bruins will try to match their longest winning streak of the season when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins for Saturday's clash at Consol Energy Center.

The Bruins have won four straight tilts and carry a seven-game point streak (6-0-1) into this matinee battle in the Steel City. Boston has won five in a row twice this season, most recently from Jan. 7-15.

With 80 points, Boston holds a five-point lead over the Ottawa Senators for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins also sit two points behind Washington for the first wild card berth.

Boston is coming off Thursday's 3-2 shootout victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. Patrice Bergeron registered the deciding goal in the tiebreaker and Brad Marchand sealed the outcome.

Bergeron and David Pastrnak tallied in regulation for the Bruins, who had lost their previous seven contests decided in the shootout. Tuukka Rask made 35 saves.

"Since the trade deadline, I think a lot of guys have really felt like there's a sigh of relief and a belief 'it's time to play hockey,'" said B's head coach Claude Julien.

Ryan Spooner posted the primary assist on Pastrnak's goal, giving him a point for the seventh straight game (3G, 5A). Spooner's point streak is the longest for a Bruins rookie since Brad Boyes went seven in a row from March 11-21, 2006.

Boston is kicking off a two-game road trip this afternoon and will visit Washington on Sunday. The Bruins have won three straight as the guest, pushing their away record this season to 14-12-5.

The Penguins, who sit third in the Metropolitan Division standings, are on a four-game point streak (3-0-1) and they own a 7-1-1 mark over the last nine games.

Pittsburgh is two points behind the New York Islanders for second in the division and six ahead of fourth-place Washington.

After going 2-1-1 on a four-game road trip, the Pens returned home and played the first of three straight at Consol on Thursday against Edmonton. Pittsburgh blew a four-goal lead to the lowly Oilers, but was able to grind out a 6-4 win in regulation.

Pittsburgh led 4-0 1:01 into the second period, but the Oilers battled back to tie the game with four straight goals, ending with Derek Roy's tally around the midway point of the third.

The Penguins, however, scored twice in a 1:06 span late in the third, starting with Steve Downie's tally with 5:22 to play. Patric Hornqvist scored 66 seconds after Downie to make it a 6-4 game.

Brandon Sutter scored twice and Sidney Crosby finished with a goal and two assists for the Penguins. Hornqvist and Downie each tallied a goal and an assist, David Perron also lit the lamp and Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves in the win.

"We got a little comfortable out there and we stopped skating, we stopped making plays," Downie said.

Evgeni Malkin recorded an assist in the win to give him 700 career points. The Russian forward became the fourth player in franchise history to tally 700 points with the team, joining Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Crosby.

Pittsburgh is 21-10-3 as the host this season and will complete this homestand tomorrow afternoon against Detroit.

The Bruins are 3-0-1 in the last four meetings with the Pens. Boston halted a four-game slide in Pittsburgh with a 3-2 overtime win on Jan. 7. Bergeron tallied the game winner in that contest.