(SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to avoid losing three straight games for the first time this season on Monday night as they visit the Boston Bruins.
Pittsburgh was swept in a home-and-home set by the New York Islanders, falling in a shootout in its home portion on Friday before getting topped 4-1 on Long Island the following night.
Evgeni Malkin scored a first-period goal for the Penguins, but the Islanders tied things up in the second frame and then scored three times in the third period. Backup goaltender Thomas Greiss stopped the first 21 shots he faced and ended with 31 saves in all.
In losing two straight for the first time since Oct. 22-23, the Pens fell into a tie with the Isles for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
"We didn't give a very big push in the third period to give ourselves a chance to win," said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who was held to one shot and zero points in the two-game set. "They raised their level and we didn't."
Pittsburgh hasn't lost three games in a row since March 23-27 of last season is likely to start Marc-Andre Fleury in tonight's game.
Fleury was denied in his first bid at 300 career wins with the loss to the Islanders on Friday and is 11-6-3 lifetime versus the Bruins with a 2.31 goals against average, .922 save percentage and two shutouts.
The Bruins had a three-game winning streak halted on Saturday with a 2-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, who got 33 saves from Carey Price.
Tuukka Rask allowed both goals on 23 shots for the Bruins, who have lost all three of their meetings with the rival Habs this season.
"If there's something we're going to critique here it's probably the fact that we didn't put enough pucks on net and get some net-front presence," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "We tried in the third to rectify that and did a little bit better, but unfortunately it wasn't enough and the goaltender was standing tall for them."
Boston remains without defensemen Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuaid and were short three regular forwards on Saturday due to undisclosed injuries. David Krejci sat out for the eighth time in 10 games, Brad Marchand missed his third contest in a row and Chris Kelly sat out after getting hurt the previous night versus Columbus.
The Bruins had lost seven straight to the Penguins before winning the final two meetings of last season. Both of those victories came in Boston.
Rask is 3-5-0 with a 2.65 GAA and .907 save percentage lifetime versus the Penguins.