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Bruins 5, Penguins 2 - 12-30-08

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

Greetings from a pleasant but chilly day in Pittsburgh.

-There's something very tranquil about watching a single Zamboni machine clean the ice to the Smashing Pumpkins' "1979."

A few jerseys we've spotted:

-We ran into EN reader Chris Esposito who ventured here all the way from New Jersey demanded to have his jersey posted as a jersey foul:

-A personalized jersey with his own name, number a hood and he had a "C" on the front of it? Yeah, Chris is a rebel without a cause.

-Another jersey foul here. A Minnesota Wild fan:

-Darius Kasparaitis:

-Ray Bourque and Phil Kessel:

-No jersey foul here. A Phil Esposito jersey:

-Shawn McEachern:

-This might be an all-timer here. Rick Kehoe:

-Warm ups:

 -The Penguins' scratches are the great Mike Zigomanis, Eric Godard and Kris Letang.

-The Penguins will go with seven defensemen tonight. Goligoski will be used on the wing. We're not liking that. It never seems to work when Michel Therrien and company go to it.

-Boston will scratch Patrice Bergeron and Matt Lashoff.

-Marc-Andre Fleury and Tim Thomas are your starting goaltenders.

-Jeff. Jim. Er. Son:

FIRST PERIOD

19:48: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"

19:25: Hal Gill collects a puck at the point. Lots of folks yell "Shooooottttt!!!!" But the apparently forgot it's... you know... Hal Gill. He fumbles the puck a bit and dumps it behind the nent

18:56: Phil Kessel fires a slapper from the slot which Fleury gloves easily.

18:36: Talbot steals a puck near the Boston net and tries to deke to the backhand for a shot. Thomas pokes it away at the last second. Nice play by Thomas.

18:01: Evgeni Malkin sets Petr Sykora up with two one-timers near the right faceoff circle which Thomas makes two fine kick saves on. Thomas is sharp here early.

17:18: Mark Eaton throws a wrister on n ent from the left point which hits Bruins yeti defenseman Zdeno Chara in front.

16:44: Shawn Thornton throws a wrist shot at the net from the right wing. Fleury gloves it.

16:30: Ryan Whitney sticks Stephane Yelle with a solid check into the boards near the penalty boxes.

15:39: Kessel snaps a shot off from the left wing which Fleury knocks down with his chest.

14:46: Michael Ryder tries to bring the puck around to the slot in front of the Penguins net but gets taken down by Eaton. That's two minutes for hooking. Rob Scuderi, Jordan Staal, Brooks Oprik and Pascal Dupuis

14:38: Ryder collects a loose puck in the slot but his shot appears to be deflected wide.

14:18: Ryder is set up with a nice pass in the slot but he can't control the puck. Dupuis jumps on it and clears it out.

13:34: Kessel and a teammate can't control a puck at their own blue blue line. Cooke steals it, gets behind Kessel and has a mini-breakaway. He shoots on the forehand but is denied by Thomas

12:48: Kessel clinks shot in close of the near post.

12:46: Eaton's penalty expires. The Penguins were fantastic and a little lucky on that penalty kill.

11:56: Yelle tries to knock down a deflected puck with his glove in the slot. Before he can punch it into an empty cage with his stick, Fleury makes a marvelous play and knocks it away with his stick. Fans offer "Flerrr-EEEE! Flerrrr-EEEE!" chants.

11:36: Pascal Dupuis comes up the right wing and blasts a slapper which Thomas absorbs. Play is halted. Fans give Fleury a standing ovation. This has been a pretty up-and-down game so far. Pretty entertaining.

10:57: Malkin gets knocked to the ice at his own blue line by Martin St. Pierre.

10:23: Malkin collects a loose puck behind his net and juussst avoids a big hit along the boards.

9:54: Sykora moves into the offensive zone and rifles a slapper on net. Thomas gloves it and freezes play.

9:31: Dennis Wideman moves into the Penguins zone and rips a low wrister. Fleury kicks it out. David Krejci jumps on the rebound and shoots it back on net. Fleury knocks it down and covers it.

8:52: Ryder sweeps a backhander into the slot. Fleury covers it up.

8:33: From the left point, Chara throws the puck at the net. Fleury kicks it away.

7:58: Kessel puts another shot on net. This time he fries a wrister from the left wing which Fleury kicks out again.

7:21: Sykora knocks a puck out of play and is sent off for delay of game. Scuderi, Dupuis, Staal and Orpik are on for the kill.

6:58: Orpik clears the puck. Talbot and Cooke replace Dupuis and Staal.

6:34: Fleury denies a slapper from the right point. Ryder is there for the rebound and pushs it through the crease just wide.

5:46: Whitney corrals a puck and clears it down ice.

5:21: Sykora's penalty is killed.

5:04: Ryder chips a puck up over the net. Ryder and Kessel have been getting tons of chances.

4:28: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!" During a stoppage, a highlight montage of all the Penguins ten best highlights from the 2008 calendar year are shown. Moments like Jordan Staal's hat trick this season against Detroit and Evgeni Malkin's hit against Alex Ovechkin from last season. The No. 2 moment of that montage? The Penguins breaking ground on the new arena. And of course the words, "Consol Energy" are included. We're more than happy that a new arena is on its way and will make the Penguins financially viable. We're employed because of that reason. But when rich old men in suits figure out ways to spend public tax dollars, we don't feel warm and fuzzy inside and really don't have the ambition to look back on it.

3:00: Amazing what happens when you simply shoot the puck. Fedotenko pushes the puck up ice and chips it along the left wing. Dustin Jeffrey picks it up and throws it on net from the corner. Thomas makes a save but gives up a terrible rebound. Fedotenko is there and punches a quick shot on net. Thomas makes another save but another rebound as well. Sykora is there and finally pokes it in. Fedotenko and Jeffrey get assists. It's Jeffrey's first NHL point of his career. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1-0.

2:16: Malkin kicks out a shot from Krejci from the left point.

2:10: Blake Wheeler is nabbed for slashing. Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Whintey, Fedotenko and Sykora are on for the power play.

0:28: Goligoski comes up the left wing and throws a wrister at the cage. Thomas knocks it away.

0:18: Kessle pushes the puck up ice and tries to deke by Malkin in the Penguins' slot. Malkin basically tripped him up and got away with it. Someone in the Bruins' suite next to us slammed something down in anger at the non-call.

0:08: Just as Wheeler's penalty expires, Goligoski fires a one-timer from the right point which Thomas makes another save on.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Bruins 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-That was a pretty solid period all around for both teams. For a while there it looked like Boston was dominating play, but the Penguins generate a little momentum off some save -by Fleury and took a lead.

-Thomas has looked a tad shaky in our opinion so far. His rebound control has been less than stellar.

-Boston has a 16-10 lead in shots.

-Sykora leads the game with four shots.

-Kessel leads Boston with three.

-The Bruins have a 13-6 lead in faceoffs.

-Krejci leads Boston going 5-for-6 (83 percent).

-Crosby leads the Penguins going 3-for-7 (43 percent).

-Wideman leads the game with 9:01 of ice time.

-Malkin leads the Penguins with 8:19.

-No one has more than one blocked shot.

-Psycho Bruins television play-by-play guy Jack Edwards is here munching on pretzels near us:

-Cotton candy heeeee!!!! Cotton candy heeee!!!

SECOND PERIOD

19:30: Whitney tosses a wrister on net from the right point. Thomas appears to kick it out.

18:53: Another chance for Kessel. He uses Orpik as a screen and rips a wrister from the right wing. Fleury eats it up.

17:15: "LET'S GO PENS! LET'S GO PENS!"

16:39: 17,132.

15:48: Goligoski comes down the right wing and tosses a shot on net. Thomas kicks it out but gives up another iffy rebound. A teammate is there to clear it.

15:36: Orpik is called for interference. Good call. He held Milan Lucic away from the puck. Dupuis, Staal, Whitney and Gill are on for the power play.

15:14: Boston cashes in almost immediatley. P.J. Axelsson controls the puck along the right wing and spots Chara and hooks him up on the "Whitney Play." Chara easily punches it behind Fleury who can't get over in time to make the save. What a pass by Axelsson. Chara owes Whitney a royalty on that goal. Axelsson and Wideman get assists. We're assuming Jack Edwards is screaming his head off down the way from us. Bruins 1, Penguins 1.

14:20: Dupuis comes up ice and into the offensive zone. He has a chance to shoot but forces a pass to Crosby in the slot which is stolen. He needs to shoot that.

13:35: Jeffrey throws a shot on net from the right wing. Thomas easily knocks it away.

12:56: Marc Savard blasts a one-timer from the corner which was kind of odd to see. It gets knocked down into the crease where Fleury covers it.

12:40: Staal comes up the left wing with the puck, fights off a check from Mark Stuart and sp

12:03: As play is halted near the Boston bench, Talbot gives Kessel a check right after a whistle. Kessel takes exeception and they begin to tussel. A scrum develops. Each player gets two minutes for roughing. Four-on-four.

11:46: Whitney zips a pass from left point to Malkin who is just to the left of Thomas. Malkin controls it then feeds it to Crosby in the slot who punches a shot immediately on net. Thomas kicks it out with a fantastic save with his right leg.

11:04: Chara takes a shot from the slot on a delayed penalty. It gets deflected by Whitney into the netting. Malkin is called for hooking. The Bruins will have a four-on-three advantage for 1:01. Dupuis, Scuderi and Staal are on for the kill.

10:30: What a shot. Krejci coasts down the boards and to the goal line. He then feeds a pass to Savard across the slot to Savard who sneaks a puck up high by Fleury on the glove side with an insane shot. Wow. Krejci and Wideman get assists. Bruins 2, Penguins 1.

10:18: Orpik blasts a slapper from the right point which Thomas kicks out.

10:03: Talbot's and Kessel's penalties expire.

9:06: Jeffrey slams Chuck Kobasew against the boards.

8:58: Fedotenko works the puck up the right wing and pushes a backhander on net which Thomas keeps out.

8:42: A shot by Shane Hnidy is deflected out of play.

7:56: This arena has gotten pretty quiet. You can hear lots of individual cries of "Play like you care!" or "Get it out!" and even one classless pig of a human being who actually made fun of Kessel for having testicular cancer. Way to go buddy.

7:29: Malkin snaps a wrister from in tight. Thomas says no.

7:24: Crosby fiees a pass to Dupuis in the slot. Dupuis' shot is deflected high.

6:43: Malkin feeds a pass to Crosby on the right wing. Crosby rips a wrister which Thomas eats up.

4:47: Chara makes a weak attempt to dump the puck out of his own end. Crosby steals it just inside the blue line and zips a pass immediately across the ice to Dupuis at the left point. Dupuis moves in and blats a slapper by Thomas on the glove side what a shot.The funny thing is, we just told a colleague next to us in the press box he probably shouldn't shoot so much because he's not Ilya Kovalchuk or Alex Ovechkin. Us -1. Crosby gets the only assist. Chara should get one too. "Hey Song." Bruins 2, Penguins 2.

3:55: Dupuis' a man possessed. He just dropped a Bruins player near the boards with a solid check.

3:22: After a Malkin turnover, Kessel is denied in the slot by Fleury.

3:17: Kessel isn't denide a second time. Savard collects the rebound off Kessel's shot, fights off a check by Whitney and slide a pass through the crease to Kessel who pounds it by Fleury. Bruins 3-2.

2:25: Thornton outworks Goligoski behind the net for a puck. He feeds it to Martin St. Pierre who snaps a one-timer. Fleury makes a nice save.

2:22: Right off the faceoff, Fleury gloves a wrister by Ryder.

2:04: Fedotenko throws a puck on net from the corner. Thomas covers it up.

1:59: Malkin is called for interference. Dupuis, Scuderi, Orpik and Staal are on for the kill.

1:48: Chara hammers a slapper from the top of the slot. It gets deflected high but Fleury is able to hang on for a save. Talbot and Cooke replace Staal and Dupuis.

1:03: After a clear Gill, Eaton, Staal and Dupuis take to the ice.

0:02: Just as the clock expires, Kessel tries to jam a puck by Fleury. No dice.

0:00: End of period. Bruins 3, Penguins 2.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-That was kind of an odd period for the Penguins. They nearly matched the Bruins shot for shot (13 for Boston, 11 for the Penguins) but fell behind. 

-Thomas has played better, but he's not doing anything that would suggest he's going to dominate this game. He's still giving up a few bad rebounds. The Penguins just need someone to be there to jump on them.

-Gill has looked OK in his return but he hasn't stood out. He has 11:16 of ice time and is a minus-1. He was on the ice for each of Boston's last two goals.

-The Bruins have a 30-21 advantage in shots.

-Kessel leads the game with six shots.

-Sykora leads the Penguins with four.

-Boston has a 22-18 edge in faceoffs.

-Krejci is 7-for-10  (70 percent).

-Crosby is 9-for-14 (64 percent).

-Chara leads the game with 17:35 of ice time. Wideman is right behind him with 17:21.

-Orpik leads the Penguins with 14:35.

-Scuderi and Whitney lead the game with four blocked shots each.

-Has anyone seen Miroslav Satan?

-Malkin's penalty will have one second remaining when the period begins.

-We're way late with this, but EN reader "Matt" let us know a feed of tonight's game is available through Yahoo! with Boston's announcers.

THIRD PERIOD

19:59: Malkin's penalty expires.

19:11: Crosby throws a hip towards Chara behind the Boston net. Not that he really needs too but Chara avoids it.

18:32: Cooke checks St. Pierre in the neutral zone and gets him in the face with a high stick. Fans boo but it's a pretty obvious penalty. Dupuis, Staal, Gill and Eaton are on for the penalty. The Penguins need to to come up with a kill here.

17:23: Axelsson apparently thinks he's wearing a Penguins uniform as he passes up a clean shot in the slot and tries to force a pass to Ryder which is broken up.

17:08: Wheeler pushes a wrist shot wide of the cage.

16:43: Somehow, Dupuis and Staal generage a shorthanded two-on-one. Dupuis dishes a pass across the slot to Staal who has a clean net to shoot at. He shoots it into Thomas though who makes a nice save. Ugh. So close.

16:28: As Cooke's penalty is killed, Malkin and Hnidy wrestle for a puck. Malkin falls over then trips up Hnidy. Fans boo but Malkin could

15:56: Crosby whips a wrister on net from the right wing. Thomas holds it out. Crosby goes after the reobund but is tripped up by Hnidy. That's two minutes. Fedotenko, Whitney, Crosby, Sykora and Malkin are on for the power play.

15:08: Malkin puts a wrister off the side of teh net from the left wing.

14:43: Malkin blasts a slapper from the top of the slot which hits a body in front.

14:32: Well that was about the last thing the Penguins needed. Savard pushes the puck up ice and springs St. Pierre on a mini-breakaway. St. Pierre rips a shot by Fleury and puts Boston up by two with a shorthanded goal. Ugh. Savard gets the only assist. Bruins 4-2.

13:55: Just as Hnidy's penalty expires, Jeffrey tries to jam a puck by Thomas. No dice.

12:43: Kessel generates a breakaway. FIghting off some stick pokes by Goligoski, he shoots low and is denied by Fleury.

12:29: Goligoski is called for hooking. Staal, Gill, Dupuis and Eaton are on for the penalty. A kill here is a must if the Penguins have any hope of a comeback.

12:17: As the net gets dislodged, a loose puck in the slot is cleared out.

11:01: Dupuis collects a puck and clears it down ice. Talbot, Cook, Eaton and Orpik take to the ice.

10:29: Golgoski's penalty is killed.

10:22: So much for that comeback. Chara slides a pass across the ice for Wideman. From the left point, he snaps a rising wrister to the far side that burns Fleury. He might've been screand, but Fleury needs to make a save there. Chara and Axelsson get assists. Bruins 5-2.

9:01: Vladimir Sobotka fights off a check by Cooke along the boards.

7:26: Ryder comes down the left wing and cranks a slapper. Fleury knocks it down and covers it. Satan has 8:08 of ice time tonight. We don't know if he's injured if if Therrien is just sick of him, but only Dustin Jeffrey with 7:15 of ice time has played less. And Jeffrey has done much more with his limited time tonight.

6:49: Fedotenko hammers a slapper from the left wing. Thomas gloves it with ease.

6:44: Off a faceoff, Thomas covers another shot.

5:37: Sobotka whips a wrister towards the net. Fleury covers it up. Sykora is nabbed for hooking. Cooke, Dupuis, Scuderi and Orpik are on for the kill. This will be Boston's eighth power play. You can't put a team this good on the power play this much and hope to win.

5:26: Staal coasts up ice with the puck, waits for a crowd to gather and throws a wrister on net. Thomas eats it up.

4:28: Hnidy blasts a slapper from the left point. Fleury knocks it away with his stick.

3:57: Kobasew gets a pass to the right of the net. He tries to sweep it into the net. Fleury makes the save and deflects the puck out of play.

3:37: Sykora's penalty expires.

3:03: Lining up for the faceoff, Wallace (6-foot-1, 207 pounds) decides tos how some guts and bumps into Milan Lucic (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) intentionally. The puck is dropped and Lucic pokes him in the back of the head and they drop the gloves. It's pretty wild fight with Lucic landing most of the big blows but Wallace lands a few of their won. Lucic wiggles an arm out of his jersey and is able to knock Wallace to the ice. What a fight. Lucic won the bout but Wallace had a solid showing. Lucic is given an extra two minute for roughing. Wallace should've been given a instigator on that. Jeffrey, Sykora, Fedotenko, Whitney and Goligoski are on for the power play. Shawn Thornton will serve the minor penalty.

2:39: Thomas fights off a slapper from Whitney.

1:10: Staal tries to punch in a rebound off a deflected shot. Thomas stones him.

1:03: Lucic's minor penalty expires.

0:08: Fedotenko blasts a slapper from the left wing. Thomas fights it off.

0:00: End of game. Bruins 5, Penguins 2.

POSTGAME

-While we can't say we expected Boston to definitely win, we're hardly surprised at what we saw here tonight. The Bruins are the best team in the Eastern Conference and they played like it. They took whatever chances they Penguins gave them and cashed them in. The Penguins had a chance to go against one of the best and were soundly beaten.

-The scary thing about the Bruins is that they are hardly a healthy team. Patrice Bergeron and Marco Sturm are players who could be first-liners on several teams and they're currently on the shelf with injuries for Boston. Former Penguins defenseman Andre Ference would be a top four blue liner on most teams and he's out of the lineup. The Bruins are a fantastic team and they will only get better on paper as the season wears on.

-Knowing that, it kind of makes the Penguins' injuries seem almost trivial.

-That said, the likes of Kris Letang and Mike Zigomanis can't come back soon enough.

-Giving Boston eight power plays was not smart obviously.

-Thomas got better as the game wore on. He was a little shaky in the first period but settled down quite a bit.

-Fleury wasn't sharp by any means, but he wasn't outright awful either.

-Therrien and company probably should consider using two defenseman on the power play more often. Whitney's healthy now. Give Philippe Boucher, Alex Goligoski or Kris Letang, when he gets healthy, some time on the first unit with him and post Crosby, Malkin and someone like Sykora, Fedotenko, Staal or Satan at the forward position.

-The Penguins had much larger problems tonight, but the seventh defenseman experiment needs to go away. It just doesn't ever seem to work. And Jeff Taffe, Connor James, Paul Bissonnette who whoever else will always be a more effective player on the win than a defenseman.

-Speaking of wingers, Pascal Dupuis should not be the Penguins' most viable offensive threat on offense from the wing. And he has been the last two games. Good for him. He's a hard working player who should be rewarded for his effort but the Penguins need more from the likes of Sykora and Satan. Sykora did have a goal tonight, but he along with Satan have not been playing like the 25-30 goal threats they are expected to be.

-We understand Satan has always been streaky where ever he's played in the NHL, but he's not had a goal in six games.

-As the game wore on, Gill was less and less noticable. The Bruins seems to have have any easy time near the cage tonight which is something Gill was brought in for. It's his first game back so we'll give him a free pass.

-Boston ended up with a 40-34 advantage in shots. The Penguins actually outshot the Bruins 13-10 in the third.

-Kessel was out of his mind tonight. He led the game with eight shots.

-Dupuis, Sykora, Fedotenko and Malkin led the Penguins with four shots.

-Boston dominated faceoffs, 66-26.

-Savard, who was Boston's best player tonight, led the game going 8-for-12 (67 percent).

-Crosby was the Penguins' leader going 9-for-19 (47 percent).

-Chara led the game with 27:44.

-Staal led the Penguins with 23:18.

-Scuderi and Whitney led the game with four blocked shots.

-Aaron Ward led Boston with two.

-Wideman had three points for the second time in his career.

-Savard now has 41 points (10 goals, 31 assists) in 30 career games against the Penguins.

-According to the quote sheet we were just handed, Michel Therrien just said the team held a meeting after the game.

"First of all, it's about time they had a meeting. You have to show some leadership. I just found out a minute ago they had a meeting. If I was a player I would have called a meeting. I'm interested to see what comes of this."

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

-Highlights.

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