-The Penguins get the Bruins for the second time in less than a week at home. We would expect to see a pretty motivated effort by the Bruins. They talked a lot about giving Tuesday's game to the Penguins. They realize the Penguins are one of the better, if not the best, team's in the Eastern Conference. They want to know how they stack up against them should they meet in the postseason.
-Unlike Tuesday's game which featured Anton Khudobin giving up a late lead, tonight's game features Tuukka Rask who figures to be a tougher challenge for the Penguins.
-It'll be interesting to see if Dan Bylsma goes with Deryk Engelland in the lineup and scratches Simon Despres or Mark Eaton. He likes having Engelland in the lineup against tougher teams like the Bruins.
-A determined Craig Adam is on the cover of Ice Time:
-Evgeni Malkin has a Team Russia fan on hand:
-We're wiling to bet this is one of the few Dylan Reese jersey's you'll ever encounter:
-Former Penguins/Bruins defenseman Sergei Gonchar:
-The always rare Ray Bourque/Darius Kasparaitis combination:
-All hail former Penguins/Bruins forward Miroslav Satan:
-There are some Bruins fans on hand. Tyler Seguin:
-This is what your average Milan Lucic fan looks like:
-A trio of No. 27s. Georges Laraque:
-Alex Alexei Kovalev:
-And the current owner, Adams:
-The departed Tim Thomas:
-Jersey Group of the Day: Tim Wallace, Tyler Kennedy and Micki DuPont Wilkes-Barre/Scranton St. Patrick Day jerseys:
-Jersey of the Day: Bill Guerin Bruins:
-The Penguins wore green jerseys for warm-ups which will be auctioned for charity.
-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Mark Eaton, Kris Letang and Tomas Vokoun.
-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo, Simon Despres and Evgeni Malkin.
-The Penguins are 17-4-0 with Despres in the lineup and 4-4-0 without him.
-The Bruins' starters are Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin, Johnny Boychuk, Zdeno Chara and Tuukka Rask.
-Their scratches Aaron Johnson and Lane MacDermid.
-Jeff Jimerson is ready:
19:28: Letang flings a wrister from above the left circle. Dupuis is on a moving screen through the circle and waves at the puck as it sails by. Rask is able to eat it up.
17:35: Daniel Paille backhands a puck out of his own right wing corner and is thumped into the boards by Tanner Glass.
17:10: Zdeno Chara flings a wrister from the right point which Eaton blocks.
16:10: Cooke is on with Sutter and Kennedy. After Sutter forces a turnover in the left wing corner of the Bruins' zone, Cooke snaps off a wrister from the left circle which Rask fights off.
15:47: Martin and former Devils teammate Jay Pandolfo race for a puck behind the Penguins' net. Martin wins the race and sends Pandolfo to the ice on his wallet. Orpik takes the puck and accidentally flips it out of play. That's two minutes for delay of game. There's a scrum at center ice. Nothing comes of it. The Bruins get the first power play of the game. Crosby, Adams, Letang and Martin take the ice.
15:36: Off an offensive zone faceoff win. Seguin takes a pass above the left circle and hammers a one-timer on net. Vokoun knocks it dead and covers to freeze play.
14:35: Chara wires a one-timer from the right point which Vokoun rejects.
14:29: Chara hammers aanother one-timer from the right half wall. Vokoun is able to glove it despite a screen from Bergeron. Penguisn fans react with a "Vooooooo...." or "Kooooooonnnnnn....." (or both) chant in appreciation.
14:28: On the ensuing faceoff in the right circle against Bergeron, one of the best faceoff specialists in the league, Crosby simply slaps it down ice to clear. What a nifty play.
13:45:The Orpik minor is killed to hearty applause from the home crowd.
10:12: Seguin races into the offensive zone and whips a wrister on net from the right wing. Vokoun gloves it.
9:54: With Seguin sitting behidn the cage, Letang races after a puck and plays it between Seugin and the net and gets it out of danger. What a nice, subtle but difficult play by Letang.
9:24: Sutter lifts a wrister on net from the left wing which Rask fights off with his glove.
8:03: Crosby puts on a show. He gains the offensive zone, fends off Boychuk, muscles his way on net and jabs a forehand shot on net as he falls to the ice. Rask holds it out. Crosby basically split Boychuk and Chara on that play.
7:43: That Penguins cash in immediately after save. Dupuis pesters Chara behind the net and forces a turnover. He deal to Kunitz in the left circle. Kuniz is able to slid it through traffic to Crosby openin the right circle. Crosby grips and rips a wrister by the glove hand of a stretched out Rask. Nothing but hard work generated that goal. Kunitz and Dupuis get assists. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 1-0.
5:13: Engelland takes a pass on the right and strikes a slapper form the half wall. Rask makes the save. Dupuis is right there and punches it on net. Rask says no.
5:08: Matt Niskanen drives a slapper from the left point. Rask steers it away.
4:31: Lucic deals a cross ice pass from the left wing of the netrual zone to Horton on the right wing at the Penguins blue line. Horton races into the offensive zone and chops a slapper on net as he falls. Vokoun knocks it down and covers. More "Voooo" (or "Kooooo") chants.
4:08: Through a scramble, Horton is able to snaps off a wrister from the slot. Vokoun knocks it dead with his left leg and
3:59: Boychuk cranks a slapper from the right point wide on the near side.
3:35: Boychuk pounds another slapper form the right point. Vokoun kicks it out
3:22: The Bruins get a little lucky and tie the game. Boychuk corrals a puck at the right point and chucks a wrister into a cluster of bodies. It hits a leg and deflects to Seguin in the left circle. Seguin rips the puck immediately into the open net by the glove hand of a helpless Vokoun. It looked the puck hit Bergeron and deflected right to Seguin. Bergeron and Boychuk get assists. The Bruins dominated puck possession that shift. Bruins 1, Penguins 1.
1:53: James Neal corrals a puck on the left wing, spins and whisp it on net. Rask gloves it.
0:31: The fourth line scores?!?! The great Joe Vitale enters the offensive zone and leaves a drop pass for Adams on the right wing. Above the the right circle, Adams lifts a wrister which clunks off the glove of Rask. Rask is stunned by the shot and reaches out to glove the puck. Vitale hustles after it and lifts the puck over the glove hand of Rask while falling. Wow. What a freaky but hard-working play. Adams get the only assist. Vitale gets his first goal since Feb. 26, 2012, a 4-2 win against the Blue Jackets. The "Hey Song" is played. Penguins 2-1.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Bruins 1.
-All around, this was a pretty even period for both teams. Each squad had a few shifts of sustained pressure. Each team got busy on the forecheck. And each team got some tough saves.
-If not for a few freaky bounces, this is a 1-0 game.
-Vokoun looks pretty good thus far. He appears very confident and very composed today. He's not battling the puck. He not really allowing any rebounds.
-Zdeno Chara looks like he celebrated St. Patrick's day late last night. We can't recall seeing him look this bad in a single period in person.
-The fourth line was pretty impressive. It was strong on the forecheck. It kept things simple and produced the go-ahead goal here.
-We understand there are matchups which come into play, but we're not sure we agree with the decision to mix and match the second and third lines. Dustin Jeffrey is centering Beau Bennett and James Neal so far today while Sutter is with Cooke and Kennedy. Jeffrey/Bennett/Kennedy were outstanding yesterday. Today, neither line has been all that special.
-The Bruins have an 11-10 edge in shots.
-Seguin leads the game with four shots.
-Crosby leads the game with two shots.
-Martin leads the game with 8:42 of ice time.
-Seidenberg leads the Bruins with 8:05.
-Faceoffs are tied, 9-9 (50 percent).
-Bergeron is 5 for 8 (63 percent).
-Crosby is 4 for 7 (57 percent).
-Orpik leads the game with two blocked shots.
18:47: Lucic corrals a puck in the right circle and snaps off a wrister which Vokoun kicks out with his right skate.
18:40: Crosby races up the right wing with a clean look at the net and wires a slapper wide to the far side.
16:51: After McQuaid crunches the great Joe Vitale into the end boards, Niskanen fires a slapper from the right point which is fought off by
16:27: Niskanen chops a slapper from the left point which hits a body and bounces away.
15:29: Seguin take a pass deep on the left wing and whips a wrister on net. Vokoun kicks it out. Sutter skates the rebound out of danger.
15:00: Letang has yet to record a shift this period. He has not played since there was 1:18 left in the first period. No word on his status.
13:40: A one-timer by Neal deep on the right wing is deflected out of play.
12:10: Thornton has a shot in tight blocked out of play.
10:51: As Vokoun loses his stick, Attendance is announced as 18,659. It is the team's 268th consecutive sellout and beats the previous record by one.
9:38: Kunitz flings a backhander on net from the right wing. Rask kicks it out.
7:54: On a rush up the right wing, Lucic snaps off a wrister which Rask fights off.
5:43: Crosby high sticks Boychuk behind the Bruins' net. That's two minutes. Adams, Dupuis, Orpik and Martin take the ice.
4:54: Chara winds up and blasts a slapper from the left point which hits a body in front and bounces wide.
3:43: The Crosby minor is killed.
3:09: Crosses into the offensive zone, spins off a check from Ference and deals a pass to Dupuis above the slot. Dupuis chops a big one-timer but partially fans on the shot and the puck slides in on net. Rask covers.
2:42: Dupuis tries to jam in a forehand shot but can't get a clean handle on the puck which Rask covers.
2:40: Bergeron and Sutter take a faceoff in the right circle. Bergeron tries to play the puck with his hand but is nabbed for a faceoff violation. Luic tries to goad the Penguins to going to the box too and pops Neal in the face. Neal jabs him a few times with a stick. Officials hold everyone at bay. Bergeron gets the only penalty. Lucic escapes any punishment. Not sure how. Crosby, Kunitz, Neal, Niskanen and Martin take the ice.
0:40: Two minutes later, the Penguins accomplished nothing with that chance. Not a single goal on net.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Bruins 1.
-That was a pretty bland period of hockey. Both teams played things pretty tight and didn't take chances or allow them to the opponent.
-Still no word on Letang. This is a .gif of the play he was potentially injured on:
-That would be Patrice Bergeron whacking him on the left hand or wrist while racing for a puck. There was no penalty on the play.
-Obviously, any absence by Letang would be bad news.
-The Bruins have a 20-15 lead in shots.
-This is weird. The Bruins lead the game in shots but only six players have recorded one. Meanwhile, the Penguins have 12 players with shots.
-Seguin lead the game with five.
-Dupuis leads the game with three.
-Martin leads the game with 18:54 of ice time.
-Chara leads the Bruins with 17:02.
-The Bruins have a 17-16 edge in faceoffs (52 percent).
-Bergeron is 7 for 12 (58 percent).
-Dustin Jeffrey is 4 for 7 (57 percent).
-Orpik leads the game with three blocked shots.
Seidenberg and McQuaid each lead the Bruins with two.
19:35: Off a turnover by Eaton, Dougie Hamilton whips a wrister on net from the left circle. Vokoun kicks it away.
18:41: Lucic touches the puck and gets the Jagr-esque "Boooooo" treatment.
17:46: Rich Peverly flings a wrister on net from the left wing wall. Vokoun gloves it to cheers of "Voooooo."
16:19: Kunitz takes a pass in the left circle and lifts a wrister which Rask fights off.
16:37: Marchand fell behind the net twice after some light contact form Sutter and Niskanen. We're assuming his skates need sharpened.
15:29: Orpik flips a puck down ice from his own zone. Kennedy bowls into Seidenberg and pushes it into the offensive zone. Sutter ends up with the puck o his backhand and sneaks a blind pass across the slot to Kennedy who directs it on net. Rask says no.
15:22: Off a rush, Lucic lifts a wrister from the left circle on net. Fleury fights it off.
13:23: Seidenberg booms a slapper from the left point. Vokoun punches it away with his blocker.
12:06: After some strong puck movement by the Bruins, Chara races after a puck on the left half wall and chops it on net. Vokoun eats it up.
11:00: Letang will not return due to a "lower-body" injury.
9:13: Orpik stands up Jordan Caron with a solid shoulder check to the chest at the red line in front of the benches.
8:28: The Bruins keep rushing into the offensive zone and Vokoun keep turning it away. Paille flings a wrister on net from the right half wall. Vokoun gloves it.
7:30: EN reader @t_json found a YouTube video of the Letang/Marchand play:
6:49: Marchand chucks a wrister from the right half wall which Vokoun fights off.
5:51: Paille air-mails a slapper from outside the Penguins' blue line. Vokoun knocks it dead and covers.
5:14: Boychuk cranks a slapper from the left point. Krejci is in the front of the net and hops up hoping to avoid the shot but appears to catch it in the knee. He goes down in discomfort. Play is halted. He's on the ice in some distress. An athletic trainer attends to Krejci. After a minute or so, he recovers to his skates and heads to the bench with some assistance. He retreats to the dressing room.
4:09: Crosby pushes the puck deep on the left wing but is smothered against the boards by McQuaid and loses the puck. Crosby gives McQuaid a little slash. No call.
1:43: Kunitz chips an chse the puck in deep ont he right wing and slams Seidenberg into the boards.
1:00: Sutter pressures Chara and presses him into the end boards of the Boston zone to kill some time.
0:28: After several tries the Penguins get Rask off the ice for an exta attacker
0:02: Seguin tries to whip a puck from the right wing corner but Crosby falls to his knees and blocks it.
0:00: End of game. Penguins 2, Bruins 1.
-First things first, Kris Letang is dealing a "lower-body" injury and will be further evaluated. A little bit more on his status from the Post-Gazette's Dave Molinari:
Nothing official on Letang, but teammates say he apparently tweaked a leg problem that has been nagging him for a while.— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPG) March 17, 2013
-This was hardly a pretty win. It was in no way shape or form entertaining. But it was pretty darn impressive in that the Penguins showed what they could do against one of their chief competitors in the Eastern Conference minus not only Evgeni Malkin but Kris Letang for most of the game.
-The Penguins were kind of in a defensive shell most of the last two periods without Letang. They couldn't really sustain much of an offensive attack without Letang's ability to push the puck up ice or hit stretch passes. And the Penguins' best defense is their offense in terms of puck possession. What they were able to do was limit the Bruins' offense to a lot of junk shots from the perimeter. Tomas Vokoun was able to kick those out easily without allowing too many iffy rebounds. His teammates more often than not were able to get those rebounds out of danger before any Bruins players could do something with them.
-This isn't how Dan Bylsma likes to play defense, but it was effective considering the circumstances.
-Tomas Vokoun had a tremendous game. Yes, the Bruins didn't pressure him with quality chances, but he was calm and confident with each and every chance he saw. If not for a fortunate bounce off the leg of Patrice Bergeron, he probably gets a shutout.
-With the Penguins down to five defensemen, the Bruins got pretty active with their forecheck. They dumped the puck into the Penguins' end boards and tried to pressure the Penguins' remaining blue liners. We're not sure if the Penguins just coped with the situation very well or if the Bruins just didn't do much with that strategy but for one reason or another, it just didn't work.
-Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask pretty much said it best when summing up this snoozer of a game: "You could tell it was the third game in four night for both teams. I don’t know how it looked up there but it was pretty bad hockey at times. Dump in. Dump in. Forecheck. There wasn’t a lot of chances."
-This ugly display was a byproduct of the lockout and the compacted schedule. Both teams were gassed after having played six games in nine games.
-The fourth line had a strong game for the Penguins. It was strong on the forecheck and pressured Boston quite a bit in the defensive zone. As it turned out, it produced the winning goal.
-It was limited to one goal, but the Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis-Chris Kunitz line was tuned in once again. The chemistry they have is scary.
-The play which really summed up Crosby's run of late was at the end. Tyler Seguin threw a desprate shot from the right wing corner below the goal line towards the crease with roughly two seconds left in regulation. Even with little chance of that play working, Crosby challenged Seguin heavily on the play by going down in a pseudo three-point stance and blocking the shot.
-It's plays like that one of the pass break-up he had against Phl Kessel in Toronto Thursday which gives him the advantage in discussion for the Hart Trophy over the likes of Steven Stamkos. Stamkos isn't a liability on defense by any means, but he's not making plays like that in his own zone. Crosby is and he still leads the league in scoring by a wide margain.
-The second and third lines displayed little chemistry today. As we said earlier, against the Rangers, the third line of Tyler Kennedy, Dustin Jeffrey and Beau Bennett looked outstanding. Today, the lines were switched up a bit with Jeffrey centering James Neal and Bennett while Brandon Sutter centered Kennedy and Matt Cooke. Each line looked flat.
-How much does James Neal miss Evgeni Malkin? He's been limited to one assist the past four games.
-The Bruins had a 32-18 advantage in shots.
-Gregory Campbell and Seguin each led the game with five shots.
-Dupuis led the Penguins with three.
-Paul Martin led the game with a very quiet but very strong 30:02 of ice time.
-Zdeno Chara led the Bruins with 27:03 of ice time.
-The Bruins led in faceoffs, 26-23 (53 percent).
-Patrice Bergeron was 11 for 19 (58 percent).
-Jeffrey was 5 for 8 (63 percent).
-Brooks Orpik led the game with six blocked shots.
-Adam McQuaid led the Bruins with three.
-Kunitz moved ahead of Letang for 38th place on the franchise's scoring list. Both players have 199 career points but Kunitz (87) has more goals than Letang (42).