-What a unique environment it must be in T.D. Garden today. This game was supposed to be a heated showdown between two teams battlign for the top seed in Eastern Conference. Jarome Iginla was supposed to face the music after he turned down a potential trade to Boston. Jaromir Jagr is back in the conference to torment his former team. Matt Cooke is always going to draw heat in Boston. This was supposed tob e a matchup full of "hate."
-That word feels so bizarre to use when it comes to sports, never more so than after this weeks events. If you're a Bruins fan, you "hate" Cooke or anything associated with the Montreal Canadiens. If you're a Penguins fans, you "hate" Scott Hartnell. If you're a Penguins fan of a certain age, you'll always "hate" Adam Graves or the Plager brothers (if you're really old).
-We seem to "hate" a lot of people and teams when it comes to sports. But its simply ridiculous to equate hard feelings for an athlete from another team as hate. That isn't hate. Hate is what cost the lives of an eight-year-old Bruins fan, a 29-year-old restaurant manager, a 23-year-old graduate student, and a 26-year-old policeman. Hate is what caused devastating physical and emotional damaged for countless individuals. Hate is what caused a sleepless two days and nights in a Massachusetts suburb. Hate is what paralyzed one of America's great cities for the better part of a week.
-The next time you use that word, pause and consider what it really means.
-Getting off our soapbox and onto the game, it's going to be interesting to see how emotions dicate this contest. The Bruins went through this, albeit with a different tone, on Wednesday. How will the Penguins react to this unique environment?
-The Bruins will scratch Milan Lucic today. He's had an awful season with only six goals. With a healthy lineup, the Bruins have the luxury of "sending him a message" with a healthy scratch. That said, removing him from the lineup will eliminate
-A few Penguins fans are on hand:
A Tim Thomas Tuukka Rask jersey foul:
Dan Byslma and Dan Potash showed off t-shirts being sold to benefit The One Fund in Boston:
-The Penguins are wearing a Boston-themed patch on their jerseys:
-Jaromir Jagr and the Bruins wore hats of several first response units in the Boston area during warm ups:
-The Penguins starters are Matt Cooke, Tyler Kennedy, Brandon Sutter, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik and Tomas Vokoun.
-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo, Sidney Crosby, Simon Despres, Eric Hartzell, Dustin Jeffrey, Steve MacIntyre, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.
-The Bruins' starters are Gregory Campbell, Rich Peverly, Shawn Thornton, Johnny Boychuk, Andrew Ference and Tuukka Rask.
-Their scratches are Kaspar Daugavins, Dougie Hamilton, Aaron Johnson, Jay Pandolfo and Wade Redden.
19:34: Off a feed by Brad Marchand from the right wing, Seguin pounds a one-timer from above the right circle. Vokoun kicks it out.
18:45: David Krejci floats a wrister from the right circle. Vokoun steers it away.
18:26: Chris Kunitz lifts a wrister from the left circle on net. Rask makes the easy save.
17:41: Cooke swipes a wrister from the slot wide to the right of the cage.
16:26: Zdeno Chara chops a half slapper from the right point which Craig Adams blocks wide.
16:15: Chara lobs a wrister from the right point. Vokoun kicks it out. Kunitz makes a poor clear on the rebound. The puck slides to Seidenberg at the left point. Seidenberg fires a one-timer which Vokoun fights off.
16:08: Chara lobs another wrister at the net from the right point. Vokoun knocks it wide with his glove.
15:56: Seidenberg pounds a slapper from the left point. The great Joe Vitale leans down and deflects the puck out of play with his stick.
14:59: A one-timer by Seidenberg from the left point is blocked by Brenden Morrow.
14:37: A puck slides out to the right point and is pounded on ice by Murray with a one-timer.
13:55: Kelly and Seidenberg thump Iginla a bit in front of the Boston penalty box.
13:38: Shaw Thornton lifts a wrister from the blue line on net. Vokoun gloves it.
13:30: Cooke lugs the puck up the right wing to a smattering of boos.
13:10: Letang smacks Jagr into the right wing boards of the Penguins' zone.
12:46: Bergeron snaps off a wrister from the slot. Vokoun say no.
12:19: Boychuk snaps off a wrister from the right point. Bergeron is on a moving screen and re-directs the puck from the slot wide to the left of the net.
11:59: Murray controls the puck behind his net, waits for the Bruins to make a change ans naps off a breakout pass down the left wing for Bennett.. Benett gains the zone, holds up a bit, jukes by Daniel Paille and attacks the net. He snaps off a little wrister as Rask challenges. Rask is a bit off his angle but still gloves the shot. What a pass by Murray and what an individual effort by Bennett to attack the net. It seemed like Chara held up a bit on Bennett and could have really plastered him as he attacked the cage.
11:50: After battling for a puck behind the Boston net, McQuaid and Glass drop the gloves in the left faceoff circle of the Boston zone. They mostly wrestle and hold each other off at first. Glass throws a few rights. McQuaid wrestles free a bit and each player lands a few big shots before officials step in.
10:29: The Bruins get the first power play of the game as Cooke is called for slashing Campbell in the right wing corner of the Boston zone. Murray, Jokinen, Dupuis and Oprik take the ice. This will be tough with Glass and Cooke, two o f the team's top penalty killers, in the box.
9:42: And the Bruins take full advantage. Marchand takes a pass up the right wing, gains the offensive zone, blows by Letang in the left circle with a move to the inside and clunks a wrist through the gear of Vokoun. A poor goal for the Penguins to allow. Letang can't get beat that way and Vokoun needs to make that save. Chara and Rask get assists. Bruins 1-0.
8:53: Boychuk slams Sutter into the left corner boards and knocks a partition loose from the glass. Sutter ends up holding it up like it's one of Chara's toothpicks:
8:05: Jokinen is in some discomfort after getting clipped in the face by Krejci's stick.
6:47: Carl Soderberg tries to chip and chase a puck up the left wing boards and is slammed to the ice by Deryk Engelland.
5:56: The Bruins get another power play as Kennedy is called for slashing Zdeno Chara.
4:36: Krejci loses the puck u on the left wing boards and Chris Kunitz chips it up ice for a clear.
3:13: Iginla controls the puck in the right wing corner of the and is booed
2:03: After a hit in front of the Penguins' bench, Nathan Horton and Jarom Iginla have issues and drop the gloves in the Penguins' zone. They take off their helmets and log up. Horton throws a few rights before they wrestle to the ice an fall over. Not a great fight.
1:22: The Penguins get a late power play as Soderberg is called for hooking Jokinen in the neutral zone off a faceoff. Niskane, Bennett, Kunitz, Letang and Jokinen.
0:59: Things get evened up as Niskanen is nabbed for interference against Bergeron. Officials are calling this game tight. Four on four for 1:37.
0:00: End of period. Bruins 1, Penguins 0.
-That period has an odd pace to it. The Bruins seemed to have most of the energy in the early part but both teams seemed kind of cautious. And with the officials calling thigns tight, that has pumped the brakes even more.
-Overall, it wasn't a great period for the Penguins. They had little in the way of sustained offensive pressure. That said, being penalized three times will hurt that.
-Here's a big development:
Nathan Horton done for game.— Fluto Shinzawa (@GlobeFluto) April 20, 2013
-There's no word on what his ailment is. But considering Horton's history of conussion problems, you have to question his judgement to engage in a fight and remove his helmet before hand.
-The Bruins have a 13-5 lead in shots.
-Bergeron leads the game with three shots.
-Kunitz leads the Penguins with two.
-Chara leads the game with 9:07 of ice time.
-Orpik leads the Penguins with 8:49.
-The Penguins have a 15-13 edge in faceoffs (54 percent).
-Sutter is 7 for 9 (78 percent).
-Bergeron is 6 for 9 (67 percent).
-Seidenberg and Adams each lead the game with two blocked shots.
20:00: The period will begin with 39 seconds of four-on-four play on fresh ice.
19:43: Krejci lifts a wrister from the right wing. Vokoun steers it away.
19:33: Eaton takes a pass above the left circle and rips a wrister on net. Rask fights it off.
19:22: The Soderberg minor is killed. The Bruins will have 23 seconds of power-play time.
19:06: Kelly rips a wrister from the right circle on net. Vokoun fights it off.
18:59: Play returns to five-on-five.
17:32: Bergeron tries to jam in a bachander from in tight but Vooun holds it out.
17:20: Broadcaster Bob Errey drops an Eddie Shac reference:
15:43: Adams races up the right wing and flings a wrister on net. Rask eats it up.
14:50: The Penguins strike on a delayed penalty. Glass chips a puck down ice into the Boston zone. Adams races after it and gets to it first. He holds it away from Matt Bartkowski who throws him to the ice. Glass is able to collect the puck and distribute a pass to Niskanen at the right point. Niskanen tees up a slapper from the right point. Rask makes the save. There's a ebound. Before Adams get to it, he's chocked slammed to the ice by Barkowski. Kelly and McQuaid take out Glass and leave the puck all alone for Jokinen to the right of the cage. Jokinen moves in and pokes it by the glove hand of Rask. That goal was all effort. Adams and Glass paid a price to create that scoring chance. Niskanen and Glass get assists. Bruins 1, Penguins 1.
14:34: Jokinen bumps Bregeron to the ice in the neutral zone. Bergeron appears to go down to easily. No call.
14:20: Sutter chips a backhander on net from the left wing.
12:54: Thornton launches a one-timer from the left point which Vokoun steers away.
11:05: Kelly gets a chance on the right wing with a ton of space and cranks a slapper on net. Vokoun challenges heavily and steers the puck wide to the far side.
10:37: Boychuk lifts a wrister from the right point. Murray blocks it.
9:59: Off some give-and-go passing, Peverly swats a shot on net from the slot. Vokoun kicks it out.
8:03: From the right side of the cage, Jagr backhands a pass to Soderberg on the left wing.
7:30: Bergeron deals a pass from the left corner to Ference pinching io hte
7:09: Marchand snaps off a wrister from dep on the right wing. Vokoun hugs the near post and eafreeze play. Marchan sneks in and sort of head-butts Vokoun. The Penguins mob Marchand and give him the business. Officials break up the scrum.
6:40: Another penalty. This time, Peverly clipped Kunitz in the face while bracing himself for a hit on a forecheck. The Penguins sent Jokinen, Bennett, Iginla, Letang and Kunitz take the ice.
5:05: Dupuis punes a slapper from the left point. Boychuk blocks it partially and is smarting afterwards.
4:40: The Peverly minor is killed. The Penguins offered little threat there.
3:48: Cooke thumps McQuaid with his hip in front of the Bruins' bench after McQuaid dumps it into the Penguins' zone. McQuaid is limping afterwards. Chara jumps Cooke in the Penguins' zone. A scrums ensues. McQuaid is laboring on the bench. The Penguins get a power play as Chara is called for roughing. Letang, Iginla, Bennett, Jokinen and Kunitz take the ice.
2:50: Another scum ensues after Rask freezes a puck. Jokinen is called for cross checking Paille. Actually, he gave Ference a little shove from the side. That looked like an even-up call. We'll have four-on-four for 1:02.
2:43: Seidenberg snaps off a wrister from the right point. Peverly deflects it on net and Vokoun swats it away.
1:48: The Chara minor expires. Boston will have a power play for 58 seconds.
1:37: Bergeron has a chance in the slot but Murray blocks it partially.
1:26: Chara booms a slapper from the right point. it hits a skate in front.
0:50: Jokinen returns to the game.
0:45: Yet another penalty as Jagr is nabbed for hooking Adams. Iginla, Letang, Morrow, Jokinen and Bennett take the ice.
0:15: Off some tic-tac-toe passing, Iginla booms a one-timer from the right circle.
0:00: End of period. Bruins 1, Penguins 1.
-Any pregame goodwill between the two teams seemed to evaporate quickly during the second period. Things got really chippy.
-The officials continue to call things tightly. They don't want this getting too out of hand.
-Offensive chances seemed to level off that period. Outside of one strong shift by the Bruins, neither team really had sustained pressure but they exchanged an even amount of chances.
-The Penguins' power play looks dreadful today. It just doesn't seem to have much in the way of structure.
-The Bruins have a 28-16 lead in shots.
-Kunitz, Seguin, Ference, Bergeron, Krejci and Marchand each lead the game with three shots.
-Seidenberg leads the game with 17:45 of ice time.
-Orpik leads the Penguins with 15:24.
-The Bruins have a 31-20 lead in faceoffs (61 percent).
-Bergeron is 14 for 19 (74 percent).
-Sutter is 7 for 13 (54 percent).
-Murray leads the game with three blocked shots.
-Seidenberg leads the Bruins with two.
20:00: The Penguins will have 1:15 of power-play time on fresh ice. Bennett, Kunitz, Iginla, Letang and Jokinen take the ice.
19:18: Letang rips a wrister from the slot over the cage.
19:02: Off some tic-tac-toe passing, Kunitz lifts a wrister from the left of the cage. Rask knocks it dead and covers.
18:45: The Jagr minor expires. Another stale effort by the Penguins.
17:55: Jagr sails a wrister from above the right circle on net. Vokoun eats it up.
17:35: McQuaid tries to fight Cooke behind the Bruins' net. Cooke just ignores him.
16:35: Kunitz booms a slapper from the left wing. Rask eats it up. Marchand grabs JOkinen driving to the net and tries to fight him. Marchand has his gloves dropped but Jokinen doesnt' take him up. Marchan gets a roughing minor. Letang, Jokinen, Iginla
15:39: Iginla rockets a one-timer from the left half wall. Rask fight sit off.
15:17: Jarome Iginla answers everyone's boos. As fans boo him, Iginla takes a pass from Jokinen near the center point. He winds up and fires a slapper through traffic. It skid under Rask's legs and hits twine. It's a power play goal thanks to Marchand's seflishness. Rask may have been screened there. Jokinen and Bennett get assists. Penguins 2-1.
14:09: After a turnover by Bruins in their own zone, Dupuis sets up the Engelland for a one-timer from the right point. Rask fights it off.
12:12: From the right wing corner, Krejci snaps off a pass to the slot. Jagr drives to the cage and taps it wide ot the left wing. Ference is in deep on the left wing and whips it on net. Vokoun fights it off.
11:59: Coming back from commercial, Root Sports shows replay of McQuaid getting away with an apparent slewfoot against Sutter in the Bruins' slot.
11:43: Dupuis drives to the net but gets high sticked by Barktowski. That's two minutes.
11:31: The Penguins don't waste time and score almos right away. Kunitz and Jokine win a puck abttle in the right wing corner against Boychuk, Bergeron an Chara. Jokinen deals it back to letang above the left circle. Letang moves in and snaps off a wrister by Rask's glove hand on the far side. Jokinen and Kunitz get assists. Penguins 3-1.
10:55: HUGE SAVE! The Bruisn take advantage of a poor line change by the Penguins. Bergern snaps off a pass from his own zoen to spring Marchand on a breakaway. He splits Eaton and Niskanen and attackes the net witha froehand shot. Vokoun challenges and denies him with his right leg. Seguin follows up on the rebound but can't punch it by a sprawling Vokoun.
7:01: Bergeorn snaps off a wrister from the right half wall which breaks the stick of the great Joe Vitale.
4:13: After a few stagnant minutes, Bergeron has a chance in tight.
4:06: Bartkowski chucks a puck from the right point wide to the far side.
3:58: Marchand and the great Joe Vitale mix it up a bit and are each sent to the penalty box for slashing. Four on four for two minutes.
3:14: Letang snaps off a wrister from the slot. It hits Chara and hobbles him a bit.
3:03: Jagr pushes the puck up the right wing and deals a pass to Krejci trailing in he slot. Krejci snaps of a wrister which is deflected out of play by Dupuis' stick.
1:58: Marchand and the great Joe Vitale return to play.
1:23: Rask is pulled for an extra atacker.
1:05: Marchand lifts a wrister from the slot over the cage.
0:45: After an icing call against the Penguins, the Bruins call a timeout to get organized.
0:30: The Penguins ice the puck again.
0:23: Jagr tries to wheel in off the right circle and snaps offa w rister which is kicedk out.
0:02: After Letang falls at the blue line, Seguin moves up the left wing and lifts a wrister on net from the left circle. Vokoun fights it off. Seguin swats the rebound in by Vokoun for a late goal. Chara gets the only assist. Penguins 3-2.
0:00: End of game. Penguins 3, Bruins 2.
-By virtue of today's win, the Penguins have guaranteed home-ice advantage through the first three rounds of the postseason. That said, as we've seen all too many times, home ice never guarantees success in the postseason. But ask any coach about the value of it, they'll take it anytime they can get it.
-It's difficult to imagine where the Bruins were mentally after this difficult week. But their emotions clearly got the better of them, especially in the third period. The game was tied and they tried to start two fights. The second one led to a power play on which the Penguins scored the go-ahead goal. Discipline was a big part of the game and the Bruins failed to display much at crucial parts of the game.
-The Penguins' power play looked pretty dreadful for most of the afternoon then finally kicked in during the third period. This unit can be baffling at times.
-Jussi Jokinen's resurgance since joining the Penguins has been tremendous. This was a guy who was dead in the water in terms of being a contributor in Carolina. He joins the Penguins, fills in on a variety of roles and just produces. What's even more staggering is that the Hurricanes are picking up $900,000 of his salary (prorated) for this season and next season.
-Jarome Iginla responded to his detractors in a big way. He fought Nathan Horton in the first period. His goal silenced a bitter crowd in Boston and gave the Penguins a lead. Then what does he do after the game? He wears a Massachusetts State Police hat:
-The Bruins can't help themselves when it comes to Matt Cooke. Cooke hit Adam McQuaid with a perfectly legal hit which hobbled the Bruins defenseman in the second period:
-That resulted in captain Zdeno Chara taking a penalty after jumping Cooke. Later, a hobbled McQuaid tried to fight Cooke in the third period. After the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien said: "We took some penalties. But it’s pretty obvious that it’s a cheap shot from Cooke. The typical, same guy, he’s got to go low, get a guy right around the knee area and turns his back."
-This strikes us as much like the hit Cooke made on Ottawa's Erik Karlsson in that Bruins were more upset at who laid the than the hit itself. If that's Craig Adams bumping McQuaid, there's probably not nearly as much made of it.
-It's amazing how Julien referred to that hit as a "cheap shot" but when Brad Marchand injured Canucs defenseman Sami Salo with a low hit last season, Juliend suggested Marchand was "protecting" himself.
-The Boston media can't seem to get enough of Cooke either. NESN broadcaster Jack Edwards said went off on Cooke and the Pittsburgh media today:
-Edwards later apologized for this comments.
-For the record, the author of this blog is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. We voted for Cooke as the Penguins' nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. Our reasoning was that Cooke's effort to correct and change his game med the criteria for the award which goes to the "player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey." Those characteristics all describe what Cooke did in cleaning up and improving his game.
-The award sometimes gets incorrectly described as a "comeback player" award for someone who rebounds from an injury or some other ailment. It's not always the case. Cooke showed an incredible amount of fortitude last season in making himself a better, cleaner player.
-Beau Bennett keeps making the case to stay in the lineup. He continues to show his willingness to mix it up physically while displaying a slick skillset. We can't think of any viable arguement to keep him out of hte lineup if everyone is healthy.
-Several members of the Boston media seemed to indicated Nathan Horton may have injured a hand during his fight with Iginla. THe Bruins have not issued an official diagnosis.
-Tomas Vokoun turned out another solid start. He wasn't perfect. the first goal he allowed was very sloppy. But he kept the Bruins at bay, especially during the first period, and put his team in a position to win the game.
-We like Deryk Engelland's game today. He gave the Penguins' coaches something to consider when they fill the lineup once everyone is healthy.
-The Bruins led in shots, 40-24.
-Tyler Seguin led the game with eight shots.
-Chris Kunitz led the Penguins with five shots.
-Zdeno Chara led the Bruins with 26:19 of ice time.
-Kris Letang led the Penguins with 24:24.
-The Bruins led the game in faceoffs, 43-29 (60 percent).
-Patrice Bergeron was 19 for 28 (68 percent).
-Brandon Sutter was 10 for 20 (50 percent).
-Douglas Murray and Letang each led the game with three blocked shots.
-Chara and Dennis Seidenberg each led teh Bruins with two blocked shots.
-The Penguins swept the season series against the Bruins going 3-0-0. The only other time they swept the Bruins in a season was 1993-94 (6-0-0).
-Kunitz recorded his 400th career point.