-An exotic blend of bad breaks, scuffed up goal posts, a lack of finishing power and one questionable on-ice ruling conspired to give the Penguins a 3-2 overtime home loss to the Bruins.
-First the bad breaks. The Penguins hit quite a few posts tonight. The biggest of which came on the first shift of overtime where Beau Bennett swung at a airborne puck in the slot and put it off the right post. Sidney Crosby had another fairly significant shot off the far post in the third period with the game tied 2-2 which was crucial.
-The questionable rulings by the officials seemed to work both ways. Craig Adams would have had a rare goal in the first period were it not for Zach Sill being called for interference against Tuukka Rask. On the play, Adam McQuaid shoved Sill into Rask. Rask sold the contact hard and officials ruled interference. It wouldn't be surprising if the NHL, now with an an emphasis on fining players who dive, takes a look at Rask's actions on that play.
Take a look at it yourself:
-A goal there gives this game a potentially different course.
-Rask was asked after the game about the play:
What happened on the play with Zach Sill?:
“I can't remember. I think there was some kind of … the puck was going side to side and then I was sliding. I was kind of mid-slide and off my balance. Then someone bumped into me. I don't know. I can't recall. It's one of those things. The ref kind of has to call that.”
Were the Bruins owed a call like that after having several goals called off this season?
“A lot of times, it's fair game. Obviously, there's some question marks sometimes. But if you're in the crease and you're bumped, the odds are that it's going to get waved off. We haven't had those against us, a lot, against me a lot of time. If the guys in the crease and he doesn't bump into me, that's okay but if he runs into you, then it's a different story.”
-The Penguins got away with their fair share of stuff too. Robert Bortuzzo slashed Loui Eriksson on the hand pretty good:
-Eriksson left the game in the third period due to an undisclosed injury according to head coach Claude Julien.
-We didn't really have a problem with Patrice Bergeron's overtime goal or how the NHL reviewed it. The replay didn't seem all that conclusive one way or another.
-The league's official explanation on how that was reviewed:
At 2:43 of overtime in the Boston Bruins/Pittsburgh Penguins game, video review was inconclusive in determining whether the puck hit glove or stick before entering the Pittsburgh net. Both the glove and stick were at or below the height of the crossbar. The referee's call on the ice was a good goal. Because video review was inconclusive, the referee's call on the ice stands. Good goal Boston.
According to Rule 38.4 (vi) "The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick in relation to the crossbar. If the puck makes contact with the portion of the stick that is at or below the level of the crossbar and enters the goal, this goal shall be allowed."
-More on the bad hops. Each of Boston's regulation goals came off some pinball bounces of the puck. A shot by Reilly Smith hit off Paul Martin's skate and deflected right to Zdeno Chara of all people. Chara rocketed a one-timer from the left point by the glove hand of Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Boston's second regulation goal came on a play where Milan Lucic challenged Robert Bortuzzo one-on-one up the left and was able to directs a shot/pass at the crease as Bortuzzo wiped him out. Fleury poked the puck away but it ended up right on the stick of Bergeron who sniped a wrister behind Fleury. Crosby seemed to be responsible for covering Bergeron on the play and was not in a position to defend the play.
-One of the few bright spots of the night for the Penguins was the second line of Evgeni Malkin, Beau Bennett and Nick Spaling. It would bea stretch to say Spaling had much of a role but Malkin and Bennett accounted for all the Penguins' offense.
O-n the Penguins' first goal, Simon Despres blasted a shot from the right point which ended behind the net. Malkin recovered it and as Chara sort of left him to address Bennett who was positioned to the right of the crease, Malkin was able to slide a pass to Bennett who banged it in. Chara was kind of caught in no-mans land on the play.
-Malkin tied the game 2-2 with a blistering slapper straight from the 1980s. He just ran up the left wing and ka-bonged a shot by Rask on the far side.
-The first line of Sidney Crosby, David Perron and Steve Downie was bottled up for the most part.
-The Penguins' power play went 0 for 4 but it looked better. It fired a lot of shot attempts. At this rate, baby steps are significant progress.
-Perron worked in the left circle primarily and fired a few shots. He looked like a fairly natural fit.
-Paul Martin will never wow you in any way shape or form, but he looked average, even by his tepid standards, tonight. His skating was fine but he looked like he was fighting the puck at times. He had 20:17 of ice time on 25 shifts, one penalty and one blocked shot.
-Zach Sill played with some extra energy tonight and was more than willing to hit anything in a white jersey. He had 7:08 of ice time on 10 shifts and was 3 for 3 in faceoffs.
-The Chris Kunitz-Brandon Sutter experiment didn't bear positive results tonight.
-Despite a fairly back and forth overtime period, this was a pretty ugly game to watch. Narcolepsy was the true winner of this game.
-All in all, the Penguins didn't play badly. The just didn't bury the ample chances they had.
-The Penguins had a 39-24 lead in shots on net.
-The Penguins led in attempted shots, 70-49.
-Malkin led the game with six shots.
-Bergeron led the Bruins with five shots.
-Kris Letang led the game with 27:28 of ice time.
-Chara led the Bruins with 24:30 of ice time.
-The Bruins controlled faceoffs, 36-28 (56 percent).
-Bergeron was 20 for 30 (67 percent).
-Crosby was 13 for 23 (57 percent).
-Chara led the game with five blocked shots.
-Rob Scuderi, Christian Ehrhoff, Simon Despres and Letang each led the Penguins with two blocked shots.
-Fans entering the barn:
-Fans sitting behind the end the Penguins defended in the first and third period were given these paper goaltender masks:
-You see fewer and fewer Jordan Staal jerseys these days:
-Syl Apps, Jr.:
-There are plenty of Bruins fans here. Bobby Orr with the Massachusetts bicentennial patch:
-This guy is here too:
-Former Penguins/Bruins forward Jaromir Jagr:
-The hero of that one Stanley Cup Final, Brad Tolliver:
-Another notable No. 35, Tom Barrasso:
-Jersey of the Night: Former Penguins/Bruins defenseman Jiri Slegr Team Czech Republic: