Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins: Live Score, Updates & Analysis
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins met Saturday afternoon, after the game was delayed from Friday night.
Boston wasted little time in getting going offensively in this one, with a flurry of shots against Pittsburgh's Tomas Vokoun. The middle of the first period saw the Bruins cashing in on a Brad Marchand power-play goal with Matt Cooke in the box.
In the second period, Pittsburgh's Jussi Jokinen took a rebound from the front of the Boston net and poked it upstairs to tie the game at one.
In the third period, Jarome Iginla cashed in on a power-play goal from the point, slapping the puck between Tuukka Rask's "five-hole" to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead. Kris Letang then capitalized on the power play with a wrist shot from the point that beat Tuukka Rask on the short side of the goal.
Tyler Seguin scored with 2.6 seconds to go in the game, but it was too little too late for the Bruins.
This game was all about the Bruins' lack of discipline. The Penguins' power play was slow in getting started, but really got hot in the third period with a pair of back-to-back power-play tallies.
The Bruins just couldn't beat Vokoun—it wasn't for lack of trying as the Bruins put up 40 shots on goal in the game—when it counted in the first period after scoring the first goal. Vokoun kept the Bruins off of the score sheet until the game was well in hand.
Pittsburgh will now have home-ice advantage for at least the first three rounds of the playoffs, as they secured the top spot in the Eastern Conference regular season standings with a victory Saturday.
Final: Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Boston Bruins 2
As for the Penguins, although catching Chicago for the President's Trophy seems like an outside situation at this point, the Penguins now have the luxury of resting (and continuing to rest) some start players.
Malkin and Crosby don't have to come back until the playoffs start if the Penguins' organization feels like it would be better to rest them until then.
This is because with 68 points, the Penguins have the Eastern Conference locked up now, as Boston does not have enough games left to catch the Penguins even if the Penguins were to lose their remaining four games and Boston were to win out.
Having said that, Crosby has not played in the month of April, so the Penguins likely want him to get some game experience before sitting him for the last game or two of the regular season.
This Boston loss opens the door for the Toronto Maple Leafs to possibly making a late run at home-ice advantage in the first round.
Toronto's remaining schedule sees them play the Ottawa Senators (who the Leafs have beaten three out of four times this season), the Florida Panthers (the Leafs are (2-0 against Florida this season), the Tampa Bay Lightning (the Leafs have split two games with Tampa this season) and the Montreal Canadiens (whom the Leafs have defeated three out of four times this season).
If Boston continues to falter, although the Bruins have a game in and and are four points up on Toronto, there is still an outside possibility that Toronto seizes home-ice advantage from the Bruins going forward.
That's all for today's game. Pittsburgh, beginning to string together some wins again, as they are now winners of six straight games.
The Penguins could catch the Blackhawks for the President's Trophy for most points in the NHL, but the Blackhawks have a game in hand and are now four points ahead of the Penguins with only four games left for Pittsburgh.
That's all for today's game.
Thanks for following along!
Tyler Seguin just scored with 2.6 seconds to go in the game. Too late for the Bruins.
Final score 3-2 Penguins.
Jack Edwards, calling the game, just announced that the Boston Bruins have allowed two power-play goals in three consecutive games.
The Bruins, with a loss, are winless in four games, while the Penguins have won 21 of 23 games.
With under four minutes to go in this game, Joe Vitale and Brad Marchand will head to the box with matching minor penalties for slashing.
The Bruins have been taken out of their game, but it wasn't Pittsburgh who took the Bruins out of the game. Instead, the Bruins' lack of discipline (giving six power play chances to Pittsburgh today) did them in in this one.
While this game is not over yet, it certainly looks like the Penguins have this one just about wrapped up.
A team can only take so many power plays against the Penguins before these penalties start coming back to bite that team. Even without Crosby, Malkin and Neal (who have combined for 14 power-play goals and many more assists), the Penguins are still especially dangerous on the power play.
REPLAY: When you boo Iginla... pens.pe/15sdd8Y— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 20, 2013
Also, the Pittsburgh Penguins want to make a public service announcement about what happens when Iginla gets booed.
Matt Bartkowski took a high-sticking penalty on Pascal Dupuis and the Penguins promptly score another power-play goal.
This time, courtesy of Kris Letang's wrist shot from the point.
Two third-period Bruins penalties have translated into two third-period Penguins' power play goals.
Penguins 3, Bruins 1.
The amusing part of that last Penguins' power-play goal was that Iginla probably touched the puck about six or seven times while the Penguins were in the zone on the power play. The booing would start and then promptly stop when Iginla passed the puck.
Once Iginla scored, one could almost hear a pin drop in the crowd. No booing, no cheering; nothing.
The Bruins have had some chances since that goal, but they are definitely missing Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic on their top-six forwards group.
Horton left with an injury at the end of the first period, while Lucic is a healthy scratch. Either of those players could help the Bruins offensively, but neither are available right now.
Iginla winds up from the point and scores. After getting booed numerous times in this game, the former Calgary Flame has given his team the lead 2-1 on a power-play goal.
Penguins 2, Bruins 1.
Brad Marchand tries to drop the gloves with Jussi Jokinen, but as he gets in a couple shots, the linesmen jump in and break it up. Marchand picks up two minutes for roughing.
Another power play here for the Penguins. Pittsburgh is 0-4 so far, but two of those power plays ended only moments after they started as Penguins' penalties negative the advantages.
Let's see if this power play will be different.
Third period is underway, with immediate pressure by Pittsburgh on their power play.
Nothing comes of the power play though, and the power play ends without any scoring damage by the Penguins.
The Penguins responded nicely in the second period after getting out-skated and out-shot in the first period by the Bruins.
The Bruins still out-shot the Penguins 15-11 in the period, but the Penguins did what they needed to do, in getting to the goal and Jokinen putting in the tying goal.
Although it would be hard to argue that the Penguins are a disadvantaged team right now (with all the talent that they still have in their lineup), they are obviously missing Malkin, Crosby, Neal and Martin.
It is almost unthinkable to imagine what the Penguins could be doing with those four players in their lineup. Jarome Iginla himself has not even played a full game with Crosby, as he was injured in the first game that Iginla was in the lineup.
Tied at 1 after two period, should be an interesting finish to the game.
Under a minute to go in the second period and Jaromir Jagr gets whistled for hooking down Craig Adams.
The challenge for Pittsburgh is not only making something happen, but making something happen without negating the power play by taking a penalty of their own.
This will be a challenge as stated before without the top-two centers on this team in Crosby and Malkin.
And Jussi Jokinen negates the rest of the Penguins' power play by taking a cross-checking penalty in the scrum.
That's two Penguins' power plays now that have ended after less than a minute as a result of a Penguins' penalty.
Matt Cooke hits Adam McQuaid on a semi-legal hip check (where Cooke stuck his rear into the side of McQuaid's leg). Chara seeks revenge, so Chara will sit for two minutes or less.
Penguins could really make the Bruins pay with one of the Bruins' captain (one of their best penalty killers) off of the ice.
Bruins kill the Pittsburgh power play. That power play had some chances, but none that were serious enough to merit talking about.
The Penguins' power play, needless to say, is just not the same without Malkin or Crosby.
Brad Marchand is being himself again: being a pest and getting to the net.
Marchand tosses the puck on Vokoun and then goes and goes to try and dig it out (with his stick) from Vokoun's equipment. Pittsburgh's players on the ice react and Marchand gets face-washed behind the net.
The energy in this Boston crowd seemed to have gone out of the window, but Marchand's scrum put the energy back in the crowd.
Bruins go back to the penalty kill here as Rich Peverly hits Chris Kunitz with a high stick.
NESN's play-by-play man, Jack Edwards, made some comments about Matt Cooke in the first period that might be worth a look.
Edwards compared Penguins' forward Matt Cooke to a prisoner, Sirhan Sirhan.
I am sorry for insulting Matt Cooke, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the National Hockey League, and anyone else upset by my Cooke comments.— Jack Edwards (@RealJackEdwards) April 20, 2013
I made a mistake.My fault all the way.This is my apology.Bad week, bad emotional reaction by me.— Jack Edwards (@RealJackEdwards) April 20, 2013
Edwards has since apologized and deleted some of his tweets, but the comparison remains.
Jussi Jokinen ties the game at one on a goal-mouth scramble. Tuukka Rask sprawled to make a desperation save, but Jokinen poked it by Rask and into the goal.
Just what the Penguins needed to get back into this game.
Speaking of getting back into this game, the crowd needs to give their Bruins a lift so they can get some home-ice advantage back.
Bruins 1, Penguins 1.
The second period is underway here in Boston.
Both penalties are expired and the teams are back to even strength.
Boston Bruins' forward, Nathan Horton, evidently will not get a chance to fight Jarome Iginla again today.
Apparently he sustained an injury in the fight.
Update: Nathan Horton will not return to today's game ^BB— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 20, 2013
The Bruins announced his absence on Twitter.
End of the first period here in Boston.
Bruins are up one goal, but without some timely saves (and some missed shots on quality Boston chances), it could have been a lot worse for Pittsburgh.
The Bruins rode some early momentum to generate four shots on goal in the first minute of the game, finishing with a 13-5 shot advantage in the period.
The Penguins need to find a way to generate their own sustained momentum despite missing three of their top-six scorers in Crosby, Malkin and Neal. This starts with denying chances from Boston and having the puck for more than a couple seconds at a time.
The Penguins also had four giveaways in the first period to the Bruins' one giveaway. Obviously it doesn't help offensively if the Penguins continue giving away freebies to the Bruins.
The Bruins had a competitive advantage to start the game after the emotional crowd to start the game, but that crowd noise effect has worn off to some effect.
Carl Soderberg. Welcome to the NHL, try learning the definition of hooking. Soderberg with some minimal contact will sit for two minutes.
Matt Niskanen negates the Penguins' power play by interfering with Chris Kelly.
Four-on-four play here to end the first period.
Fight night in Boston, round two. Nathan Horton bumps Jarome Iginla on the side boards and the two take their time to drop the gloves.
Nothing really doing in this fight, as the two slip and Horton falls to the ice with just a couple of punches being thrown.
Expect those two to go again later in this game if time and the situation permit.
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