Pittsburgh was in attack mode early, forcing Tuukka Rask to make six saves less than 10 minutes into the contest. Boston struck first, though, as the leading scorer in the NHL playoffs, David Krejci, slipped the puck past the Pens’ Tomas Vokoun 8:23 into the game.
WEEI’s Michael Berger pointed out that history was on the Bruins’ side after that:
Comcast Sportsnet’s Joe Haggerty didn’t view the deflected slap shot that Vokoun let slide past him as a fluke, but potentially the start of a trend:
At the end of the first, Boston still led 1-0, but the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Dejan Kovacevic told Pens fans to have no fear:
Pittsburgh attempted five more shots than Boston, blowing several scoring opportunities. The Pens forced Rask to make six more saves by the end of the period, bringing his total to 12 compared to six for Vokoun.
Less than two minutes into the second period, Matt Cooke pancaked Adam McQuaid into the boards behind the Boston goal, and he stayed down. When able to stand up, team doctors took McQuaid to the locker room. He soon returned to the bench.
Cooke received a five-minute penalty for checking from behind and was ejected.
Here is the hit on Marc Savard that Schnee referred to:
Boston couldn’t take advantage of its numbers or momentum. Its best scoring opportunity actually came short-handed, though, in a two-on-goalie attack with less than eight minutes left in the second period.
The play left the Wall Street Journal’s Eric Edholm flabbergasted:
Brad Marchand later returned the favor to the Pens for Cooke’s hit with under a minute to go in the period, leveling James Neal from behind. Marchand received a two-minute penalty for boarding.
The National Post’s Bruce Arthur formed a prediction after the collision: blood.
Right on cue, tempers flared, and a shoving match broke out at center ice moments after the buzzer sounded.
Evgeni Malkin and Patrice Bergeron then emerged from the cluster, Malkin landing a series of blows to Bergeron. They both received five-minute penalties for fighting. Zdeno Chara also had to be separated from a chirping Sidney Crosby.
Keegan Bradley wasn’t impressed with Malkin or Crosby’s fire:
Barstool Sports’ David Portnoy sang the same tune as Bradley, egging on Crosby:
Less than five minutes into the third period, Crosby wasn’t talking anymore. Krejci scored once again, adding to his league-leading points total. Less than four minutes later, Nathan Horton—who had fed Krejci for two prior goals, thinned the Pens’ likelihood of a comeback even further, stretching the Bruins’ lead to three with his own.
As active as the referees were in the first two periods—enforcing 13 penalties—only a two-minute Crosby slashing penalty was called in the third. Even more quiet than the refs were the Pens, who failed to put a dent in the scoreboard.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and a news editor at Wade-O Radio.