The Boston Bruins hallmark is physical, hardnosed play. They intimidate. They hit. They make you pay a price to play them and you certainly don't have a good time when they're on the schedule.
The Pittsburgh Pengiuns took a page out of that playbook and skated into Boston with bad intentions. And they hit, scraped and clawed their way past the B's for a 2-1 matinee win. Though the official statkeeper only credited 28 hits for the Pens (16 of them by the trio of Chris Kunitz, Brooks Orpik and Deryk Engelland), the whole team was physical and chippy and earned a tough win over a stiff opponent.
Some more thoughts on the game:
- In a game like this, you'd expect the goals to be well-earned and they both were for Pittsburgh. Immediately after scoring from right in front of the net both Evgeni Malkin and Matt Cooke were hit and knocked down. Gotta pay the price to score some goals and both were willing.
- Marc-Andre Fleury was sterling stopping 28 of 29 shots and is riding a personal nine game winning streak now. He's in the zone and playing some of the best and most consistent hockey of his career.
- Important to get that first goal, from Malkin. It was on the power play and right before the first ended. Boston out-shot the Pens in the first and although not much was going on, the Pens really stole the momentum and put their stamp on the game by taking the lead into the dressing room. It's something they'd never look back from.
- Zbynek Michalek and Paul Martin were the pair on the ice for the only goal against, which has been a trend lately. The two of them just haven't gotten into a rythym together. And though Martin is the favorite target of Pens fans' ire, when will it be discussed that Michalek has been responsible for a lot of the bad too (like this one).
- Cal O'Reilly skated 14:21 in his Penguins debut and looked pretty good in his new sweater. O'Reilly had one shot on goal, and it was pretty good too when he re-directed a Martin shot/pass to the cage.
- Speaking of O'Reilly, his arrival was rumored to put the screws to Dustin Jeffrey, who hasn't been producing much lately in the wake of his recovery from ACL surgery. Jeffrey did have a real nice subtle play to set up the Cooke goal, so nice to see him respond at least for one night.
Finally, Brooks Orpik about sums it up when he sends Daniel Paille for a ride. To quote "Bull Durham"- anything that flies that far oughta have a stewardess on it, wouldn't you think?