At least you kept it close Conk...
The Pittsburgh Penguins lost in a 2-1 effort against the Boston Bruins in what can only be described as a lackadaisic effort before the eyes, ears and hearts of the home crowd. Despite giving up two early goals in the first, the Pens were unable to bounce back in any attempt to skimp even a point out of the effort.
A team wins as a team and loses as a team. But tonight the spotlight seemed a little brighter on the trigger-less Pens.
Blame for this loss can fall on the shoulders of any and all of the Pens' players, but one particular guy comes to mind: Erik Christensen. Why wouldn't he take the shot on a wide open net, deep in the slot on the power play? The entire play was choreographed to perfection. And yet Christensen opted to pass it back to the point rather than take a high percentage shot from the slot. Poor, poor judgment. In any case, someone's trade value may have just taken a significant jump.
On a similar note, the blame can also fall on the shoulders of another player. Writing for a Pens blog doesn't necessarily bring one to recap and praise the play of the other team, but I for one have always believed in giving credit when credit is due. With that in mind - kudos to Tim Thomas. The Pens hardly challenged Thomas on the night, but when they did he was up for the task. His efforts were even greater on the penalty kill. The Bruins defense and Thomas' netminding kept the Penguins power play a pathetic 1-8 on the night. With so many gifts given their way, the Pens were still unable to convert and capitalize to a greater degree with the man advantage.
Luckily the same couldn't be said for the Bruins' power play. Boston was held scoreless with the extra man on six attempts, choosing to dominate the neutral zone instead of the offensive or defensive one. The Bruins' trap-style of play certainly works for them, especially when they jumped out to an early two goal lead.
Evgeni Malkin extended his point streak to six straight games with the only goal of the night late in the third. Despite what appeared to be last second heroics, Malkin was unable to fire a shot off from a bouncing puck before the horn signaled the end of the game.
Before tonight's game the Penguins were averaging four goals a game for the last four games. Tonight they were given 21 attempts, but Thomas' pads turned away all but one.
The Pens look to bounce back tomorrow night against the Hurricanes in Carolina. Pre-game predictions suspect Dany Sabourin will get the start in net.