Bruins Blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder
Prior to this game, it seemed a good number of fans (based solely on comments here on Pensburgh) were divided over the Pens' ability to get at least one point in extra time. Sure, one was nice, two would be ideal, but at least we could all agree that something is better than nothing.
Tonight, the Pens almost found themselves in yet another one-point finish, after David Krejci managed to tie it up with just about 30 seconds remaining in the game. If there's one thing that's becoming just as bad a habit as forcing (or limping to) overtime, it's the Pens' inability to close out the win in regulation.
The Jordan Staal, Tyler Kennedy and Matt Cooke chemistry was first to click for the Pens tonight, as Staal picked up his seventh goal of the season and first in eight games after Kennedy fed him a beautiful pass during a 2-on-1 rush into the Bruins' zone. When you're talking about guys who have their pros and cons this season, Staal seems to be the target of a lot of ire from a number of Penguins fans. But when you consider his injured start to the season, his derailed return after suffering a broken hand in practice and his return from that, you have to commend him for his commitment to throwing himself out there for 20 minutes a night when the team is in no position to have yet another top-tier guy out with an injury. Say what you will, but all it takes is one to tip off a nice rally. Here's to hoping this was the goal to do it.
And then there's Dustin Jeffrey, a guy who is benefiting from the opportunities at hand while Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin remain out of the lineup. Thankfully, the Pens are also beneficiaries to his push for a spot in The Show, as he scored two tonight and padded his season total to seven goals in 18 games.
Had the Pens lost this game in overtime, then Krejci's goal with the extra attacker would've really put a damper on the evening. Thankfully, Jeffrey was just as assertive on defense as he was on offense tonight, after he intercepted a Dennis Seidenberg pass with his backhand, peddled into the Boston zone untouched and beat Tim Thomas for the game winner.
It's always nice to see a team's win streak come to an end at the hand of the Pens, and that was just the case tonight as Pittsburgh snapped Boston's seven-game run. But there's still plenty of work to do if this team wants to get everyone on the same page before the playoffs. Regardless, it's nice to see a five-game road trip end with six points. Now, for the sake of my heart rate, perhaps the Pens can consider winning in regulation a few times over the next month or so.
Sabres are up next, Tuesday at 7 p.m.