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Recap: Penguins win 4-1 in Boston with another solid effort

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Pittsburgh ends a long losing streak in Boston by downing the Bruins 4-1.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Pregame

Brandon Tanev is back for the Penguins from injury and a brief stint on the COIVD list. Tristan Jarry doesn’t dress so Manny Lagace serves his first game in Pittsburgh from the bench.

And here is how the Bruins will lineup:

First period

Pretty good road period for the Penguins...Which is a nice way to say, not much going on. The Bruins only get two SOG in the first period, which includes the first power play of the night when Brian Dumoulin is sent off for cross-checking.

Pittsburgh doesn’t have much more going on offensively themselves. A couple nice shifts for the Sidney Crosby line, but otherwise, a dull 20 minutes. Maybe not the worst thing on the road.

Jared McCann continued his strong play as of late by springing Jason Zucker on a breakaway. Zucker didn’t really look like he got the puck under control and skied the shot.

Shots are 7-2 Pittsburgh. Goals are 0-0.

Second period

Jake Guentzel gets a breakaway early but can’t score.

It feels like the Pens are getting close, and they are able to strike. Great play defensively by Brandon Tanev on the backcheck to help win a puck back, and on the rush Frederick Gaudreau does well to advance the puck and gain the zone. Gaudreau gives the puck up for Tanev who makes a nifty backhand pass across the ice. Zach Aston-Reese fights off the defending of Charlie Coyle to get to the net and tap ‘er home. 1-0 Pens.

The Pens keep up the pressure for the most part, and then Mike Matheson scores a highlight reel beauty of a goal. The defenseman skates it through the zones, makes a speed move to the outside of Jeremy Lauzon before dipping to the net and dekeing forehand to tuck the puck in behind Daniel Vladar. 2-0 Pittsburgh on a pretty move for Matheson’s third of the season.

Shots in the second end up 13-10 Boston. More importantly, Pittsburgh scores twice in the second. Overall in the game it’s a low event contest with the SOG board reading just 17-15 Pens after 40 minutes.

Third period

30 seconds in the Bruins take their first penalty of the game, but 30 seconds later Kris Letang and Brad Marchand get tangled up and both go for coincidental minors, with nothing further coming from it.

With 8:46 left the Bruins get their first goal of the game to climb back in. Patrice Bergeron makes a makes through the middle and Marchand is there to quickly shovels the puck past Casey DeSmith to the top shelf and it’s a 2-1 game.

Less than two minutes later, the Pens get their two goal cushion back. Very slick play by Evan Rodrigues to deliver a backhand pass for Jason Zucker. Zucker from the right side has an open net for his fifth goal of the season.

With 3:09 left and an o-zone draw, the Bruins pull Vladar for a 6v5. Bergeron keeps beating Crosby on faceoffs and DeSmith has to make a big glove save on Marchand. Finally the Pens get the puck and Jake Guentzel has a long range ENG for his 15th of the year to stretch the lead to 4-1.

Mark Jankowski gets his name on the books for a minor penalty with 1:16 left. Boston can’t beat DeSmith.

Some thoughts

  • Sixth game in a row now for Pittsburgh that they’ve scored the game’s first goal. For a team that started so slow early in the year, getting on the board first is going to be critical as we get deeper in the season as games tend to get more intense and have less room to typically make a lot of comebacks or multi-goal comebacks.
  • To that end, the Pens improve to 13-3-1 this season when scoring first in a game, and 14-1-0 when winning at the second intermission.
  • When Mike Matheson was like a maximum of like 16 years old, he should have switched to forward. Great move by him on his goal.
  • Boston has a few key players out (Sean Kuraly, Jake DeBrusk, Tuukka Rask, Ondrej Kase) but so did the Pens. Boston just does not look very good right now, outside of their first line + Charlie MacAvoy. The rest of their players are just kinda there. Credit to the Pens for playing well, but this isn’t a new development for the Bruins as of late.
  • To make matter worse for the B’s, defenseman Brandon Carlo left the game in the first period with an upper body injury and did not return. His status for a fairly quick turnaround to the next game on Saturday at 1PM is a big deal, that would be quite the loss if he misses more time.
  • MacAvoy got one heck of a lick in on Aston-Reese on a clean shoulder check in the second period. Don’t see to many collisions like that in the NHL today. Luckily ZAR looked no worse for wear and bounced back up and kept going.
  • Another win and great performance for DeSmith. He ended up with 30 saves, and 28 in the last two periods.
  • It was nice to see the coaching staff reward Gaudreau by playing the third line, in essence jumping over Mark Jankowski on the depth chart, if only for a night. And this night’s results won’t hurt Gaudreau’s standing, he was good. Again. He’s only played eight games on the season, and who knows what his level of play will be eight games from now. But....so far so good and a five game point scoring streak.

As mentioned, the next game between these two teams will be here soon with an afternoon start on Saturday. Pittsburgh will be taking a five game winning streak into it and look to start a positive streak @Boston.