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Recap: Boston downs Penguins 3-1

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The Penguins can’t push through a tough Boston team, and fall 3-1 at home to the Bruins

Boston Bruins v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Pregame

A rare treat for the Penguins to get to use the same lineup and lines for the second game in a row with Tristan Jarry back in net after shutting out the Bruins on Sunday afternoon.

First period

The first period picks up right where last game left off. Lots of intense end-to-end hockey, some nice goaltending and no goals.

The Pens got two power plays over the course of the period — one more than they got all game, thanks to Mike Reilly getting caught holding a stick early and then the Bruins having way too many players on the ice for too long a bit later. The Pittsburgh power play got great zone time but was unable to score.

Otherwise, another interesting note from the first period is every Pittsburgh center, except Sidney Crosby, lost every faceoff they took. Crosby went 4/8 and 50%, Jeff Carter lost all four, Teddy Blueger lost all five of his, Mark Jankowski lost two and even Zach Aston-Reese took and lost one.

Shots in the first are 14-11 Bruins.

Second period

The Pens get the game’s third power play (and their third) when Kevan Miller is forced to slash Jason Zucker on the hands after Zucker zoomed past the Boston defender. Jared McCann gets a really good look at the net, but...Tuuka Rask happens. The B’s goalie is in the zone.

After a while, Boston finally earns a power play, their first of the game and their first in this two game set against the Pens. The Bruins don’t score there, but not soon after Boston finally breaks the scoreless tie.

David Krejci dekes right around Mike Matheson and then shoots back against the gain with a really nice backhand shot that beats Jarry for his seventh goal of the season at 1:50 left of the second to send Boston to a 1-0 lead.

Shots through the second are 22-17 Boston.

Third period

Patrice Bergeron rings a shot off the post as the Pens are barely hanging on. The Boston top line is getting far better of the Pittsburgh top line in this contest and the Pens are lucky to escape the sequence still only down 1-0.

Tempers start to raise, Bryan Rust sticks up for Jake Guentzel after he gets roughed up, no penalties are called. Then Teddy Blueger and Jeremy Lauzon get tangled up and exchange displeasantries and then decide to drop the gloves for a fight.

The Boston top line then finally breaks through. Brad Marchand shoots and they crash the net. David Pastrnak gets the rebound and Jarry stops that but leaves another rebound that Marchand finds from the right side of the net and Marchand whips it in for his 26th of the season. 2-0 Boston with 10:49 remaining.

With 7:42 left, Boston strikes again. Taylor Hall starts a rush and then he finishes it. Krejci leaves a drop pass and Hall puts a move past Sidney Crosby to gain open room. Hall uses that open room to shoot and score. 3-0 Boston.

The Pens spoil Rask’s shutout with 2:21 left in the game. Kris Letang makes a long stretch pass to give Jeff Carter some space. Carter can still really shoot the puck and blasts a slapshot from the right side.

Pittsburgh pulls the goalie soon after. They get a lot of zone time with the 6v5 but Boston bunched up defensively and keeps them mostly to the outside. Time runs out.

Some thoughts

  • Well these two games sure looked a lot alike, huh? This time a goal was scored at least towards the end of the second period to break the ice.
  • Sidney Crosby: 0 shots on goal, 5 shot attempts. All blocked. Tough game for the captain, as it was his mates. The top line got hemmed in and didn’t perform well at all. Sometimes it bes like that.
  • Slight adjustment made for the third period: Kasperi Kapanen was bumped up to the right wing with McCann and Jeff Carter, Jason Zucker went to play on the right of Zach Aston-Reese and Blueger. Might as well try and mix it up a bit after looking stagnant.
  • Pretty rare occurrence tonight, the Pens went down by two goals for the first time in 20 games played at PPG Paints Arena, and then they went down three.
  • It turned out this was also “due” game. Neither Pittsburgh nor Boston have lost three straight games this season. The Bruins entered the game on a two game losing streak. They were able to avoid that losing streak again.
  • Tonight wraps up a five game home-stand for the Pens, and it was still was a 4-1-0 stretch. Not a great ending, but that works.
  • Rask looked in total control at the other end. The Pens had a couple of chances but were unable to seem that close to scoring. Just no one seemed to have the juice to generate much. Carter got the one late, but that was about the only time Pittsburgh got much on the rush all game long.

And now we close the book on the Boston/Pittsburgh regular season series. At 3-4-1, it’s the only team in the division that the Pens have a losing record against this year. If these teams meet again somewhere down the line, we sure saw a preview in the last 48 hours about tight checking, defensive battles. The Pens now hit the road and will see the Capitals for two games, starting on Thursday, which will be a battle for first place.