Bruins-Penguins Live: B’s Can’t Muster Enough Offense, Drop 2-1 Decision to Pens

Zdeno Chara, Sidney CrosbyFinal, Penguins 2-1: The Bruins couldn’t tie the game in the game’s final moments. In fact, they could barely get Tuukka Rask off the ice to get the extra attacker on.

It was a total mess in the final few minutes, which is a pretty good way to describe the entire game for the Bruins, at least in terms of offense. They were disjointed all afternoon, and while they may have had a pretty blatant advantage in shots on goal, they really didn’t get much in terms of good scoring chances.

Third period, 17:46, Penguins 2-1: It looks like Rich Peverley is going to center the top line for the rest of the afternoon after David Krejci went to the room with a pretty scary-looking leg injury.

That’s not good news for a Bruins team that continues to struggle to generate offense against what’s been a stingy Pittsburgh defense, even in Kris Letang’s absence.

Third period, 14:46, Penguins 2-1: The Bruins have been really lucky this season when it comes to injuries, but that trend may be starting to reverse.

David Krejci was just helped off the ice and he was putting no weight on his right leg. He took a Johnny Boychuck slap shot to what looked to be the top of the right knee. He went straight down and lay on the ice for a few moments before trainers came out and helped him off.

Third period 14:09, Penguins 2-1: The Bruins were just inches from tying the game.

Tyler Seguin, who has been on his game all afternoon, has got to be very frustrated with himself right now. The young forward nearly scored on a wraparound attempt, and he actually had Tomas Vokoun beat. But Seguin couldn’t quite get the puck across the goal line. Instead, the puck went shooting through the crease right along the goal line and out the other side of the crease into the corner.

Third period 11:32, Penguins 2-1: We’re starting to see some quicker line changes and shorter shifts with both teams on the back end of back-to-backs.

Both clubs have had some solid possessions in the last couple of minutes, but “solid” isn’t going to get the job done for the Bruins.

Third period, 7:54, Penguins 2-1: The Bruins just got a really good shift out of their second line that led to a shot on goal, and they have to hope that jump-starts their offense.

The Penguins are doing a good job of tightening up on defense, and it’s making it difficult for the Bruins to get into the Pittsburgh zone and establish some puck possession. They were finally just able to do that and it led to some brilliant passing that stretched the defense and had Tomas Vokoun scrambling a little bit.

That’s what the Bruins need right now, but that’s going to be easer said than done.

Third period, 0:33, Penguins 2-1: The third period is under way, where the Bruins will look to get something going offensively.

Second period reaction: The Bruins are now in position to do to the Penguins what the Pens did to them earlier in the week. That, of course, would be coming back to win in the third period.

The Bruins will enter the third period trailing 2-1 after a decent second period. The B’s outshot the Penguins in the middle period 9-5, but they didn’t have any marquee scoring chances. That’s going to need to change obviously in the third, and I really think it comes back to getting more out of the forecheck. We saw Saturday afternoon how that generates instant offense, and that’s what jump-started the first line. Speaking of, they could use a big period here. They haven’t been awful in this game, but they’ve been a far cry from where they were against the Capitals. Of course, the Penguins are just a tad better and have a little more fight than the Caps right now, but the point stands. The first line can’t just come and go as they please. They need to have more consistent efforts, and putting together a strong third period would be a nice way to continue their momentum started Saturday.

We’ll also be keeping an eye on Kris Letang and whether or not he returns. He left in the first period with a mystery injury, and we haven’t seen him since. He’s one of the most improved players in the league this season, and he’s obviously a huge piece for the Penguins on their blue line.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the third period, of course, as both teams are playing in the tail end of back-to-backs.

End second period, Penguins 2-1: The second period comes to an end just a few seconds after the Bruins were able to kill off the first Pittsburgh power play of the afternoon.

Second period, 17:20, Penguins 2-1: The vaunted Penguins power play gets its first chance of the afternoon, and the Bruins will have to kill it off without arguably their best penalty killer.

Patrice Bergeron was just called for delay of game as he played the puck with his hand on a faceoff in the defensive zone, which is a new rule this year. It’s kind of a dumb rule. Alas.

Second period, 16:51, Penguins 2-1: The Bruins can’t do much of anything, and the power play comes to an end.

They got a little bit of a bad break when Nathan Horton broke his stick in the attacking zone, and that kind of foiled any momentum they had built.

Second period, 14:18, Penguins 2-1: Now would be a very good time for the Bruins to even things up before the end of the second period.

They just got their second power play of the game after Sidney Crosby caught Johnny Boychuk with what’s being called as a clip.

Second period, 12:33, Penguins 2-1: The Bruins have tilted the ice some in their favor here in the second period, but they have nothing to show for it as of yet in the middle frame.

Boston is outshooting Pittsburgh 7-2 in the second period, and they have held possession in the Penguins zone quite a bit, but they still seem a little disjointed.

Claude Julien just talked to NBC during the commercial break and unsurprisingly, he spoke about the forecheck. The Bruins would be well-served to improve that forecheck in an attempt to get some higher quality scoring chances. They have the lead in shots as just mentioned, but there haven’t been a ton of scoring chances yet. Creating some turnovers in the Pittsburgh zone would certainly help.

Second period, 6:20, Penguins 2-1: It remains a back-and-forth affair with both teams trading some really good shifts.

The Bruins’ best line thus far has been the Patrice Bergeron line. Tyler Seguin has been the best Bruins player on the ice so far, and that’s starting to carry over to the rest of his line. They had a couple of really good scoring chances early in the period, especially when Seguin was set up for a one-timer from the left wing. Tomas Vokoun was able to hold the post, however, denying Seguin his second goal of the game.

Second period, 1:05, Penguins 2-1: The second period is under way with a couple of good shifts from the Bruins’ top two lines.

First period reaction: It was an up-and-down, back-and-forth first period, and it’s the Penguins who will take the lead to intermission. It looked like the first frame was destined to finish tied, but that late goal on a poor play from Tuukka Rask gives the Pens the lead.

The Bruins, though, are doing a better job of gettig pucks on net against the Penguins after the B’s were limited to just 16 shots on goal in Tuesday’s loss. They already have 11 in this one. Four of those shots have come from Tyler Seguin, who is playing a heck of a game so far. He scored the lone Boston goal by putting himself in the right place at the right time and then letting his talent take over from there.

Boston also seems intent on getting physical. They have 10 hits throught 20 minutes, with nine B’s registering at least a hit.

On the other end, the conversation begins with Sidney Crosby, of course. Arguably the best player in the world, the Pittsburgh captain is playing incredible hockey right now, and he showed that in the first period. Crosby outworked Zdeno Chara behind the Boston net to help the Pens win the puck, and he continued the play, eventually scoring the game’s first goal.

First period, 19:28, Penguins 2-1: That’s a tough way to end the first period for the Bruins, as Tuukka Rask just got uncharacteristically sloppy in the period’s final minute.

Craig Adams took a shot from the right wing, and Rask stopped it with his catching glove, but he gave up a weak rebound that he wasn’t able to control. That allowed Joe Vitale to jump on the rebound in front of the net, shooting it over Rask’s shoulder as Vitale fell to the ice.

The Penguins will take that one-goal lead to the dressing room for the first intermission.

First period, 16:38, 1-1: The Bruins’ second line once again comes up big when the Bruins really need it.

Tyler Seguin just scored his 10th goal of the season on what was easily the Bruins’ best shift of the day. The B’s put a bunch of pressure on the Penguins in the Pittsburgh zone, and it paid off when a Johnny Boychuk shot from the right point was blocked before caroming to Seguin in the left faceoff circle. The forward knew just what to do with that, banging it home by Tomas Vokoun, who wasn’t able to recover after the deflection in time.

First period, 12:06, Penguins 1-0: Sidney Crosby has been very involved thus far, and he just got the Penguins on the board with the game’s first goal.

The Bruins won a faceoff in their own zone, but the Penguins were aggressive in chasing the puck below the goal line, forcing a turnover from the B’s and a misplay from Zdeno Chara, who couldn’t gain possession.

Crosby was ultimately the beneficiary of that, as he took a pass from Chris Kunitz in the slot, gathered it and wristed it by Tuukka Rask, as the Boston goalie couldn’t go post-to-post in time.

First period, 11:58, 0-0: The Penguins just got the first real good scoring chance, and unsurprisingly, it came off the stick of Sidney Crosby.

The Pittsburgh captain broke loose into the Boston zone, with Zdeno Chara tailing him closely. Crosby was able to get a shot off, but Tuukka Rask made a very nice save to keep it scoreless.

First period, 9:48, 0-0: There was nothing doing for the Bruins on the power play, as the Penguins were able to block a few shots and win a couple of key faceoffs to keep this game scoreless. The Pens got a hearty ovation from the home crowd after killing the penalty.

It’s been a pretty physical affair thus far, with the Bruins really taking the body. The B’s are clearly trying to set a physical tone early on as evidenced by their seven hits through the first half of the first period. The Penguins are bringing it too, with five hits of their own.

It’s been a pretty good pace so far, with both clubs going back and forth, but not necessarily out of control. It’s been about as you’d expect from two of the best teams in the game.

First period, 4:15, 0-0: The Bruins will get the first power play of the afternoon against one of the league’s worst penalty kills this season.

Brooks Orpik was called for delay of game after he tried to move the puck up ice and got under it a bit, flipping it over the glass.

First period, 0:30, 0-0: The St. Patrick’s Day matinee in Pittsburgh is under way.

12:05 p.m.: Much has been made over the last couple of years about the Bruins’ issues in matinee games. However, they’ve actually reversed that trend this season.

Boston is 5-0-0 in day games this season, just one season after they went just 6-7-2 in matinees.

Pregame warmups have begun in Pittsburgh, and we now have our goaltending matchup. Unsurprisingly, Tuukka Rask led the Bruins out, and he’ll be back in net after getting the day off Saturday. On the other side, Tomas Vokoun — not Marc-Andre Fleury — led the Penguins out, meaning it will be the Pittsburgh backup between the pipes.

11:50 a.m.: Good morning, and happy St. Patrick’s Day.

We’re a little less than an hour away from puck drop in Pittsburgh in what’s going to be a big game for both teams. There’s a lot at stake in this one, and the winner of this highly touted matinee will take over first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Penguins, as the Bruins are more than aware of, are red-hot right now. Dan Bylsma’s bunch comes in having won eight straight, including that win over the Bruins just a few days ago. Pittsburgh is also in the back half of a back-to-back after the Pens blanked the reeling Rangers 3-0 on Saturday afternoon.

8 a.m. ET: The Bruins exorcised the demons of one third-period meltdown on Saturday, and they’ll get the chance to do the same on Sunday.

The Bruins are back in Pittsburgh for a matinee tilt with the Penguins, less than a week after blowing a two-goal lead in the third period en route to losing 3-2 on Tuesday night. It won’t be easy, though, as just like Tuesday night, the Bruins will have to take down one of the NHL’s best teams on short rest.

The B’s quickly vacated TD Garden on Saturday afternoon after beating Washington 4-1, as the second half of the back-to-back in Pittsburgh marks the start of a four-game road trip for Boston. The Bruins have been very good in the first half of the dreaded back-to-backs, now 4-0-0 in the first games. The second, as you might expect, has given Boston some issue. The B’s are just 1-2-0 on the back end entering Sunday’s game.

Puck drop for the St. Patrick’s Day matinee in Pittsburgh is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

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