Bruins-Penguins Live: B’s Spank Pens 6-1, Head Back to Boston With 2-0 Series Lead

Jarome Iginla, Tuukka Rask, Dennis Seidenberg

Final, Bruins 6-1: That’s it, and that’s all. The Bruins blitz the Penguins with a 6-1 win, and the B’s are heading home with a 2-0 series lead.

Third period, 18:36, Bruins 6-1: Johnny Boychuk just ripped a rocket by Marc-Andre Fleury, and it’s now 6-1. Ho-hum.

Third period, 14:11, Bruins 5-1: There’s still not a ton going on here in the third period. The Penguins, trailing by four, have apparently packed up and are going to give it the old college try as this shifts to Boston. So, too, will their fans, apparently, as the CONSOL Energy is short on, well, energy at this point.

Let’s start talking about Game 3. Who do the Penguins start? If I’m Dan Bylsma, I’m gonna go with Marc-Andre Fleury solely because I think he’s got the better chance to get hot. That’s based on nothing but a hunch really given the way he’s played in the playoffs.

Third period, 9:40, Bruins 5-1: Tuukka Rask might not get a ton of credit for the way he’s played in this game, but he’s been very good.

He was big once again on the penalty kill just now, as he made a couple of big saves, including a kick save on Chris Kunitz to ensure the Penguins stay 0-for-the-series on the power play.

Third period, 7:33, Bruins 5-1:  Zdeno Chara fell at center ice, and that sent the Penguins in on the break. That forced Milan Lucic to take an interference penalty.

The Penguins will get their second power play of the night.

Third period, 6:15, Bruins 5-1: They’re just playing out the string at this point, so let’s talk a little Kris Letang, shall we?

I’m not sure if he’s dinged up or something, but he’s had a very forgettable series thus far. The Norris Trophy finalist has been on the ice for six of the Bruins’ eight goals in this series. On the offensive end, he’s been virtually nonexistent. All of these things are problems. We talked about how he needed to be better in this game than in Game 1, but he’s been arguably been worse. That’s just one of the many problems for Pittsburgh through two games.

Third period, 0:28, Bruins 5-1: Well this is just getting silly.

Patrice Bergeron just crushed home a one-timer in the slot from Jaromir Jagr and this is officially a laugher.

Dan Bylsma may have outsmarted himself there. He used the last change to get Sidney Crosby’s line away from Bergeron, which ended up backfiring.

Third period, 0:17, Bruins 4-1: The third period is underway; the Bruins are winning 4-1.

Second period reaction: The good news for the Penguins is that they didn’t allow a goal in the second period. The bad news, of course, is that they didn’t score one, either. The worse new is that they look like they’ve just about packed it in .

That was in full display in the final moments of the second period. Evgeni Malkin had a chance to rather easily take the puck from Nathan Horton as Malkin sneaked up on Horton from behind, but Malkin kind of just glided to the play and didn’t give Horton any trouble. Moments later, the Penguins just allowed an iced puck to cross the line before the horn sounded instead of sprinting down the ice to touch it up for one last offensive zone faceoff.

Pittsburgh has also been awful with the puck, and that has all started with Sidney Crosby. The Pittsburgh captain is playing what is probably his worst game in a long time. He’s a minus-1, has just one shot and he’s registered four giveaways so far. Those four giveaways, part of nine for Pittsburgh as a team, are more than the Bruins have as a team.

Credit must be given to the Bruins, too, though. The B’s were fantastic in the first period, and they took advantage of their chances. In the second period, they’ve relied on defense. They aren’t allowing the Penguins to open up the ice like they want to, and that’s making life a little easier for Tuukka Rask. Despite the fact that he’s going up against one of the best offenses in hockey, Rask has had a relative walk in the park, as he’s made 12 saves through two periods.

End second period, Bruins 4-1: The Penguins started to turn it on some late in the second period — for like a shift or two — but they weren’t able to get anything on the board.

So it’s a scoreless second period, and the B’s lead 4-1 through two periods in Game 2.

Second period, 13:57, Bruins 4-1: Now that the Bruins killed off the Brad Marchand penalty, frustration is probably about to really start to set in for the Penguins.

Pittsburgh got just one shot on the power play, and they’re lucky the Bruins didn’t get a shorthanded goal. Daniel Paille had a scoring opportunity but couldn’t quite get the puck out of his skates in the Pittsburgh slot.

Second period, 11:54, Bruins 4-1: If the Penguins are going to get back into this game, they may do it on the power play.

Brad Marchand gave the PEnguins that chance as he just tripped Sidney Crosby for Pittsburgh’s first power play.

Second period, 11:11, Bruins 4-1: It may be a little petty to pile on Sidney Crosby, but when you’re supposedly the best player in the world, you’ve got to bring it when it matters most. No. 87 in black is not doing that right now.

Crosby has failed to generate much of anything for the Penguins right now, and perhaps even worse is the fact that the Pittsburgh captain is just so sloppy with the puck right now. It seems like every time the puck touches it stick, the rubber’s next destination is on the blade of a Bruin.

The B’s are playing one of their best defensive games of the year right now. Everything is so tight, and they’re not allowing the Pens to get out in space. It’s something else.

Second period, 7:00, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins continue to look like the team that wants it more, and while they haven’t started the second like they did the first, there’s still a pretty decided difference between the two teams.

The Penguins have changed things up some here in the second period, as they have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin skating on the same line. They have to get something going, so that would seem to be a good place to start.

Regardless, they don’t look to be willing to pay the price right now. The Bruins are winning the puck battles, and they’re doing the little things that they would need to do to make up for the supposed discrepancy in talent.

Things are starting to get a little chippy, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if that starts to boil over a little more, especially if the Bruins can add another one to really put this out of reach.

Second period, o:10, Bruins 4-1: The second period is underway with the Bruins leading 4-1.

First period reaction: That was something else.

The Bruins just dominated the first period, thanks in large part to a horrible effort from the Penguins. Pittsburgh seemed to be more concerned with running around and trying to hit everything that moved rather than actually play hockey. That’s what everyone usually accuses the Bruins of doing, so that was kind of weird.

Anyway, you can’t beat the start or the end of that period for the Bruins. You had to expect the Penguins were going to come out with a much better effort, and it took all of 28 seconds to ruin that. Brad Marchand continues to be a big-game player, with his momentum-grabbing goal to open the scoring. It was Marchand who then scored with 9.1 seconds left in the period to wrestle back the momentum after Brandon Sutter’s goal cut the lead to two when it was 3-0 Boston.

The Penguins have a goaltending mess on their hands right now. Tomas Vokoun wasn’t great, but it wasn’t really his fault. I feel like the goaltending change had more to do with trying to change the mojo than anything else. It probably didn’t help matters, though, that Marc-Andre Fleury gave up a goal on the first shot he faced upon entering the game.

End first period, Bruins 4-1: The first period comes to an end without another goal in the final 9 seconds. That’s actually somewhat surprising. I’m gonna grab a quick breath and a sip of water and break down this first period in a few minutes.

First period, 19:51, Bruins 4-1: Well, so much for that momentum.

Just 24 seconds after Brandon Sutter scored to give the Penguins life, Brad Marchand responds with his second goal to give the B’s a 4-1 lead.

First period, 19:27, Bruins 3-1: For the first time all night, the Penguins have done something right.

Brandon Sutter just took a gorgeous pass through the neutral zone from Matt Cooke,  and Sutter beat Tuukka Rask over the goalie’s right shoulder to cut the lead to two.

First period, 16:31, Bruins 3-0: This is getting out of hand already.

The Bruins are incredible right now, and they just put on a clinic through all three zones.

The David Krejci line just did some tic-tac-toe puck movement, and it ends up as a goal for Krejci. That chases Tomas Vokoun.

First period, 14:37, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins didn’t score on the power play. Seven seconds later, though, they add to their lead.

Nathan Horton is having himself a series, and he just gave the B’s a two-goal lead. Kris Letang couldn’t clear the puck behind his own net, and the B’s kept it in. Eventually, it was Horton who was able to jam home a loose puck as Letang kind of just looked at him in the process.

This has not been a fun series for Letang.

First period, 7:30, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins just got a tremendous shift out of the fourth line (what else is new?), but the momentum wasn’t carried over to the next line.

The Penguins got their best chance of the night when Evgeni Malkin put one on Tuukka Rask, who made the save, but couldn’t control the rebound. Jarome Iginla was in front, but he couldn’t quite corral the rebound.

The Bruins are going on the power play, though. Brooks Oprik was called for elbowing, and he’s sent off.

First period, 7:44, Bruins 1-0: The Penguins seem hellbent on hitting everything in sight, which seems like a questionable tactic given how all of that went in Game 1.

The Penguins have eight hits through the first 7:44 of the game, but they’re not doing much in terms of offense. The Pens have just one shot on goal, and they haven’t had much in terms of a scoring chance.

The Bruins, on the other hand, just possessed the puck for a while in the Pittsburgh zone, their best “possession” of the night. They’re forcing the Penguins to make some questionable decisions with the puck. All in all, a pretty good start for the B’s.

First period, 0:28, Bruins 1-0: That didn’t take long at all.

Brad Marchand just took advantage of a sloppy play from Sidney Crosby, which sprung Marchand for a breakaway, and Marchand beat Tomas Vokoun up under the bar.

It’s Marchand’s third of the playoffs.

First period, 0:01, 0-0: Let’s go. Game 2 is underway.

7:58 p.m.: While the Bruins don’t appear to be making any changes for Game 2, the Penguins look to be making a couple of changes.

According to the team website, both Joe Vitale and Deryk Engelland will be in the lineup. They’ll replace Tyler Kennedy and Mark Eaton respectively. It looks like Vitale will center the fourth line and Engelland will be paired with Douglas Murray.

7:40 p.m.: The Bruins, according to the pregame skate, look to be going with the exact same lineup in Game 2 as they used in Game 1. This is unlikely to surprise anyone, assuming everyone in a white sweater is healthy.

If you’re looking for pregame lines, I suppose I’ll post them again, but just this one time.

Here they are:

Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley — Chris Kelly — Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille — Gregory Campbell — Daniel Paille

Zdeno Chara — Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference — Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug — Adam McQuaid

7:35 p.m.: The Bruins and Penguins have taken the ice for the pregame warmup in Pittsburgh, and Jaromir Jagr is on the ice for the Bruins. That would seem to indicate Jagr will play, and that would seem to indicate any thoughts to the contrary are likely wrong.

7:30 p.m.: This probably doesn’t come as much surprise, but the Bruins are expecting the Penguins to be much better. That wouldn’t take much considering the Penguins are really good and they didn’t really show that in Game 1.

There is just way too much talent and experience on the Pittsburgh roster to think otherwise. Claude Julien is certainly expecting the Pens to be better, as he should be.

“I expect them to be better,” Julien said after morning skate. “Any time you lose a game in your own building, and also being the team they are, they’re going to be better. We expect that. And that’s why we need to be better, as well. Post is part of the game and sometimes they go your way and sometimes they don’t, and every team has been on both sides of them.

“So we’ve hit a few posts ourselves the last game. We’ve managed to score some goals. So that was the difference. So, again, when you have that much firepower in your lineup, you know what you’re up against. So we expect them to be better.”

5:30 p.m.: The Penguins were considered by many to be the favorite when this series started, and with a Game 1 loss still fresh on everyone’s minds, it only makes sense there’s a lot of talk about their potential changes.

One of those potential changes, in the eyes of some, may be coming in net. Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma was not about to answer any questions about that following Game 1, but he was a little bit more receptive to the idea Monday morning. The Penguins have already switched goalies once this postseason, and after allowing three goals in Game 1, questions about switching back to Marc-Andre Fleury are resurfacing.

“I guess if you’re not judging by a win or a loss, and really that’s the case when it comes to judging your goaltender, it’s not just a W or an L that dictates how a guy played in the game or what you may go with,” Bylsma said at his pregame news conference.

Bylsma also admitted he’s heard talk about the idea of change, and he didn’t necessarily shoot down the notion.

“Coaches think about a lot of things, lineup, players, schemes, so like I said, I heard people talk about it on NHL Network, so it did cross my mind,” he said.

It’s not like he’d going back to a total scrub if he were to hand the reins back over to Fleury. The Penguins did win a Stanley Cup in 2009 with Fleury between the pipes.

4:45 p.m.: If you’re looking to kill some time before Game 2, especially with Twitter appearing to be down, how about a podcast?

NESN’s own Jack Edwards was a guest this afternoon on the Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast where he talked all things Bruins-Penguins. I just got done listening to it, and it’s definitely worth checking out. You can download it on iTunes or by clicking here.

Now, onto Game 2-related issues.

If you’re looking for one player who needs to step up his game in Game 2 on the Pittsburgh side, it might be Kris Letang. The defenseman is a Norris Trophy finalist, and he’s got a ton of talent. However, he was fairly suspect in Game 1. Letang was on the ice for two of the Boston goals, and he looked pretty bad on both. On David Krejci’s second goal of the night, it was Letang who was unable to clear the puck flying through the air in front and he was also knocked out of position with a little shove from Krejci. On the Nathan Horton goal, Letang was out of position, as he was closer to the blue line than his own net when Nathan Horton (who was standing all alone in the left dot) was able to score an easy goal on a Tomas Vokoun rebound. Letang is an offensive-minded defenseman and a vital piece of the Pittsburgh power play, so he must take some responsibility for that unit’s struggles as well.

So you can add Letang to the list of players we should expect to bounce back and have a better game in Game 2.

2:25 p.m.: Maybe, just maybe Jaromir Jagr won’t play in Game 2. That’s the feeling of The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont, who is admittedly much smarter than yours truly.

Dupont tweeted just this just a few minutes ago, which is certainly very interesting.

“I would NOT be stunned if Julien opted NOT to suit up Jagr for Game 2.”

Now I have no idea if Dupont has any inside information, or if he’s going off of a hunch, but it’s certainly an interesting take. Jagr hasn’t been great — the production certainly isn’t what you might expect — but where do the Bruins go if they sit Jagr? Perhaps the play is to insert Carl Soderberg into the lineup. That would be a bold move to say the very least, given the fact that the forward hasn’t played since April 28, and he has just six NHL games to his record. That’s a far cry from the experience a future Hall of Famer like Jagr brings to the table, despite his “struggles” as of late.

1:45 p.m.: There were no changes for the Bruins at morning skate, which seems to indicate they’re going to go with the same lineup. It worked pretty well in Game 1, wouldn’t you say?

Jaromir Jagr wasn’t on the ice for morning skate, but neither was Tuukka Rask. They’ll both play in Game 2, of course.

Here are the Bruins’ lines and D-pairs for Game 2, the same exact ones from Game 1.

Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley — Chris Kelly — Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille — Gregory Campbell — Daniel Paille

Zdeno Chara — Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference — Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug — Adam McQuaid

1:15 p.m.: The Penguins don’t appear to be making any major changes, but it does look like they’ll make one minor alteration up front.

Tyler Kennedy, who was previously skating on the third line, and previous fourth liner Brenden Morrow have been swapped, according to the team’s website.

Here are the lines the Pens used at morning skate, with the minor change to the third and fourth lines.

Chris Kunitz — Sidney Crosby — Pascal Dupuis
Jarome Iginla — Evgeni Malkin — James Neal
Brenden Morrow — Brandon Sutter — Matt Cooke
Craig Adams — Jussi Jokinen — Tyler Kennedy

11:56 a.m.: Tomas Vokoun was first off the ice at Penguins morning skates. This means the B’s will likely see him between the pipes again tonight. -JB

8 a.m. ET: The Bruins came out in Game 1 and frustrated the Penguins, and because of that, the B’s have won Game 1. Now it’s on the Penguins to gather themselves and come back with a blow of their own.

Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final will take place in Pittsburgh on Monday night where the Pens will look to even the series in front of their home fans. Boston came into town in Game 1 on Saturday night and put a 3-0 win on Pittsburgh. David Krejci continued his postseason heroics with two goals, and Tuukka Rask posted his first career playoff shutout, as Boston won the series opener.

The Bruins did a great job of slowing down the dynamic duo of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. They did so, for the most part, by getting physical with the ultra-talented Pittsburgh forwards. That all came to a head at the end of the second period where Crosby ended up getting into it with Rask and Boston captain Zdeno Chara while Malkin paired off for a rare fight with Patrice Bergeron.

That wasn’t the only bit of rough stuff going on, either. Matt Cooke, one of Boston’s top sports villains, found himself at the center of controversy once again. The Penguins forward boarded Adam McQuaid early in the second period and was given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding. He won’t face any supplemental discipline and should be in the lineup for Game 2. On the other side, Brad Marchand caught the ire of the Pens with a boarding hit of his own on Pittsburgh’s James Neal at the end of the second period.

The recipe for hatred between these two teams is certainly there, but the Penguins know they probably can’t afford to play the style of play they played in Game 1 and get away with it. Expect them to try and actually utilize their skill in Game 2, because they certainly don’t want to be down 0-2 going back to Boston.

Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. in Pittsburgh.

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