Bruins Live Blog: Penguins Claim Victory on Fight Night at the Garden

Bruins Live Blog: Penguins Claim Victory on Fight Night at the Garden Final, Penguins 3-0: The Bruins got booed off their own ice, and they pretty much know what it felt like to be Matt Cooke about two and a half hours ago.

The B's got the fight out of the way, and it truly was one of the most exciting moments of the season, as Shawn Thornton gave Cooke an old-fashioned whooping and the crowd responded with a worthy ovation. After that — with the exception of Zdeno Chara's fight in the second period — there was no emotion, and that's really been the story of the season.

Third period, 3:32, Penguins 3-0: That Bruins power play was about as exciting as counting grains of sand at the beach. Now, they're trying to kill off a too-many-men penalty.

Third period, 7:37, Penguins 3-0: Jordan Leopold got two minutes for hooking, and the B's have a power play. In more notable news, Marco Sturm hasn't been on the ice this period. If Murph or I find out why, we'll pass it along.

Third period, 10:43, Penguins 3-0: Miroslav Satan sent the puck at Marc-Andre Fleury from the blue line to record the Bruins' first shot of the period, drawing one more sarcastic cheer from the crowd.

Third period, 14:46, Penguins 3-0: Michael Rupp didn't have a chance in his fight with Zdeno Chara, but he got the best type of revenge by chasing down a loose puck and getting a shot off past Milan Lucic's soft defensive effort, and Rupp's wrister extended Pittsburgh's lead. This building was rocking just two hours ago, and now it's dead.

Third period, 16:39, Penguins 2-0: The fans in the balcony behind Tuukka Rask were chanting, "We want Cooke" for about a minute. I like the idea, but I don't think they're going to get him.

Third period, 19:58, Penguins 2-0: OK, who thinks the Bruins have a couple goals in them here? Not all at once, please.

End of second period, Penguins 2-0: The Bruins have won two fights, but the Penguins have two goals. That's basically the summary of the night so far. Boston has to create some momentum and stop taking penalties to give itself a chance to crack Pittsburgh's defense.

Second period, 15 seconds, Penguins 2-0: The Penguins doubled their lead as Steve Begin was leaving the penalty box. Kris Letang took a shot from above the left circle that was tipped by Alexei Ponikarovsky, and the puck squirted through Tuukka Rask's five-hole. The Bruins have only generated 10 shots on goal, so this is a pretty substantial deficit at this point in the night.

Second period, 2:16, Penguins 1-0: Steve Begin got two minutes for kneeing, and the Penguins are on the power play once again.

Second period, 8:00, Penguins 1-0: Mark Stuart was called for hooking, and the Penguins are back on the power play.

Second period, 8:17, Penguins 1-0: It's like the B's are reading this blog or something. Three seconds after the whistle, Zdeno Chara got into it with Michael Rupp, who didn't have a chance against the much bigger Bruins captain. Chara shook Rupp like a doll and pounded him in the head with a few punches before driving Rupp into the ground.

Second period, 8:20, Penguins 1-0: The Bruins have failed to score on all three power-play opportunities in this game. They've got to find a way to generate some emotion. They really just look flat in this period.

Second period, 11:27, Penguins 1-0: David Krejci had two good looks at the net, but he held the puck and eventually turned it over. The Bruins only have eight shots on net. They can't wait to get cute at this point. It's time to sling it.

Second period, 12:23, Penguins 1-0: Sergei Gonchar got two minutes for tripping, and the B's have a man advantage.

Second period, 13:32, Penguins 1-0: Tuukka Rask has already made 12 saves this period, and he's keeping his team in this thing. The Garden crowd was getting restless when the Bruins couldn't clear the zone after killing the power play. Once the puck got flipped into the neutral zone, the home fans gave their team a sarcastic cheer.

Second period, 17:38, Penguins 1-0: Vladimir Sobotka took a hooking penalty, and the Penguins have their first power play of the night. In real hockey news, the Bruins haven't generated too many good chances, so this penalty kill is pretty important as far as the actual game is concerned.

Second period, 19:59, Penguins 1-0: Shawn Thornton has one free fight before getting the mandatory third-fight game misconduct, so we'll find out if he plans on using all of them. Hey, why not?

End of first period, Penguins 1-0: The fans got what they paid for in the opening period, as Shawn Thornton gave Matt Cooke a good beating less than two minutes into the game. Thornton and Cooke went right at it within seconds of Cooke's first shift of the night, and fans in Pittsburgh could probably hear the eruption of the Garden crowd.

First period, 0:57, Penguins 1-0: Shawn Thornton received a quick standing ovation when he returned to the ice.

First period, 3:00, Penguins 1-0: Mark Stuart and David Krejci (to a lesser extent) each finished their checks on Matt Cooke in the last shift.

First period, 4:15, Penguins 1-0: During the last timeout, the video boards showed a fan in the balcony holding a Marc Savard T-shirt high over his head, and the crowd gave the fan a good cheer.

First period, 7:08, Penguins 1-0: Matt Cooke is getting booed every time he goes over the boards, and the crowd just cheered when he was called for a blatant tripping penalty against Dennis Seidenberg. It's actually kind of funny because the crowd instantly went from booing to cheering to booing. This place is amped up.

First period, 11:26, Penguins 1-0: Tyler Kennedy's wrister beat Tuukka Rask's glove, and Pittsburgh took the lead. The Penguins had a spirited celebration after the goal, so don't think this game isn't important to them, either. There was also a loud ovation from the Pittsburgh fans in attendance.

First period, 12:10, 0-0: Zdeno Chara rang a hard slap shot off the pipe, but the Bruins couldn't convert on the power play. Matt Cooke is out of the box, too, so we'll see if anything happens on his next shift.

First period, 14:24, 0-0: The Bruins are about to start their first power play of the game after the Penguins were whistled for too many men.

First period, 18:02, 0-0: Matt Cooke was barely on the ice for a few seconds before Shawn Thornton nudged him and forced him to drop the gloves, and the crowd went absolutely wild. Thornton got Cooke with a few real good shots to the left cheek and knocked the Penguin to the ice. It then took every official in the crew to pry Thornton away from Cooke, even after the fight ended. Thornton got a huge — and I mean huge — ovation from the crowd, and the officials also greeted him with a 10-minute misconduct.

First period, 19:55, 0-0: The game is on, and Michael Buffer is nowhere to be found.

7:18 p.m.: OK, these ceremonies are really wrapping up this time. Hockey is only a minute away.

7:11 p.m.: Naturally, Bobby Orr received a loud standing ovation. The current Bruins squad took the ice and walked down the line to give the champs a handshake. Pretty cool gesture.

7:04 p.m.: The Bruins are honoring the 1970 Stanley Cup champions during an on-ice celebration. The puck will drop a few minutes after.

6:56 p.m.: Blake Wheeler and Dennis Wideman are fighting through the flu and are in the Boston lineup, but Johnny Boychuk isn't going to make it. Andrew Ference is also back after missing eight games with a groin injury. 

6:52 p.m.: Matt Cooke is not in Pittsburgh's starting lineup, so the gloves will likely stay on for at least one shift. Marc-Andre Fleury is starting in net for the Pens.

6:19 p.m.: The city has some real electricity to it on Thursday, and there's a serious excitement level outside. With the beautiful weather and the possibility of people taking the day off for a post-Irish holiday, Boston already had some good jump to it. Add the heavily anticipated game at the Garden, and you've got a recipe for a work of art in this building. There are a bunch of Penguins fans here, too, which will only add to the magic.

I'm jacked up for this like everyone else. It's not this often everyone is treated to a hyped regular-season game, and we'll do our best to describe the atmosphere throughout the night.

5:17 p.m.: Patrice Bergeron is expected to play Thursday night, and Tuukka Rask will be in net. 

8:01 a.m.: The Garden should have as much jump Thursday night as it's had all season, as the home crowd awaits the arrival of Matt Cooke and the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins.

It's been 11 days since Cooke blindsided Marc Savard with a cheap-shot elbow that potentially ended the playmaker's season, and the hockey world has been salivating over the thoughts of some nasty retaliation.

The Bruins have had some fight in them lately, but this is the night their fans want them to live up to their "Big, Bad Bruins" moniker.

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