The Bruins beat up the Penguins in Pittsburgh Monday night, 6-1. Here are the Talking Points from the game.
GOLD STAR: Brad Marchand had the skating legs, the attitude and the ability to finish off offensive plays in the first period, and gave Boston exactly what they needed to punch Pittsburgh in the gut. A Sidney Crosby giveaway in the opening minutes of the game at the offensive blueline freed Brad Marchand up for a partial breakaway against Tomas Vokoun, and the Bruins had a lead 28 seconds into the game. Then Marchand answered with a glove side snipe just over Marc-Andre Fleury 25 seconds after Brandon Sutter scored at the end of the first period. He finished with two goals and a plus-4 in 14:24 of ice time, and set the tone in the first period when the Bruins needed it.
BLACK EYE: Sidney Crosby set a negative tone for the Penguins by turning a puck over that turned into a Brad Marchand goal on the first shift of the game, and continued to look like a hot mess for the rest of the game. Crosby finished with just two shots on net, a game-high four giveaways and lost 10-of-18 face-offs in the 23:01 of ice time for Pittsburgh. He and Evgeni Malkin also both looked like they were giving up in the latter half of the game for the Penguins when it looked out of reach, and that’s unforgivable in a Stanley Cup playoff game on their home ice. This is quickly turning into the worst playoff series of Crosby’s NHL career.
TURNING POINT: The Penguins looked like they had some momentum when Brandon Sutter beat Andrew Ference on the rush, and smacked a top shelf slapshot past Tuukka Rask on the blocker side. That score made it a 3-1 hockey game, but Marchand scored on the next shift with a glove side snipe to extend the lead back to three goals. Matt Cooke had gone in for a boneheaded big hit on the shift to take himself out of the play, and opened up the neutral zone for Boston to enter with speed and momentum setting up Marchand’s goal. The Penguins were officially dead after that score.
HONORABLE MENTION: There were whispers earlier in the day that Jaromir Jagr might be a healthy scratch for Game 2, and instead No. 68 goes out and snaps a six game scoreless streak with a pair of assists and a plus-3 for the game. Jagr only had one shot on net in his 14:24 of ice time, but was part of a Bergeron/Marchand/Jagr line that destroyed the Penguins throughout the game. They scored on three different lines, and made them all look like they were standing still when they blew through with speed and outstanding puck movement.
BY THE NUMBERS: minus-19 – the combined plus/minus for Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Jarome Iginla and Kris Letang through two playoff games vs. the Bruins with zero points.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Their depth up front is something special, so we need to make sure we're always ready and we are always talking. It's a five-man unit on the ice, and it's not just about one guy.” –Patrice Bergeron, talking about the defensive effort on a high-flying Penguins unit that’s been completely shut down.