Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Penguins by a 1-0 score after the first 40 minutes of “Rivalry Night” at the CONSOL Energy Center.
1) Nice play on the power play to set up Chris Kunitz right in front of the net after the puck had bounced off his chest and dropped right to his stick. Tuukka Rask didn’t have a chance to stop it, but otherwise has been excellent with 20 saves through the first two periods.
2) Kind of a weak call on Milan Lucic for interference that set up the Kunitz power play goal. It’s been an intense, fast paced playoff–style game between the Bruins and Penguins, and the October level of penalty kills isn’t a very good with that kind of atmosphere surrounding the game.
3) Fifteen registered hits between Robert Bortuzzo, Deryk Engelland and Tanner Glass as the Penguins are absolutely bringing some thump to the proceedings. It’s clear they’re trying to play a more physical tone and paying attention to detail in the defensive zone.
4) Some typical Sidney Crosby activity there midway through the second period. He made contact with Torey Krug after he’d released the puck, and immediately looked around at the referees for a call that wasn’t coming. He then headed to the bench and tried to the 5-foot-9 Krug a shove as he was just about to exit the ice, but Krug grabbed Crosby and put him in a headlock. Crosby ripped Krug’s helmet off, both players jawed at each and received matching roughing calls. Same old Sidney Crosby. Great player capable of some very weak sauce moves on the ice.
5) Seven of Boston’s 17 shots have come from Reilly Smith and Patrice Bergeron through two periods. They’re the two best B’s players on the ice tonight thus far, but not enough finish to the Black and Gold game thus far.
Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Penguins locked in a scoreless tie:
1) Great pace to the action on both sides of up-and-down hockey, but that’s clearly geared more toward what the Penguins are looking to do on offense. They’re getting wide open looks at the net, and the Boston
defense has needed to rely on Tuukka Rask being a brick wall with 13 saves. Torey Krug was completely turnstiled by Evgeni Malkin on one rush, and Dennis Seidenberg fell asleep while allowing Malkin to sneak behind him for a clean shot later on in the period. He’s too good to give that kind of time and space.
2) Sidney Crosby, on the other hand, has been bottled up effectively. Only one shot on net as a series of Bruins defenders converge on him each time he enters the offensive zone.
3) Rough period as well with the Penguins showing plenty of physical nastiness along the way. Both Jordan Caron and Patrice Bergeron were shaken up at points, but stayed in the game to play on despite any discomfort. Deryk Engelland led all players with four hits in the first 20 minutes, and is laying the lumber playing forward rather than defense for the Pens.
4) Tuukka Rask is really, really good. He turned away some very good chances at the end of the first period after Matti Niskanen had created chaos in front of the net with a purposefully wide shot off the end boards.
5) Bruins need to get plenty more traffic and bodies in front of Marc-Andre Fleury if they want to start generating some offense. He isn’t getting challenged at all.