March 17, 2013

Postgame Breakdown: B's 'A' game missing in loss to Pens

By Jesse Connolly

Penguins defenseman Paul Martin shoves Andrew Ference into the boards. (Getty Images)

Final: Pittsburgh 2, Boston 1

Recap: The B's managed to keep the NHL's leading point-getter, Sidney Crosby, off the board the last time they visited Pittsburgh. It took the Pens captain just 12 minutes to keep them from doing it again, as Crosby opened the scoring by buring a nice feed from linemate Chris Kunitz from close range.

Tyler Seguin's 10th goal of the season knotted things up, but former Northeastern forward Joe Vitale put the Penguins back on top, scoring in the final minute of the frame to give Pittsburgh the 2-1 lead heading into the intermission.

The score remained the same for the duration of the game. Boston outshot Pittsburgh 12-3 in the third, but their comeback bid was hardly anything to write home about as Tomas Vokoun kept the B's at bay to secure the 2-1 victory.

Records: Boston 19-5-3, 41 points; Pittsburgh 22-8-0, 44 points

Key Play of the Game: How strong was the B's bid to tie things up? Well, during the final 5:52 of regulation, it was nonexistent. Dan Paille had the Bruins' last official shot at the 14:08 mark of the third period.

Connolly's Commendations: Seguin missed a golden chance in the third to make it 2-2, but there's no doubting he was the B's best forward in this one, scoring the team's lone goal and firing five shots on net.

Connolly's Critiques: Jay Pandolfo notched just his second shot in seven games as a Bruin with a bad-angle bid in the third period. Sadly, he accounted for the only puck the third line put on net, as Rich Peverley and Jordan Caron had zero shots in another forgettable outing for the trio.

After a breakout game Saturday against the Caps, Nathan Horton didn't seem to have his juices flowing at CONSOL Energy Center. No. 18 floated back to the bench after breaking his stick during a Boston power play, which led to him getting in the way of a pass along the blue line that put his team offside.

Notes: David Krejci suffered an apparent knee injury in the third when struck by a blistering slap shot from Johnny Boychuk. He di not return and coach Claude Julien didn't have an update immediately after the game. The Bruins suffered their second loss in Pittsburgh in six days. Boston missed an opportuity to jump into first place in the conference.

Final Thoughts: The Bruins played slightly better than they did during their last visit to Pennsylvania, but there were too many stretches of disjointed, sloppy play, which culminated with a woeful attempt  to muster anything with Tuukka Rask out of the net in the final minute of the game.

Next: The B's will now head to Winnipeg to take on the Jets Tuesday night.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ