June 4, 2013

Postgame Breakdown: B's make Pens look pitiful in Game 2

By Jesse Connolly

Brad Marchand beat Tomas Vokoun on a breakaway 28 seconds into Game 2. (Getty Images)

Final: Boston 6, Pittsburgh 1

Recap: The Pittsburgh Penguins came into this one aiming to get back to playing their game. They were thrown off it just 28 seconds in, as Brad Marchand took off on a breakaway and wristed a shot past the glove of Tomas Vokoun to make it 1-0. Nathan Horton made it 2-0 with 14:37 gone before David Krejci chased Vokoun with 3:29 left in the period.

Pittsburgh grabbed some momentum when Brandon Sutter scored their first goal of the series at the 19:26 mark, but just 25 seconds later, Marchand’s second of the night sent the Pens into the room trailing by three.

After a scoreless second period that rivaled paint drying on the excitement scale, Patrice Bergeron’s fourth goal of the playoffs made it 5-1 with less than half-a-minute gone in the third. A Johnny Boychuk slapper found its way past Marc-Andre Fleury with 1:24 left in regulation to close out the scoring in the blowout win.

Series: Boston leads 2-0

Playoff Records: Boston 10-4; Pittsburgh 8-5

Key Play of the Game: Just as you thought, “Oh, great, the Pens are right back in it,” Brad Marchand went and kicked everyone at Consol Energy Center in the head with his second goal of the game. Pittsburgh spent practically the entire second period in the Bruins’ zone, yet managed just seven shots. Had they been down just two, maybe things might’ve been different.

Connolly’s Commendations: The Bruins’ first line brought its A-game again in this one, tallying twice in the opening frame (Krejci, Horton) to get this game started just the way Boston hoped. They’ve now combined for 10 points through two games. Oh, and Lucic’s through-the-legs drop pass on Krejci’s goal was pretty dang sweet.

Boston’s second line was equally as dominant. Marchand tallied twice, Bergeron got on the board and much-maligned winger Jaromir Jagr – who some were suggesting should be scratched – had two helpers, including an absolute beauty on No. 37’s strike early in the third. Together, they were plus-10.

Connolly’s Critiques: Zero points for the third line again but, hey, 6-1, why complain? So I won’t. In fact, pretend I never even mentioned it.

Notes: Zdeno Chara was credited with zero hits for the first time in the playoffs. Boston’s now outscored the Pens 9-1 through two games. NHL teams that have won the first two games of a series on the road are 62-18, according to NBC. Tuukka Rask has stopped 55-of-56 shots in this series.

Final Thoughts: What an excruciating, humiliating loss on home ice for the vaunted Penguins. Boston put on a clinic in the first period, and Pittsburgh pretty much phoned it in from there on out. Startling how little they seemed to care about continuing to put in the effort. We’ve seen the Bruins erase a three-goal deficit in under 10 minutes of hockey in these playoffs. The Penguins, a more talented team on paper, had 40 minutes to try to pull off the same feat but never seemed to really give a hoot. Scary bad, if I may say so myself.

Next: It’s off to Boston for these two squads, as the B’s and Pens will face off at TD Garden on Wednesday night.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com