The Penguins are making the rest of the Eastern Conference look like a joke. They're winning high-scoring games, low-scoring games, and blowouts. They're winning games against the top teams and the bottom-dwellers.
They've now won 9 straight, a streak that started with the Brandon Sutter game up in Montreal. That was also the first game Mark Eaton dressed for. Since then, they are 7-0 with him in the lineup, 2-0 without him. Interestingly enough, both of those games were against the Leafs.
It was a flawless weekend minus one thing. It appears Kris Letang may have tweaked a groin late in the first period against the Bruins. His absence was well-documented in this one, as the Pens were on the ropes a few times in the second and third periods. But the rest of the D was huge, and the Pens added two more points to the bank.
The Pens' schedule is a little lighter this week. Caps, Isles and Flyers are all coming to CONSOL.
The game started like a typical afternoon game, whatever that means. The big thing was the Bruins testing Vokoun early, and Vokoun being up to the challenge. Great game for Vokoun.
Pens had to kill an Orpik delay-of-game penalty.
Then the Crosby Show took over. He split the Bruins D and almost finished it with an all-world goal. Off the next face-off, Crosby would finish the job. Great work by Kunitz and Dupuis to free up a puck and get it to Sid. 1-0.
Sid has adopted Dupuis' one-leg fist pump.
The Bruins weren't fazed. They kicked everything up a notch. The Pens started wandering in their zone, leaving Seguin alone off the side of the net to bury one off a lucky bounce. 1-1.
This happened to Letang late in the first:
Pens are saying it's a lower-body injury. Probably a tweaked groin or hip.
It looked like it was gonna go into the intermission all tied up, except the Pens' fourth line had different ideas. A great shift from Vitale. He gave Adams some room coming into the zone. Adams' shot hit something and got Rask jammed. Vitale was on top of the rebound and went top-shelf for his first goal in over a year. 2-1.
Nothing to write on the Internet about for most of the second.
Late in the period, business picked up. Crosby went off when Boychuk high-sticked himself. Pens killed it.
Then Bergeron got caught using his hand at a face-off, so the Pens had their own PP after the refs talked about it. Killed. Lucic sucker-punched Neal after the Bergeron call.
The period was all about the Pens using whatever was left in their tank. The Bruins played Saturday, just as the Pens did, so both teams had the same compete level.
With a short bench on D in the third, Orpik and Martin ate some big minutes.
Vokoun played a really smart game. He wasn't giving up rebounds and freezing every puck he could. The Bruins had the face-off dot on lockdown, but he really had no choice.
The Bruins had a great opportunity midway through the period when Seguin had a wraparound try that litterally came inches away from hitting Vokoun and going in.
Lucic started running around and almost created a goal off a great forecheck, but nothing doing. What makes this matchup so good is the Bruins move the puck as well if not better than the Pens.
The Bruins and Pens were both wilting late.
David Kreci died after getting hit by a puck:
Great pic via PAYD.
The Pens protected the lead down the stretch and kept Bruins away from Vokoun.
With under a minute to go, the Bruins forgot to pressure the Penguins. They ran out of time.
-- Pierre, shockingly, had a few good shots of Chara shutting down Crosby with his long reach. Big-time matchup all day.
-- Brandon Sutter was the best offensive player in the third period for the Pens. He made a sick between-the-legs pass to TK, but Rask made a nice save. He had a bunch of shots, as well. Honestly, he is one big-time playoff run away from making Jordan Staal look replaceable.
-- Finally figured out who Letang looks like.
The emo son from ID4. No contest.
-- Pens/Bruins second round of the playoffs. Book it, jack.