BOSTON — The Boston Bruins saw Craig Smith score with 11 seconds left in the overtime to take a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden, the third win in a row for the streaking B’s. We’ll have more shortly…
BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Boston Bruins leading the Pittsburgh Penguins by a 2-0 score after the opening 40 minutes at TD Garden.
- Jake DeBrusk out of the game with a lower body injury. The injuries are starting to pile up on the wing for the Bruins, so the return of David Pastrnak this weekend couldn’t be coming at a better time for the Black and Gold.
- Nick Ritchie scores Boston’s second goal on a tap-in at the net-front after a slick dish to the front by Brad Marchand. Ritchie now has three goals and six points in six games for the Bruins to start this season and his ability to carve out space at the front of the net has been a huge added dimension to the power play.
- Five shots on net and a couple of takeaways for Craig Smith through two periods of play. Smith continues to be a guy that’s generating a ton of action when he’s on the ice and would be a good role model for a guy like DeBrusk at the way he should be playing all the time.
- The Bruins are 25-of-20 in the face-off circle and Patrice Bergeron has won 9-of-13 draws through two periods. Sidney Crosby is under 50 percent and the Bruins centers are really having their way with the Penguins.
- The Penguins are making some sloppy mistakes. The tripping penalty when they were already shorthanded to give the Bruins a 5-on-3 advantage is unforgivable. The Kris Letang giveaway and tripping call on a nice shorthanded play by Chris Wagner was as disinterested and casual as you can get with the puck. I’m not sure I like what I see out of this Penguins group right now.
BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Pittsburgh Penguins by a 1-0 score after the opening 20 minutes at TD Garden between two hockey clubs with a lot in common this season.
- Brad Marchand continues to kill it as a shorthanded assassin. It was a great play by Charlie McAvoy to take a Sidney Crosby pass with a little too much mustard on it and turn the puck over in the defensive zone, and then McAvoy was able to lead a speeding Marchand as he took for a shorthanded attempt. From there Marchand put Kris Letang in the torture chamber and simply wheeled through the Penguins defenseman before snapping a perfect shot off across his body for the score. Nasty. Brad Marchand continues to beef up his Boston Bruins franchise-best shorthanded goal total with 28 shorthanded strikes in his career, and that total also makes him the all-time active leader in shorthanded goals.
- I really like what I’ve seen of Anders Bjork on the penalty kill this season. Fast, looking to be aggressive and turn pucks over. Had a nice shorthanded rush where he fired a puck off Tristan Jarry’s mask during a penalty kill late in the first period. The Bruins have been excellent on the PK this season and some of that is obviously the defensemen and the goaltending. But adding speedy, aggressive forwards like Bjork has been part of the success story as well.
- Bruins third line looking strong again tonight. A near goal toward the end of the period when Trent Frederic threaded the needle leading Craig Smith cutting to the Pittsburgh net. Tristan Jarry was able to make the stop, but the B’s third line once again putting on the pressure with size, speed and skill. Craig Smith had three shots on net in the first period and a couple of Grade-A chances to score. Good period for him.
The Frederic-Coyle-Smith line nearly teams up for another goal. pic.twitter.com/RnKOrzoHal
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 27, 2021
- It’s amazing to watch a big, strong guy like Evgeni Malkin fall to the ice like a sack of potatoes when he catches a little stick-work from Connor Clifton in front of the Boston net. The refs whistled Clifton for the cross-check to Malkin’s ribs, but hockey karma got Malkin back with Brad Marchand’s shorthanded goal during that shift.
- A pretty even first period for both the Bruins and the Penguins even though the B’s had the clear shot advantage. It looked like Pittsburgh missed the net with a couple of their best chances during the period.