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Talking Points: Not Much Going For Boston Bruins In Shutout Loss

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PITTSBURGH, PA – Here are the Talking Points from the undermanned Boston Bruins 4-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday night.

GOLD STAR: Sidney Crosby sets them up and Jake Guentzel knocks them down. That’s been the combination for Pittsburgh’s top line for a while now, and they were at it on Thursday night with Guentzel scoring three, including the opening goal when Crosby hit Guentzel in stride bombing down the line and the Penguins forward rifled one under Jeremy Swayman’s pads. Guentzel finished things off with a long-distance empty netter in the third period to finish off a great night for him, and a really difficult night for the Boston Bruins. Guentzel finished with the three goals and three shots on net in 19:29 of ice time, had five shots on net, seven shot attempts and had a hit and a takeaway too in a solid all-around effort. The hat trick also marked Guentzel crossing the 40-goal mark, which is impressive for anybody whether they’re riding shotgun with Sidney Crosby or not.

BLACK EYE: Brandon Carlo had a tough night. He lost track of Jason Zucker during an offensive breakout by the Penguins that also included blown defensive responsibility from a forward, and Zucker sneaked in and roofed one on Jeremy Swayman to make it a 2-0 lead for Pittsburgh. It was a backbreaker goal for the Bruins as they had outshot Pittsburgh 10-0 to start the second period and that was the first shot on net for Pittsburgh in the period. Then later there was a puck that Carlo tried to throw up the middle of the ice for a clear, it instead bounced off Matt Grzelcyk and turned into another goal for Guentzel after a slick pass from Kris Letang set things up. Carlo finished a minus-2 in 18:38 of ice time but was far from alone in a game where the Bruins were thoroughly outplayed.

TURNING POINT: It was most definitely the second period. The Bruins came out roaring to start the middle period and outshot the Penguins by a 10-0 margin while throwing everything at Casey DeSmith, who turned everything away. Then all it took was one counterpunch from the Penguins attacking through the neutral zone with Jason Zucker finding a soft spot behind Brandon Carlo. Jeff Carter hit Zucker with a perfect pass and he was off and running behind the Bruins defense for a breakaway score that gave the Penguins a two-goal lead. The third line was on the ice for the Boston Bruins at the time of the goal as well and shared some of the responsibility for the blown defensive assignment that led to a killer goal after the Boston Bruins had dominated the start of the second period.

HONORABLE MENTION: It’s got to be Casey DeSmith, who managed to make a spectacular 52 saves in shutting out the Boston Bruins. Clearly DeSmith had some help from a stout Pittsburgh defense in front of him, but he was also excellent in holding down the fort when Boston made a push at the start of the second period. DeSmith made the first 10 saves of that period protecting a slim 1-0 lead and allowed for the Penguins to hang in until they were able to counterstrike against the Black and Gold with a gut punch second goal against a Bruins team having a hard time scoring goals right now. It was the first time in Boston Bruins franchise history that they were shut out while getting more than 50 shots on net.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 – the number of blocked shots for Derek Forbort in a 30-second span on Sidney Crosby teeing up from the face-off dot during a penalty kill in the first period. It was impressive enough that Forbort even got a stick tap from Crosby himself after the sequence.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I thought when we needed a timely save, we didn’t get it, and obviously we didn’t finish any plays either at the other end.” –Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy on where he thought things went wrong in a 4-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Bob Lataille

I’ve been watching NHL hockey since the 80s, and I have to say, that was the easiest 50+ shot shutout I’ve ever seen. The 52 shots-on-goal stat line completely flattered DeSmith (who was very solid and played very well). Once again, Haggs just doesn’t have a clue: “Casey DeSmith, who managed to make a spectacular 52 saves…” Really? The save on Marchand in the 2nd period was pretty good. Other than that, I can’t think of one save that would invoke the description, “spectacular.” Tons of shots right at him with no/little screen. Just a pathetic effort by Boston.

Last edited 26 days ago by Bob Lataille
Mike Honcho

poor carlo. someone gave him a no hitting league contract when he really just belongs in a beer league. on the third pens goal, he knocks a bouncing puck right back into advancing players instead of knocking it into the corner, or letting the goalie take the puck and he takes the man. of course, the puck goes right to a pens player and carlo goes to meet him, getting neither the man or the puck. pathetic. pathetic. pathetic. a huge defenseman who won’t hit anybody. the bruins have forgotten how to check opponents. you don’t have to flatten them.… Read more »

Clacker47

I love Haggs, but I saw nothing spectacular in that shut out! The Bruins woeful shooting percentage on display yet again making a very average goalie look like a Vezina candidate! This strategy of firing low danger shots from everywhere and simply hoping they will go in, will all but seal the Bruins first round exit! It may work in billiards, but in the NHL it equates to being ranked 30th in shooting percentage. The Bruins easily have the worst shooting percentage of all teams currently in a playoff position and it’s not close. Throw in an inept powerplay (0-30… Read more »

Clacker47

My bad…the Kings are the only team in a playoff spot with a worse shooting percentage.

JustJim

Shut the game off at the end of the 2nd period, just too painful to watch. Is help on the way? Not much to look forward to after the poor job from Sweeney at the trade deadline. I can see a lot of contracts not being renewed.

William Mahoney

Wow! Ready for a painful rest of the Bruins hockey season!

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