Eastern Conference Finals Game 2 Preview: Boston Bruins At Pittsburgh Penguins


Jun 1, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) confronts Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) during a time-out during the second period in game one of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Boston Bruins won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins took a 1-0 series lead on Saturday night by shutting out the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0. It was the first time in the last 96 games that the Penguins have been held scoreless. Coming into this series, everyone knew that Tuukka Rask would have to be flawless to stop the Penguins high-octane offense, and he was in Game 1. Rask was perfect, turning away all 29 shots he faced.

Looking forward to Game 2, Rask will have to have a repeat performance of Saturday night to stop Sidney Crosby and the Pens. Boston may have shut out Pittsburgh, but I wouldn’t count on it happening again. Pittsburgh has way to many offensive weapons and is going to come out on Monday hungrier than ever. The Bruins will have to tighten up their defense and eliminate the Penguins scoring chances. Also, the Bruins are going to have to stay out of the penalty box. Pittsburgh has a notorious power play that cannot be given any chances. Pittsburgh was unable to score on four power play opportunities in Game 1, but I wouldn’t count on them coming up empty handed on the man-advantage in Game 2.

The Bruins will have to get their forecheck going in order to slow Pittsburgh down. Boston started Game 1 slowly and found themselves playing a lot in their own end, but once David Krejci scored the first goal, the B’s settled down and were able to play their own game. Once the Bruins began to force turnovers, they were able to rattle Pittsburgh and took them out of their rhythm resulting in quality scoring chances for Boston.

Sidney Crosby and Matt Cooke may have done the best thing for Boston in this series, which would be taking cheap shots at Bruins’ players. Matt Cooke was ejected from Game 1 because of a hit from behind on Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid. Sidney Crosby gave Tuukka Rask a little poke as he was skating to the locker room after the second period. The Bruins love the physical game and aren’t afraid of anyone. Pittsburgh may have wandered down a wrong road by taking cheap shots at a few Boston players, and Monday night is likely to be another physical game, which benefits the Bruins.

Game 2 is on Monday night in Pittsburgh at 8:00 p.m. and can be seen on the NBC Sports Network.