Bruins take a shutout win over Penguins
|11.10.09 at 9:31 pm ET|
Armed with a mission to win two games in a row for the first time after more than a month of hockey, the Bruins parlayed tight defensive hockey, good goaltending and some opportunism all the way to victory.
That it came with a 3-0 win over the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins only added extra icing to the hockey cake for the Black and Gold. The B’s will now attempt to parlay their winning ways into a multi-game win streak to get a little momentum going into a final stretch of games before names like Milan Lucic and Marc Savard begin appearing in the lineup.
A big heap of credit goes to the Patrice Bergeron/Marco Sturm/Mark Recchi line for not only applying offensive pressure, but also putting the wraps on Sidney Crosby. Sid the Kid managed only one shot on net and wasn’t much of a factor in a Penguins attack that clearly misses Sergei Gonchar, Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin, and had to make due without Brooks Orpik when he went down with a lower body injury in the first period.
Boston’s only goal came in the second period as a byproduct of a Matt Hunwick rush into the offensive zone that finished with a shot at the Pittsburgh net. Steve Begin caught the deflected puck in front of the net and made good with a rebound attempt, and Hunwick again found the puck by the left post and fired a backhander under the crossbar.
The puck immediately caromed right back out of the net, and played resumed with a goal call from the refs despite the goal horn sounding once. Minutes later Vladimir Sobotka pressured for a whistle and replays clearly showed the puck whistle under the crossbar before hitting the net and shooting back toward the ice.
Bill McCreary got the goal call from Toronto and the Bruins had their slim lead.
A Daniel Paille breakaway goal in the third period gave the Bruins an insurance marker and sealed Pittsburgh’s fate. The whole score was set up when Derek Morris dropped to his belly on the ice and blocked a shot that set the breakaway in motion.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Matt Hunwick scored the only goal, but Tim Thomas was stellar in net when he had to be and solid throughout the game. The victory over the Pens marked Thomas’ first win since he backstopped the B’s to a comeback victory over the Senators on Oct. 24. In total the Tank stopped 29 shots, but 14 of those attempts came in the third period. Thomas was at his best in the third period when he turned away tight rebound attempts by Jordan Staal and Bill Guerin just before Boston scored their second goal.
TIME TO STEP IT UP: Blake Wheeler had a shot on net and was skating hard, but there was zero physical presence to his game and several times he carelessly tossed away pucks when he couldn’t make connections with teammates. One turnover lead to a Penguins going the other way when it appeared Boston might be poised to score a second goal.
BY THE NUMBERS: 900 ‘ The number of career assists for Mark Recchi after setting up Daniel Paille’s first career goal as a Boston Bruins in the second period. It was a beauty of a pass that freed up Paille for a breakaway and caught the Penguins defenders ‘ Alex Goligoski and Jay McKee, take a bow ‘ with their hockey pants down.