NEW YORK – The Boston Bruins packed up their lunch pails before leaving Pittsburgh last night. In workman-like style Monday night, the Bruins almost easily handled the Penguins in Game 2 in winning 6-1. Tomas Vokoun got the hook in the first after the Bruins built a 3-0 lead. Marc-Andre Fleury got the nod but yielded three of his own.
Nathan Horton continued his hot hand with a goal and an assist and Todd Marchand bookended the first period with goals in the first and last minute of the stanza.
Tuesday night the LA Kings look to redeem themselves and gain some muscle as they look to avoid going down 3-0 to the Blackhawks.
BOSTON 6, PITTSBURGH 1; BOS leads 2-0
Brad Marchand scored 28 seconds after the opening faceoff and with 8.1 seconds remaining in the first period to help the Bruins build a 4 1 lead through 20 minutes. Tuukka Rask made 26 saves for the victory, while Tomas Vokoun and Marc-Andre Fleury each allowed three goals.
The Bruins scored four goals in the first period to take a 4 1 lead after 20 minutes, marking the first time in 30 years that a visiting team has recorded four or more goals in the opening period of a Conference Final or Stanley Cup Final game. The last time that happened was in Game 4 of the 1983 Campbell Conference Final, when the Oilers outscored the Blackhawks, 4 1, in the first period on the strength of 1 1—2 from Wayne Gretzky. (Elias)
WHERE THEY WANT THEM?
Since 1991, the Penguins are 5-3 (.625) in series when losing the first two games – however, only one of those series victories has come after dropping the first two games at home (1996 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals versus Washington). No other team in the last 22 years has more than two such series wins and all six of those clubs have a winning percentage of .400 or below. (Elias)
The Penguins also are the last team to overcome a 2 0 series deficit in the Conference Finals – they did so in 1991, when they beat the Bruins in six games en route to their first Stanley Cup.
Five Bruins – Patrice Bergeron, Johnny Boychuk, Nathan Horton, Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand – had multi-point performances. Ten of Boston’s 18 skaters registered at least one point.
The Penguins (3.69 goals per game) and Bruins (3.36) are the highest-scoring teams in the playoffs. Pittsburgh (3.38) also led the League during the regular season, while Boston (2.65) ranked tied for 13th.
Brad Marchand recorded his first multi-goal playoff game since scoring twice in Boston’s Game 7 Stanley Cup-clinching victory over Vancouver on June 15, 2011. Marchand also finished Game 2 with a +4 rating, the best plus/minus of his postseason career.
David Krejci scored his eighth goal of the playoffs to tie Chicago’s Patrick Sharp for the League lead. Krejci has 28-39—67 in 73 career postseason games, an average of 0.92 points per game. He has 91-218—309 in 424 career regular-season games, an average of 0.73 points per game.
Krejci also leads all players with 8-12—20 in 14 games during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. That matches the total of the top point-producers from last year’s postseason (Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar). Krejci led all players with 12-11—23 in 25 games during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs en route to helping Boston win its first championship in 39 years.
HORTON STEPS UP
Nathan Horton scored the game-winning goal, added an assist and recorded a +2 rating. He leads the NHL with a +19 rating in 14 games this postseason and has a career +30 rating in 35 playoff games.
JAGR AMONG GREATS
Jaromir Jagr (78-117—195 in 194 GP) collected two assists to move one point behind Paul Coffey (59-137—196 in 194 GP) for fifth on the all-time playoff scoring list. He also is one goal shy of tying Jean Beliveau for 10th on the all-time postseason goals list. Jagr leads all active players in playoff goals, assists and points.
Marc-Andre Fleury returned to Pittsburgh’s net at 16:31 of the first period after Tomas Vokoun allowed three goals on 12 shots. Making his first appearance since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Fleury didn’t fare much better, yielding three goals on 17 shots to end the night with a .824 save percentage.
The Bruins won the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final by scores of 3 0 and 6 1, marking only the eighth time in NHL history that a road team has recorded victories by three or more goals in each of the first two games of a playoff series. Three other such instances have involved the Bruins – in 1970, they won by scores of 6 3 and 4-1 at Chicago in the first two games of the Semifinals and then repeated the feat with 6 1 and 6 2 triumphs at St. Louis in the opening two games of the Stanley Cup Final. The Bruins were on the receiving end in 1995, when Martin Brodeur and the Devils posted 5 0 and 3 0 shutouts at Boston Garden in the first two games of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. (Elias)
DID YOU KNOW?
The Bruins have won seven of their last eight games, with the lone loss coming in overtime in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The Penguins hadn’t lost consecutive home games since Jan. 23 and 29 – their first two games this season at CONSOL Energy Center.
Boston defenseman Torey Krug collected one assist, bringing his playoff point total to 4 2—6 in seven games. He has yet to be on the ice for an opposition goal this postseason (+4) . . . Fellow blueliner Johnny Boychuk scored his fifth goal of the playoffs, which leads all defensemen and equals his career high for the regular season . . . Boston forward Patrice Bergeron recorded 1 1—2 to surpass 50 career postseason points (15 36—51) . . . Pittsburgh forward Evgeni Malkin was held off the scoresheet and has 1 1—2 in his last five games after an eight-game point streak (3-11—14) to begin the playoffs . . . Actor Vince Vaughn discussed the Blackhawks during his appearance Monday on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
SNEAK PEEK AT TUESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Chicago @ Los Angeles, Game 3, CHI leads 2-0, 9:00 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, RDS
The Kings have won a franchise-record seven consecutive home games this postseason (eight including last year) and 14 straight games at STAPLES Center dating to the regular season. Their last defeat on home ice was 73 days ago, a 1-0 loss to the Canucks on March 23.
The Kings have overcome a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series twice in franchise history, most recently in the opening round of this year’s playoffs when they won four straight to defeat the Blues in six games. The only other time they did so was in the 2001 Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Red Wings, a series they also won in six games.
The Blackhawks have won five consecutive games since trailing the Red Wings, 3-1, in the Western Conference Semifinals. That’s the second-longest winning streak by any team this postseason, behind only the Kings’ six-game stretch from May 4-16.
The Blackhawks led the NHL with an 18-4-2 record on the road during the regular season. They are 2-3 as visitors during the playoffs and have converted 1-of-16 power-play opportunities (6.2%) away from home, which ranks last among remaining teams.