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Rask Earns Shutout as Bruins Take Game 1 in Pittsburgh

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Tuukka Rask was red hot between the pipes in Game 1 stopping all 29 shots faced as Boston defeated the #1 seeded Penguins 3-0 on the road to take a 1-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

It almost appeared as the Bruins were being dominated during the early stages of the first period, as the Penguins were keeping it in the Boston zone and moving the puck well. The Bruins were able to gain some control as they killed off their first penalty of the game. At 8:23 of the first period David Krejci put the Bruins up 1-0 with his 6th goal of the playoffs. After the Bruins scored the first goal they seemed to play with more intensity on both sides of the puck. Pittsburgh lead in shots 12-7 in the first.

All sorts of penalties were handed out in the second period including a hitting from behind major plus a game misconduct for Matt Cooke due to his hit on Adam McQuaid. Kelly received a roughing minor against Cooke after the whistle was blown so the Bruins’ power play took over once Kelly returned. Despite power play chances to both teams in the 2nd period, no one was able to find the back of the net. Towards the end of the period Pittsburgh rang the post and had a couple good rebounds but were unable to put one past Tuukka Rask. Once the horn sounded the end of the period, tensions boiled over as Patrice Bergeron and Evgeni Malkin dropped the gloves for a short bout that wound up with both players on the ice. Zdeno Chara and Sidney Crosby exchanged a few words as both teams skated to their locker rooms. Shots were dead even at 10 in the second.

The third period belonged to Boston in many ways. The Bruins looked dominant on the ice as they extended their lead 4 minutes into the period as David Krejci scored his second of the night, tipping it in just in front of Vokoun’s crease. The offense didn’t stop there, though, as Boston found the back of the net once more with a wide open shot from Nathan Horton at 7:51 in the third period. This would seal the final score of the game as The Penguins were unable to find an answering goal in the final 12 minutes. The Bruins controlled shots in the third 13-7.

One thing can be said about tonight’s game, the Bruins have a lot of heart. It’s always intimidating heading into the arena of the #1 seeded team who everyone has been saying is one of the best, if not the best team remaining in these playoffs. The Bruins handled this pressure very well in Game 1 and earned a huge victory on the road.

One of the more intimidating factors of the Penguins’ game is their power play, and Boston was able to hold off all four chances that were given to Pittsburgh.

The Penguins had the overall upper hand in the physicality of the game with 34 total hits, with some that brought the crowd to it’s feet. The Bruins dominated in the faceoff circle taking 32 wins to Pittsburgh’s 16. In the end, shots were nearly even with Boston leading the total 30-29, and Tuukka Rask had the better night in net stopping every shot he faced.

David Krejci was named the player of the game with his 2 goals and 7 shots on net.

The Bruins will play in Pittsburgh again on Monday night for Game 2.

 

Follow me on Twitter for Bruins and College Hockey updates: @GreggyC92

CelonaG

Media Relations assistant for UMass Lowell Athletics, Occasional live tweeting for Umass Lowell games when in season @RiverHawkNation Personal Twitter: @GreggyC92 Journalism Student at UMass Lowell