Brad Marchand had two very important goals, Tuukka Rask allowed just one goal on 27 shots, and five Bruins had two points as the Bruins systematically dismantled the Penguins in a 6-1 game to take a 2-0 series lead back to Boston.
The Bruins chased Tomas Vokoun on three goals on their first 12 shots and the Bruins added three more against Marc-Andre Fleury in a blowout. Kris Letang was -3 and a major reason two of the three goals he was on the ice for ended up in the back of the net. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, among all other forwards were stifled by suffocating Bruins defense from all players. The Bruins were rarely out of position, had a great forecheck, and broke up passes at will while taking advantage of the Penguins lack of responsibility in their own zone.
Entering a raucous igloo it was expected that the Bruins would have to play the survival game in the first ten minutes but a Sidney Crosby turnover at the Bruins blue line quickly lead to a Brad Marchand breakaway goal just 28 seconds into the contest. Crosby was playing the point after a rotation and just tried to keep a puck in but flicked it towards two Bruins, Marchand stole it out of midair and flew down the ice. Marchand did not deke at all and beat Tomas Vokoun high glove side for the early lead.
The Penguins responded nicely, turning up the intensity and laying the body into the Bruins. Although both teams struggled to hit the net in the first 10 minutes, the Penguins held the puck a lot more and were controlling play. The Bruins eventually responded with a long, grinding shift by the Merlot line. The much-needed change in pace led to the Penguins taking a penalty on the next shift. The Bruins would not score during the power-play but would score in the ensuing shift when a failed clear attempt by Kris Letang was stolen at the blue line by Torey Krug and fluttered in towards net. Despite being outnumbered by Penguins, Nathan Horton flicked the puck in past Vokoun, who was out at the top of the crease, for the second goal of the game.
The Bruins would get another goal, a beautiful one, when David Krejci finished off a 3-on-2 with a nice one-timer past Vokoun glove side. It was the 12th and final shot Vokoun would see all night. Nathan Horton dished to Milan Lucic, who threw a back pass behind himself. Horton got the pass back and fed Krejci blocker side. Krejci swiped it in in one motion for the fairly easy goal.
Brandon Sutter would get the Pens on the board with a nice wrist shot snipe top blocker side with about 30 seconds left in the period. The Bruins defense got caught on the opposite side of the ice and Sutter used his speed to cut in towards Rask and picked the corner nicely. The crowd was quieted just 20 seconds later when Brad Marchand answered with a snipe of his own, beating the rusty Marc-Andre Fleury with a ripper glove side. The goals were very similar in appearance, nice heavy shots in the top corners of the net. Marchand’s goal was important to steal back the momentum that final-minute goals often give teams.
The general pace would grow slower early in the second period, which benefitted the disciplined Bruins. The Penguins were better at the faceoff dot but the Bruins slowed down their breakouts, looking for indirect passes our doubling back behind the net to slow the Penguins forecheck. The strategy opened passing lanes and led to more possession for the Bruins.
The Penguins briefly experimented with matching Crosby and Evgeni Malkin together for the first time in the series but the change was not a permanent one. The Penguins would get their first power-play with eight minutes left in the second period when Brad Marchand hit Crosby with a slewfoot. The Bruins did a great job killing off the first 3/4ths of the penalty, keeping the Penguins out of the Bruins zone almost entirely but the Penguins did have a good, scrambly chance out front erased but a Tuukka Rask coverup.
Torey Krug showed he’s a rookie with a dumb turnover in front of the net but the Bruins defense pinched down and fought off a long ensuing shift by the Penguins before they could ice it. The Penguins finished the period with a handful of nice shifts, mostly taking place in the Bruins zone, but couldn’t get a second shot by Tuukka Rask and the Bruins would carry a three-goal lead into the third period.
The Bruins would get their fifth goal of the game when Jaromir Jagr fed an open Patrice Bergeron for an easy one-time goal. Bergeron stole the puck out of mid-air then went against the grain to Jagr. Jagr had trouble handling it with pressure in his face but quickly reached around and fisted a backhand past across the slot to a cocked Bergeron. Bergeron snapped a quick shot off and beat Fleury before he could slide to the far post.
The Penguins would get another power-play midway through the third when Lucic was sent off for interference. The Bruins would fend off the Pittsburgh penalty, which was fairly stagnant around the perimeter but Rask did make some nice saves when called upon in traffic. As the game wound down the Penguins seemed content to go out quietly. They no longer had the energy or creativity to try to solve the Bruins defensive scheme and just went through the motions.
Johnny Boychuk would get the Bruins sixth goal with just under 90 seconds left, his typical backscratching heavy shot that beat Fleury between his pad and his armpit. It was the third goal given up by Fleury in relief. With that the Bruins would go home with a 2-0 series lead and 9-1 goal differential.