Bruins win battle of the best
December, 5, 2011
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
The streak continues.
In a battle between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-1, Monday night at Consol Energy Center. With the win, the Bruins are 14-0-1 in their last 15 games.
Gregory Campbell, Benoit Pouliot and Tyler Seguin collected the Bruins goals, while goaltender Tim Thomas made 43 saves.
The infamous Matt Cooke scored the lone goal for the Penguins.
ENERGY LINE PROVIDES JOLT: The pace did not disappoint and the game remained scoreless after the first period. The second period began with the Bruins creating a quick flurry. Boston’s relentlessness resulted in the Bruins’ first goal. The energy line of Daniel Paille, Campbell and Shawn Thornton produced the first tally at 2:57 of the period. It was Campbell’s second goal of the season.
Pouliot, a first-year Bruin, is clearly comfortable and confident in his new surroundings and he’s capitalizing on his opportunities. He gave Boston a 2-0 advantage with a nasty wrister that beat Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury at 7:18 of the second period.
Jamie Sabau/Getty ImagesAfter standing up for Tim Thomas, Gregory Campbell got into a spirited match with Joe Vitale.
Seguin notched his 13th goal, giving the Bruins a 3-0 lead at 1:07 of the third.
KILL THIS: The Penguins had a pair of 5-on-3 opportunities, but Boston’s penalty-killing unit stifled the Pittsburgh attack. The Penguins’ first two-man advantage was for 1:40 but they couldn’t capitalize. Pittsburgh’s second opportunity was a full two minutes but Boston’s PK again did a solid job. Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg robbed the Penguins of a possible backdoor open net when he knocked away a loose puck to deny Steve Sullivan. Thomas made a total of seven saves during the 5-on-3s. Overall the Penguins went 0-for-5 on the power play and produced only eight shots.
DROP 'EM: The top two teams weren’t afraid to drop the gloves. The Bruins’ Brad Marchand and the Penguins’ Matt Niskanen went toe-to-toe after Marchand was called for tripping. The problem was Marchand’s penalty came right after Boston gained a 1-0 lead. During Pittsburgh's power play, the Bruins’ Zdeno Chara was called for interference, giving the Penguins a two-man advantage for 1:40, but Boston’s PK killed it off. At 11:08 of the third period, the Penguins’ Joe Vitale made contact with Thomas in the crease during a scramble in front. Campbell quickly jumped in and started swinging with Vitale. It was a spirited match and both players were stunned during the bout.
UP NEXT: After playing an emotional game against the Penguins, Boston won’t get much of a rest as the Bruins travel to Winnipeg to face the Jets Tuesday night. Due to the travel and back-to-back games, Tuukka Rask (4-3-1, 2.09 goals-against average, .924 save percentage) likely will start for the Bruins. Boston defeated Winnipeg 4-2 on Nov. 26 at TD Garden. The Bruins have not played in Winnipeg since the 1995-96 season.