Observations: Penguins 2, Bruins 1
March, 17, 2013
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
Not only did the Boston Bruins lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 Sunday afternoon at Consol Energy Center, they also saw David Krejci taken off the ice with an apparent leg injury late in the third period.
Krejci was hit in the right knee area by a slap shot off the stick of teammate Johnny Boychuk. Krejci was camped out front of the Penguins’ net when he got hit. Pittsburgh goaltender Tomas Vokoun quickly signaled toward the Bruins’ bench for help. Trainer Don Del Negro tended to the injured centerman.
Krejci is tied for the team lead in points with 24 (7 goals and 17 assists), and if the Bruins lose him for an extended amount of time, it would be a huge loss. Boston recently lost centerman Chris Kelly for the foreseeable future with a broken left tibia.
After the game, coach Claude Julien told reporters he had no update on Krejci's condition.
With the win, the Penguins are 7-1 in their last eight meetings against the Bruins and 10-3 in their last 13.
Pittsburgh got goals from Sidney Crosby and Joe Vitale. Tyler Seguin netted the lone goal for the Bruins.
The Penguins now have sole possession of the top spot in the Eastern Conference with 44 points and extended their winning streak to nine games.
“Today was a typical playoff game,” Julien said. “We played well, we played hard and it was a tight game. It ended up in a 2-1 hockey game and both teams had a chance to win.”
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask finished with 16 saves. Pittsburgh’s Vokoun made 31.
While Krejci was injured for Boston, the Penguins lost defenseman Kris Letang, who suffered a lower-body injury late in the first period. It appeared Letang suffered the injury after a collision with the Bruins’ Brad Marchand.
In a battle with the conference’s top teams, Pittsburgh gained the early lead on Boston.
After Rask made a crucial save against Crosby on a breakaway at 11:57 of the first period, the Penguins created a ferocious forecheck after the ensuing faceoff and capitalized to take a 1-0 lead when Crosby scored his 13th goal of the season at 12:06.
Pittsburgh has scored the first goal of the game 21 times this season, tying Montreal in that category.
With his assist on Crosby’s goal, Chris Kunitz has points in six of his last seven homes games. He also has 10 points in 13 career games against the Bruins.
The tempo was fantastic on both ends and Boston tied it at 1-1 when Seguin notched his 10th goal of the season at 16:38. Boychuk’s shot from the point ricocheted through traffic, and Seguin was ready for the one-timer on the off-post and beat Vokoun.
It appeared the first period would end in a 1-1 stalemate, but the Penguins scored with 31.8 seconds remaining for a 2-1 lead when Joe Vitale scored his first goal of the season. His last goal was Feb. 26, 2012 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
That would be all for the scoring as the Bruins failed to avenge last Tuesday’s loss to the Penguins. Boston surrendered a two-goal lead as Pittsburgh scored three unanswered goals earlier in the week.
UP NEXT: The Bruins head to Winnipeg and will face the Jets at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. This will be the third meeting between the teams this season, with Boston holding a 2-0 lead.