Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Game 24: Third-Period Letdown

There are some games that mean more than others, even though you will never hear a team admit that publicly. That is reality. 

Tuesday night was one of those games for the Boston Bruins. Despite just being one day removed from a thrilling shootout victory over the Ottawa Senators, the B's were back in action against the Pittsburgh Penguins. This could be a potential Eastern Conference finals matchup, which is why this game was important.

Whenever the Penguins take the ice, all eyes are focused on the "best player in the world" and how many points he will put up on a given night. Although Sidney Crosby is a great player, the Penguins are a great TEAM that consists of numerous skilled players. The Bruins were going to be in for a long night against another conference powerhouse.

Anton Khudobin got the start in goal for the Bruins in this game. Chris Kelly, as expected, missed this game due to a knee injury. Jay Pandolfo skated on the third line with Rich Peverley and Jordan Caron.

In the first period, the Bruins were in complete control. They spent countless minutes in the Penguins zone, forcing them to play defense as opposed to springing into their offensive rushes. The Bruins managed to jump out to a two-goal lead despite generating only five shots on goal. Zdeno Chara (power play) and Tyler Seguin recorded the goals for Boston. 

The second period was fast-moving to say the least. The lack of stoppages definitely favored the Pens as the momentum quickly turned their way. However, whether it was during five-on-five play or on the penalty kill, Khudobin and the Bruins defense came up big.

The action was more balanced out between the two teams in the third period. The Penguins had several scoring chances denied by Khudobin until they finally broke through on three quick goals scored by Chris Kunitz and two by Brandon Sutter. They completed the comeback to knock off the Bruins with a 3-2 final.

The Bruins will head back home for a Thursday night game against the Florida Panthers. 

Gold Star: Rich Peverley (1 assist, 77% face-offs won)...This was his best game in a long time. Even though he had to switch back over to his natural center position, he did not miss a beat as he was solid at both ends of the ice.

Black Star: Andrew Ference (minus-1)...He had struggles clearing the puck out of the zone all game, which is something you need to be able to do as a defenseman. 

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