Got news for you: this is a rivalry. You see the definition right there. You can always blur the lines around what the word “rivalry” means like you can do with “elite,” “dynasty,” or “bisexual.” The Pens have the tried-and-true rivalries with Philadelphia, Washington, and the Rangers, but at this moment, the Bruins are the gatekeepers, and the Pens have to get past them.
NBCSN went balls-out throwing the rivalry storyline at everyone, with Pierre McGuire steering the ship. In his little opening thing, he said the Pens preached getting tougher and more physical. These were the main points the Pens have identified from last year’s playoff loss. Well, the Penguins were tougher and more physical against the Bruins, and it paid off.
They also scored more goals (3) than they did against Tuukka Rask in four games of the ECF (2).
No bullshit, though: these two teams are close. Wouldn't be surprised to see every matchup this season be a one-goal game. Fleury outdueled Rask. It was probably Fleury's best game of the season. And Malkin looks like he is waking up. Boston fans probably aren't thinking about this game much today since their $550-million payroll won the World Series Wednesday night. But, oh, well.
The opening shift had more excitement than the entire Carolina game. This game felt like a playoff game. If that's too superfluous, then you can't argue that it's been the most intense game of the young season.
Megna was on his way back to the locker room real quick because he got a stick in the face. He returned and was actually one of the more visible Penguins of the period.
From the outset, we were watching to see if the Pens would get traffic in front of Tuukka Rask. Everything else happening in the game was meaningless to us.
Malkin cherry-picked and had a breakaway. Rask with the blocker save.
Great pace after that. Not too many scoring chances, though.
Lucic went off, and the Pens had the first PP of the game. Kunitz got dirty and got the Pens on the board. 1-0.
Paille had a great chance after Martin fell down, but Fleury made his biggest stop of the game up to that point. Martin may have tweaked something.
Crosby and Bergeron traded chances. Bergeron smoked Letang on that, too.
At some point Pascal Dupuis tooth got rocked.
He decided to pull it out himself…
After that, Bortuzzo and some guy fought for whatever reason. Bortuzzo was trolling on his way to the box.
Turning Point – Daniel Paille blows two scoring chances
The Penguins got sloppy for about 10 minutes in the third, and Paille was everywhere.
1. Fleury almost gave Paille a layup after he mishandled a puck behind the net.
2. Kris Letang had a terrible turnover coming into the Pens zone, and the Bruins sprung Paille on a breakaway. But he screwed it up, and Fleury came flying out of the net a la Hasek to challenge. Ballsy move, and it worked.
Bruins were everywhere, but the Pens snuck in with a few good chances. Rask made a nice save on Malkin after a sweet pass from Jokinen.
The pace was chaotic. It was like a Daft Punk song that takes like 10 minutes to build to a crescendo. It all came to a head when Crosby had a Disney-like one-on-one, but couldn't score. He went to the net, and Rask got all jammed. Crosby and Iginla had words, presumably about how disappointing Iginla was in the playoffs.
There was some bizarre Kris Letang/Marchand thing:
Great troll move by Marchand not to go right into the box and make it look like he didn't do anything.
Sutter breaks through
After the Letang/Marchand thing cooled, Sutter, the Bruins Killer, came through. Dupuis tipped a pass ahead to him, and Sutter beat his guy. Then he went top shelf, with a filthy shot. 2-1.
Similar to the goal he scored against the Bruins in the playoffs, although this goal wasn't followed by a backbreaking Bruins goal like last spring. Instead, Jussi Jokinen put the Pens up 3-1.
Jokinen said after the game that he basically baited the Bruins into turning the puck over to him.
Tough work by Chris Kunitz led to the goal. He was just rolling into Boston defensemen all period.
Game over? Not so fast.
Iginla wires one past Fleury. 3-2.
Then things got interesting.
The last 1:22
The Bruins had unlimited chances against the Pens and Fleury. Fleury played a simple style and made the saves he needed to. The Bruins almost scored like 15 times. Not today, though. Go to hell.
-Iginla is a dick.
-Thank God Martin was/is okay. Hopefully he is.