RECAP: Iginla Strong. PENS WIN.

pic from @RealDanaHeinze

The road to the Stanley Cup goes through Fifth Avenue. Following a tumultuous week, The Pens and Bruins stood together with the citizens of Boston and 'Merica before and after the game.

But in between, the Pens found the teabags the colonists once threw into the Boston Harbor and inserted them into the fans' mouths. It was great. Jarome Iginla faced the ire of the Bruins fans the entire game. He responded to the boos by scoring a huge goal midway through the third then showing his support for the city of Boston in the post-game.
 
The Pens have completed a season sweep of the Bruins, and they've also completed a season sweep of the 2, 3, and 4 seeds currently in the East. And then there's the Pens' record vs. the 8 teams jockeying for position for the other 7 spots in the Eastern playoffs: 23-4.
 
The Pens have clinched the top seed, so this upcoming week is all about getting healthy and finalizing plans and lineups for the first round of the playoffs. It will be fun watching the race for the eight seed in the East.
 
Recap:

FIRST PERIOD

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Emotional scene before the face-off, and then the puck dropped. On the radio side, you could just hear in Mike Lange's voice that he was jammed up. He's all about his routine, but the events surrounding this game threw a couple wrenches into the plan. The Bruins didn't hand out lineup sheets before the game, so Lange was getting some players wrong. He was jacked.

Bruins came out with America on their back and were running the Pens out of the building. Only problem was they couldn't put home any pucks.

Tomas Vokoun turned away an early assault from the Bruins and kept the Pens in it. The Pens weren't wilting, though. Recent additions Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murrary were brought in for games like this. 

The Pens didn't have any chances until Beau Bennett had the first quality scoring chance of the game when he bulled to the net and made a nice last-second move, but Rask said no. It was only one little move, but for some reason it is important to note. Bennett was outstanding in this game. Not every young player in the NHL knows to make a move like that. Eye-opening play.

The game was chippy from the start. Tanner Glass and Adam McQuaid went a little beyond chippy and dropped the mitts, and then Glass dropped McQuaid. Hilarious.

Things were quiet until Matt Cooke slashed Boychuk's stick out of his hand, so the Bruins jumped on the PP. Brad Marchand jumped in the HOV lane in the Pens' zone and scored. 1-0.

Bruins were hooked up with another power play but didn't do anything.

The Bruins owned the period, but one thing changed all that.

Iginla got hit by Nathan Horton, and Iginla trolled him into a fight. Anti-fight people will tell you fighting is stupid, but this fight changed the momentum of the game. Staged fights are stupid, but something like this had a lasting effect. Iginla has been to unlimited rodeos, and he knew what he was doing. Probably should've shushed the Bruins fans on the way to the box.

This picture makes the fight look a lot better than it actually was. Horton somehow managed to get hurt in the scrap.

Things turned around almost instantly folliwing the fight, as the Pens got a power play late, but it was negated when Niskanen got called for "interference."

Bylsma wasn't the biggest fan of the call.

 

SECOND PERIOD

A bunch of back-and-forth early in the second. The Penguins woke up big-time. Tanner Glass and Craig Adams did the dirty work, and Jussi Jokinen cashed in.

1-1.

Uncanny resemblance to Gary Oldman.

Bergeron went after Jokinen's head at the next face-off. Really cheap play. Bergeron's a fun player to watch, but he tends to do shit like that from time to time. He went after Iginla in this one, also.

The Bruins basically bought a house in the Pens' zone for a stretch in the middle of the second. Tomas Vokoun was lights-out. Just amazing goaltending. Pens finally got a whistle, while the Bruins thought they had scored. The ref correctly waived it off, but not before Marchand's nose started shit. 

That started a stretch of chippiness. Matt Cooke took McQuaid to the woodshed.

Chara got mad. Guess you can't hit players clean anymore. What a great hip check. Apparently you're not allowed to hit guys phoning in the end of their shift?

Matt Cooke's mere presence in this game got the Bruins off their game. The Pens went on the power play, but Jokinen's cross-check defending Letang's honor washed it out.

Murray and Orpik locked down Boston on the penalty kill. Period was almost over when Jagr hooked Adams.

THIRD PERIOD

The Pens' power play buzzed in the opening half minute, but it didn't put anything home. Brad Marchand, known for drawing penalties, took maybe the dumbest penalty of his career when he assassinated Jokinen from behind.

Huge mistake by Marchand because the Pens power play was knocking on the door. They got back out there, and this happened.

#iginlastrong 2-1.

The shot was perfect, but maybe the best part was the chip-pass Iginla made to Jokinen to set it up.

Great screen by Kunitz too:

 

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The Bruins went right back to the box five minutes later, and Kris Letang, who struggled at times on the power play, put one home. Letang's return has been ridiculous for the PP unit(s). The Pens weren't getting this kind of goal last season.
 
3-1.
 
After that, the Bruins and their fans were pretty much wiped. The Pens D wouldn't let Boston see much daylight. The Bruins' best chance to get back in it came when Marchand got a breakaway. Vokoun showed him up with a massive save.
 
Marchand took himself off the ice again with four minutes to play after he and Joe Vitale got into it. We'll take that trade-off all day.
All that was missing was a Matt Cooke empty-net goal, but that didn't happen. The Bruins scored some bullshit goal late. It was already over.

BYE BOSTON

 

MISCELLANEOUS

– Andrew Ference sucks. Hard to believe such a terrible player could still be in the NHL.

– Read this Claude Julien whine-fest. It's too good.

– Jokinen had a 3-point da.

– Almost forgot how whiny Bruins fans are.

– After calling out the Pittsburgh media, Jack Edwards apologized during the second period. Deadspin.

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