The Boston Bruins fell victim to the Pittsburgh Penguins yet again on St. Patrick’s Day and dropped to 19-5-3 (41 points). In the process, the Black and Gold missed out on the opportunity to take over first place in the Eastern Conference.
Tyler Seguin scored Boston’s lone goal (his 10th on the year) and nearly tied it late in the third period, but the hockey gods went against the Bruins on this day. Sidney Crosby netted the first goal (his 13th) and Joe Vitale tallied the game-winner late in the first period – the first of the season for the former Northeastern University standout – as the Penguins held on for the 2-1 victory.
Outside of the second line (Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin), the Bruins could not get any penetration going against a leaky Pens defense.
Tuukka Rask made 16 saves, but he would like to have the end of the first period back as Vitale jumped on a rebound. That proved costly as the Bruins had to play catch up hockey the rest of the way.
After coming off one of their best 60-minute efforts of the year yesterday against the Capitals, the Bruins could not solve Tomas Vokoun (31 saves). Despite the struggles offensively, Claude Julien wasn’t overly upset at the way his team performed today.
“I’m not disappointed in our efforts today,” said the Bruins bench boss. “Good game by both teams playing their third game in four nights.”
This loss may have come at a price too as David Krejci took a Johnny Boychuk slap shot off the top of his knee cap. Krejci needed help from the training staff and his teammates en route to the locker room, where he would obviously stay for the rest of the third period.
While Krejci walked gingerly to the team bus afterwards, Boychuk felt terrible of the situation and hopes the Bruins’ playmaker is okay.
“I got everything into that,” he said. “I feel so badly.”
If this injury is serious, the Bruins may need to really shake things up as a whole. With Chris Kelly out due to a broken left tibula, the third line has only tallied a goal – by Rich Peverely – and an assist in their last four games. The trade deadline is right around the corner and it will be interesting to see how GM Peter Chiarelli attacks this situation as his team could use a top-9 forward and a defenseman.
The beat goes on as the Bruins travel to Winnipeg looking to sweep the season series from the Jets Tuesday night.