In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Bruins shocked the league when they not only won as the underdog, but also shut out Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.
Tuukka Rask of the Bruins had a great night, saving 29 shots, 4 of which from Crosby and 5 from Malkin. Tomas Vokoun of the Penguins had a decent performance, and saved only 27 of 30 shots.
David Krejci had two goals, Nathan Horton had one, and they combined for ten shots to bring back the first line for the Bruins. Jaromir Jagr worked hard to try to score his first goal of the postseason, and ended up with four shots on goal and several nice passes to try to set up goals.
The first line for the Pittsburgh Penguins on the other hand, was extremely unproductive. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were not able to play well and get good shots on goal due to the Bruins’ same strategy that shut down Henrik and Daniel Sedin in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011. Chara and Seidenberg did work on the Penguins’ first line, breaking up their plays and making it impossible to make plays. Patrice Bergeron was also put on ice for most of the time that Sidney Crosby and the first line was on and also contributed to shutting down their production.
Look for the Penguins to change their mentality in Game 2. They were noticeably frustrated with their performance in Game 1, hence Crosby and Malkin’s skirmish with the Bruins after the second period (if Chara actually fought Crosby it would have been the biggest joke of the NHL). Their coach, Dan Bylsma, was not able to control his players who took their frustration out in the game and were not able to produce in any way. To win the next game, the Penguins have to remain focused, find a way to get through the Bruins’ tough defense, and remain out of the penalty box.
The Bruins already have the path to success labeled out for them. All they need to do is keep the pressure on Crosby and Malkin, and move the puck up into the Penguins’ zone consistently.