The Boston Bruins split a back to back set with the Pittsburgh Penguins to begin the month of April. Thursday night was an ugly showing from Boston as they dropped their first game 4-1, largely due to lackluster effort from top to bottom in the lineup. They rebounded nicely Saturday however, with an offensive drubbing of the Penguins who, to their credit, provided resistance for the majority of the game.
The Bruins posted a concerning performance on Thursday, showing minimal effort and not a lot of pushback to the Penguins offensive game. They had a meager two shots on goal in the first period and just couldn’t seem to generate any real scoring opportunities. Their poor play carried into the second when the Penguins notched the first two goals of the game, scored by Zach Aston-Reese and Mike Matheson respectively.
Just when things seemed bleakest for the B’s, Brad Marchand potted the first and only goal of the night for Boston. Any momentum the Bruins got from that goal was quickly nullified by Jason Zucker who would score less than two minutes later for the Pens, completely taking Boston out of the game. Pittsburgh would add an empty netter to finalize a 4-1 victory. To make matters even worse, Brandon Carlo also left Thursday night’s game and is now week-to-week. The injury is not to his head which is positive though, as he had just recovered from a lengthy concussion.
There’s no denying that this Bruins team has its flaws in basically all aspects of the game. We’ve seen the offense disappear for games at a time and the defense look like stick figures on skates at times, but before Thursday night, there hadn’t been a game where the Bruins looked less energetic. Their true downfall in the loss was that they seemed completely disinterested in playing. The most energy they showed was directly after Brad Marchand’s goal in the third, and that disappeared quickly. It’s safe to say that the Bruins would need a much more convincing and inspired effort if they wanted to win the latter game Saturday afternoon.
And more effort is what they got. The Bruins were engaged all afternoon, scoring 7 goals on Pittsburgh behind a hat trick from Brad Marchand and 3 point games from David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy. It was a back and forth affair all afternoon with 12 goals scored between the two teams. Pittsburgh would open the scoring early in the first behind Mark Jankowski’s tip-in goal. The Bruins would score the next two and take a 2-1 lead in the second but Pittsburgh would strike back quickly with two goals of their own. The Bruins then retaliated to score three more goals to end the second period, capping off a 5 goal period. Entering the third with a 5-3 lead, the Bruins and Penguins would each score two more goals to finalize a 7-5 final score.
The Bruins were carried by the first line today as 6 of their 7 goals were scored by the “Perfection line”. David Pastrnak had been relatively cold lately so scoring two goals and generating scoring for his teammates was a good sign for the star winger. All in all the Bruins were 100% more energetic Saturday afternoon than they were Thursday night which is reassuring to say the least. One more showing like Thursday and the alarms surely would have been ringing, but the Bruins stayed engaged and went with the ebbs and flows of the game which is what allowed them to score at will essentially and earn a victory.
The Bruins will head to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers who have had a very disappointing season to this point. They will be looking for revenge as the Bruins have beaten them 5 times this season.
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