Final, 3-2 Penguins: Well, give Tyler Seguin for not quitting, as he stuck with a bouncing puck and scored on his own rebound with 2.6 seconds left to cut the score to 3-2, but that was obviously too little too late.
The Bruins aren’t able to get it done, as this one goes final, but give them credit. They came out and really did play their best and their hardest for the crowd and this city. They generated an incredible number of scoring chances, but Vokoun stood up to the task. Eventually, playing without Horton and with an impaired M cQuaid proved to be too much to overcome against a very good Penguins team (even though Malkin and Crosby weren’t playing).
The Bruins are back at home tomorrow afternoon, so expect a different lineup with some fresh legs, and possible a reinvigorated Milan Lucic. He no doubt had trouble watching a physical game like this one from up here in the press box.
Third period, 45.9, 3-1 Penguins: Rask is out of the net with an offensive zone faceoff coming up for Boston.
Third period, 3:58, 3-1 Penguins: That last Pittsburgh goal seems to have taken the wind out of the Bruins, and they’re running out of time to at least cut this to one goal and create some hope for a miraculous late comeback.
Third period, 11:31, 3-1 Penguins: It only takes 11 seconds for the Penguins to cash in on another power play, this one after a Matt Bartkowski high stick on Pascal Dupuis.
A puck battle in the corner drew too many black jersey away from the front of the net, and Kris Letang was able to aim and fire from the top of the faceoff circle and beat Rask to the near side with a hard wrister.
Third period, 15:17, 2-1 Penguins: Well, the Marchand roughing call proves costly as the Penguins are finally able to score on the power play. And it came off the stick of Jarome Iginla, who’s been booed loudly every time the puck hits his stuck.
He fired a slap shot from the blue line through a lot of traffic, and it found its way into the back of the net. It’s 2-1 Penguins.
Third period, 16:35, 1-1: Brad Marchand really wanted to fight Jussi Jokinen, but the refs wouldn’t let him. Marchand had his gloves off and the two began to tussle but the refs stepped in and called a roughing penalty on Marchand.
Third period, 17:06, 1-1: The Bruins killed that penalty with ease, and McQuaid even managed to give a how-ya-doin to Matt Cooke in front of the Boston net. Nice to see those two boys playing nice.
Third period, 20:00, 1-1: Third period under way, with the Penguins starting on the power play for the first 1:15.
End of second period, 1-1: This one’s tied as the teams head to their respective dressing rooms, and these two teams are fired up. After nearly every whistle, there’s a scrum of some sort, and the home crowd is certainly as loud as it can be in here.
Expect a certain level of focus on Cooke from the Bruins, but probably only if they’re able to get a lead first. They aren’t in a position where they can afford to let someone like Cooke interfere with their goal of getting two points today.
Second period, 54.5, 1-1: Adam McQuaid has returned to the Boston bench.
Second period, 3:45, 1-1: I’ll give you five guesses as to which Penguins skater just threw a questionable hit on Adam McQuaid. Ready and … go.
Yes, it was Matt Cooke, who went in low, directly at Adam McQuaid’s knee after the D-man dumped a puck into the zone.
McQuaid immediately went down in a lot of pain, and Chara skated over to Cooke to avenge the hit, but Cooke instead lay on the ice protecting himself. Chara gets two minutes for roughing but this one is in no way over. Matt Cooke is not a person very well-liked on this Bruins team.
(Fifty-five seconds later, Jussi Jokinen goes to the box for cross-checking.)
Second period, 7:09, 1-1: I apologize for the sporadic updates, as I’m battling through some Internet connectivity issues here.
The Bruins are absolutely buzzing, they have a 27-13 shot advantage, and they just put the puck in the net. Problem was, it didn’t count.
Marchand sent a shot on net from a tough angle along the goal line and then crashed the net. Vokoun didn’t have the puck covered, and it ended up getting knocked in, perhaps by Bergeron’s skate.
Either way, it was immediately waved off for coming after the quick whistle, and the game remains tied.
But, it’s worth noting, after a lot of people questioned the Bruins’ effort on Wednesday night, they cannot do that today. They are playing as hard as you could ever really imagine.
Second period, 14:50, 1-1: Despite an 18-8 shot advantage early in the second, the Bruins just gave up the game-tying goal.
A giant mess of humanity was in front of Rask, with several players falling to the ice as the puck squirted loose. Jussi Jokinen was in the right place at the right time and fired it past a sprawling Rask to even the score at 1-1.
Second period, 20:00, 1-0 Bruins: Well it turns out that fight was a costly one for Nathan Horton, as the B’s announced that he will not return to the game today. Ouch.
That leaves the Bruins without Horton and Lucic, two of the guys who are supposed to be top-line wingers. Interesting.
End of first period, 1-0 Bruins: The first period comes to a close with the Bruins still leading 1-0.
The teams exchanged penalties, with Soderberg learning that you can’t lift your stick parallel to the ice in the NHL or else you automatically get a hooking call if you’re near an opponent. Just 23 seconds later though, Matt Niskanen got called for interference on the power play, negating the Pens’ man advantage.
First period, 2:04, 1-0 Bruins: For the past month or so, every Bruins player to a man has said they didn’t take it personally when Jarome Iginla essentially rejected a trade to Boston in order to go to his more desired landing spot of Pittsburgh.
Well, they were flat-out lying.
Marchand got in Iginla’s face earlier on, and just now Nathan Horton dropped the gloves with Iginla at the Pittsburgh blue line.
It wasn’t a memorable fight, as neither player is exactly Muhammad Ali, but Horton looked as fired up as he’s been all season.
And, of course, the crowd loved to see it.
First period, 3:07, 1-0 Bruins: The B’s get nothing on the power play. The Penguins killed that one pretty well.
First period, 5:56, 1-0 Bruins: The Bruins are playing a heavy physical game, and the Penguins are struggling to match it. Tyler Kennedy now heads to the box for another slashing penalty on Pittsburgh.
By the way, Rask picked up the secondary assist on Marchand’s goal earlier, and it’s his first of the season.
First period, 9:42, 1-0 Bruins: Brad Marchand just made sure the Bruins got the lead in this one.
The winger took a pass at full speed in the neutral zone from Zdeno Chara and came burning down the left wing. He deked between Mark Eaton and Kris Letang and ended up splitting the defense and getting an off-balance shot on net from in close. Vokoun couldn’t handle it, and it’s 1-0 Boston.
First period, 10:29, 0-0: The B’s get the first power play of the day, courtesy of a Matt Cooke slash.
In other news, Jarome Iginla is getting booed mightily every time he touches the puck. As you’d expect.
First period, 11:49, 0-0: One thing we haven’t seen a lot of this year has been fighting out of the Bruins, but Adam McQuaid was just ready and eager to drop the gloves with Tanner Glass.
I think Glass landed a few more punches, and McQuaid was left somewhat falling to the ice at the end of it, but the crowd sure appreciated the effort.
First period, 11:59, 0-0: This game remains scoreless thanks to an outstanding save by Tuukka Rask. Beau Bennett managed to slip his way through the Bruins defense and walked in all alone on Rask, but the netminder went into a split and made a dandy of a glove save to keep it scoreless.
First period, 14:46, 0-0: Incredible pressure from the Bruins early on, so it was hard to keep track of all of the chances. Shot after shot was fired toward net, with Tomas Vokoun making seven saves in the first four-plus minutes of action.
Included in that opening stretch was a hit from Matt Bartkowski that sent an off-balanced Matt Cooke sliding face first into the boards. On another day, that may have elicited a loud roar from the Bruins crowd, but today, nobody seems to be too worried about Matt Cooke.
First period, 20:00: After another incredible pregame moment with the sold-out Garden crowd singing the national anthem, this one is under way.
Peverley, Campbell and Thornton are out there to start the game.
12:06 p.m.: The Bruins just seem to always hit the right notes, and they definitely did that with the way they took the ice for warmups today.
The video board showed them coming down the hallway, and immediately it was pretty clear they were doing something special, based on Tuukka Rask not wearing his mask. Instead, he had a Massachusetts State Police hat, as did many of his teammates. They all had different hats of law enforcement agencies, and they all wore them throughout warmups (except Rask and Anton Khudobin, who had to step in front of pucks, of course).
The Bruins also had some different warmup music. They normally come out to “Clique” by Kanye West, Big Sean and Jay-Z, but today, they hit the ice without any music, instead letting the cheers of the home crowd replace the noise. Then, “The State Of Massachusetts” by The Dropkick Murphys played, followed by “I Want My City Back” by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
The chorus of that song, if you don’t know, is:
“I want my city back,
Back the way it used to be.
I want it back the way it was.”
It was a pretty great way to hit the ice today at the Garden.
As for the lines, Milan Lucic didn’t skate for warmups, so he’ll be up here on Level 9 today. The rest of the lineup looks like it’ll shake out this way, with Carl Soderberg skating on a line with Jaromir Jagr. Welcome to the NHL, buddy!
Daniel Paille-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Carl Soderberg-Chris Kelly-Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Johnny Boychuk-Andrew Ference
Adam McQuaid-Matt Bartkowski
10:45 a.m.: Good morning from Boston takes on a whole different tone today, as the Bruins and Penguins are readying to take the ice just hours after the local region and the entire country felt a great sense of relief from the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown.
Of course, there are much greater reasons to be excited today, but in less than two hours, I know about 17,565 folks are going to celebrate the best way they know how: watching a hockey game.
Shawn Thornton, the Bruins’ player who’s become a true Bostonian in his half-decade in a black and gold sweater, spoke before the game, and he anticipates an atmosphere much like the one from Wednesday night here at the Garden.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of proud people in the stands again today. I don’t expect anything different, to tell you the truth,” Thornton said around 10:15 this morning. “I heard that the streets were packed last night after this happened, and I expect that to carry into today in the crowd.”
There’s no doubt about that.
As for the hockey, Milan Lucic is looking like a healthy scratch. That was probably going to be the case anyway, but when he skated with a crew that will most likely be watching this one from the ninth floor. That group included Kaspars Daugavins, Aaron Johnson, Wade Redden, Dougie Hamilton and Anton Khudobin, according to ESPN’s Joe McDonald, so it seems like the coaching staff wanted to make sure those guys got on the ice after they were kept off it yesterday.
We are also expected to see the much-anticipated debut of Carl Soderberg. That will be overshadowed for the most part … but for good reason. This day is about much more.
We’ll know more as we approach 12:30 p.m., which is when the puck will drop in Boston, and I’ll have all the updates right here in the live blog, all the way through the end of the game.