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It’s about time the Bruins started to look like they did last year. On Tuesday, the Black and Gold tore through the defending champion Penguins 3-0.
In the 1st period, the Penguins had an early chance to pull ahead when Vladamir Sobotka was called for tripping just 2:04 in. But, they couldn’t capitalize and not much else happened, especially since the Bruins did a great job holding Pittsburgh to just two shots in the period. There were plenty of chances for the Bruins, who got 10 shots off in the period, but it was either a matter of Pittsburgh having great blockers or Boston not passing effectively.
The action really picked up in the 2nd period, when Matt Hunwick scored for the Bruins 1:36 in. Except that despite the fact that it was obviously a goal, the referees called it a no-goal (who knew C.B. Bucknor refereed hockey?), and it took them a full 1:20 to review the play and get the call right, making it 1-0 Bruins. Aside from that, the action looked a lot like it did in the first 20 minutes.
In the 3rd, Boston’s Daniel Paille gave the Bruins an insurance goal with his first of the season. Boston got a chance to do even more damage on the power play when Pittsburgh’s Bill Guerin was called for cross checking 11:27 in. Nothing materialized. Pittsburgh tried hard to come back, when with less than six minutes remaining and Tim Thomas away from the net, the puck bounced towards the net and dinged off the post. A review would confirm the ruling on the rink of no goal.
It seemed too little too late for the Penguins when Shawn Thornton was called for cross checking with 20.5 seconds left. Then, with 3.5 seconds left, Patrice Bergeron took advantage of Pittsburgh’s empty net to score on a snap shot from clear across the rink, inking the game’s final score at 3-0, and bringing the Bruins within one point of the Sabres for the division lead.
It’s hard to go against the offense, but Thomas made many spectacular saves, not letting any of the Penguins’ 27 shots get by him.
There were WAY too many muffed passes for my taste, almost like Bill Buckner at times. Though it did end up being a moot point.
Surprisingly, there were no fights, making the game a waste of ticket money, so this section goes to the referees, who almost got murdered by the fans for originally not calling Hunwick’s goal a goal. I was at the TD Garden to hear the “Bulls**t” chants myself, and things got quite heated before it was eventually ruled a goal and Napoleon Dynamite began dancing on the Jumbotron.