This game was the exact opposite of the Penguins’ previous matchup. After winning a high-scoring 6-4 affair against the Oilers, they were shut out by goalie Tuuka Rask and the Boston Bruins, 2-0.
One of the main reasons for Pittsburgh’s offensive struggles was the loss of two of the NHL’s top five scoring leaders. Sidney Crosby, after looking perfectly fine in warmups, ended up not appearing on the bench at the start of the game. It is still unclear why he was unavailable. Evgeni Malkin played five shifts in the first period after a hit gave him a lower-body injury. He did not return from the second period on.
The other reason for the shutout was clear: Rask was masterful. He stopped all 30 shots that the Penguins threw at him, and he really took the Pens’ home fans out of the game early. Stopping shot-after-shot, Rask was magnificent with the puck. He held it for a draw when necessary and controlled every rebound as well. It was clear that Pittsburgh really had a mountain to climb in trying to get it by the Bruins’ goaltender.
On the other end of the ice, Penguins’ goalie Tomas Greiss was almost equally sensational. The backup only allowed one goal, as the second score came on an empty-netter by defenseman Zdeno Chara with 37 seconds remaining. Greiss stopped 28 of 29 shots, but it was not enough to earn his ninth win of the season. He fell to 8-4-3 on the season.
Forward Craig Adams replaced Crosby. Since Crosby was originally submitted in the lineups, the officials had to review and approve the starting lineup.
The first goal was scored by Boston forward Milan Lucic, whose wrist shot from the slot deflected off the body of Greiss, who saw the puck too late to make a save on it.
Chara’s goal was from deep in his own zone. After he intercepted the puck from the Penguins, he fired it down the ice and it bounced into Pittsburgh’s open net.
The Bruins are now tied with the Capitals for the first wild-card spot and have won five in a row and seven-of-eight. They play Washington on Sunday, the same day that the Penguins face Detroit at home at 12:30pm.