Five Reasons Why the Bruins Won Game 1

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Heading into this Eastern Conference Finals showdown, Boston clearly understood what they needed to do in order to emerge victorious. They nailed it on Saturday night.

5. Tuukka Rask sparkled in pitching his first ever career post season shutout. Rask has been unbelievable throughout the playoffs, but his game 1 performance against the Penguins may be the best yet. The Bruins tender succeeded in infuriating the Pittsburgh stars. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and company had little to shoot at. Rask executed flawlessly, taking away shooting angles and reacting with great confidence. Pittsburgh could only muster up a few hit posts because of his spot on positioning. He looked calm and was not rattled.

4. Andrew Ference’s return helped solidify the Bruins back end, while aiding in a stout, workmen like defensive effort. His veteran presence and years of valuable experience paid huge dividends. Ference, along with Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, and Johnny Boychuk all did an exceptional job in suppressing the Pittsburgh stars. You have to be proud whenever you are able to hold the NHL’s top ranked offense and best player in the world scoreless.

3. David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Nathan Horton continue to roll along as the NHL’s most dominant and productive trio this post season. Krejci was able to add to an already Conn Smythe worthy playoff résumé. He potted two timely goals and proved why he belongs in the same discussions as Sydney Crosby. Horton added a goal and two assists. He was physically engaged all night and exhibited the fire he had been playing with prior to being knocked out by Aaron Rome two years ago. He is coming up in the clutch when he’s needed the most. Milan Lucic added an assist, turning in yet another commendable effort.

2. The much-discussed Penguins power play was rendered powerless. Coming into this series many pegged the difference to be special teams play, simply because Pittsburgh’s man advantage has been virtually lights out. The Bruins penalty kill has been one of the best all season long. They showed that they indeed have an answer for the high-powered Penguins attack; turning them away empty handed on four different occasions.

1. Boston was able to play their game and received a great deal of help in doing so. Instead of trying to utilize their immense skillfulness, Pittsburgh felt the need to prove that they could indeed be physical like the Bruins. That mindset led to the demise of the Penguins, hindering and holding them back. Instead of energizing themselves, they just fired up Boston. The Bruins benefitted from it because they enjoy playing rough and rugged. Pittsburgh become more and more frustrated as the game progressed and the Bruins ate it up. Boston didn’t even have to work to establish their game, Pittsburgh played right into their hands. The Penguins may have outhit the Bruins but many of the hits were just meaningless. Boston hit with a purpose, as they symbolized a team executing to perfection. After one game, it’s apparent that no matter how hard the Penguins try; they will never be the Bruins.

Frank O’Laughlin – Lead NHL Contributor – TitleTown Sports

 

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