Game 2: Bruins-Penguins Preview

1370144486000-USP-NHL-Stanley-Cup-Playoffs-Boston-Bruins-at-Pit-002-1306012343_4_3_rx513_c680x510

Game 2: Boston Bruins @ Pittsburgh Penguins (Bruins lead series 1-0)

Game Time: 8:00 PM

Location: Console Energy Center

TV/Radio: NBC Sports Network/98.5 The Sports Hub

The Boston Bruins jumped out to a one-game-to-none series lead Saturday night, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins in convincing fashion. Claude Julien’s club embarrassed the Penguins, stifling and frustrating them on their home ice. Monday night presents an opportunity for the Bruins to take a commanding series lead prior to heading back to Boston for games three and four.

In game one we saw Pittsburgh play outside their comfort zone in an effort to match the physicality of the Bruins. Simply put, it backfired in their face and played right into the hands of the Bruins. Matt Cooke was tossed, Sidney Crosby was rendered useless, Tomas Vokoun exploited, and as a result, the Black-and-Gold have now gotten inside the heads of the Penguins.

Pittsburgh clearly acted with little thought. They decided to take an approach that’s not conducive to them winning. Boston responded, bringing the rough play right into the Penguins kitchen. Judging by how things unfolded, it was apparent that Dan Bylsma’s team couldn’t deal with the consequences. As soon as the Bruins picked up their intensity, Pittsburgh whined, moaned, and dodged any sort of legitimate confrontation.

The bear has been poked and things could get ugly for the Eastern Conference’s top ranked squad. Boston will look to duplicate their efforts from game 1 and hold the Penguins accountable for any weasely actions. Though all eyes will be on Pittsburgh and how they respond, considering they have not yet been forced to come from behind in a series this postseason.

Boston will look to continue in clogging up the passing lanes in bringing the Penguins offense to a halt. If they are able to get sticks and bodies on loose pucks then Pittsburgh will struggle again in developing any sort of rhythm. Despite a flawless evening of penalty killing on Saturday, they still need to cut down on their penalties. Giving the Penguins four chances on the man advantage is flirting with fire. The Bruins are hopeful that guys like Tyler Seguin, Jaromir Jagr, and Brad Marchand can step up offensively in aiding the their top line scoring.

It’s almost guaranteed that Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and the rest of the Penguins stars will come out flying in game 2. It’s imperative that the Bruins defense, anchored by Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, pressure the Pittsburgh stars, get in their face, and get nasty with them. Tuukka Rask was the saving grace for the opening part of game 1. Boston needs to spell him a bit with an inspired defensive onslaught. If the Bruins can force them to chase pucks in deep and win the one-on-one battles then their chances of emerging as victors bodes well.

Boston succeeded in moving the Penguins off their game and embraced everything that was thrown at them in game 1. Expect the Bruins to roll out the exact same lineup. No change is needed, as the group Claude Julien utilized Saturday seemed to counter every Pittsburgh move with conviction. Pittsburgh knows it cannot afford to be beaten again. Count on this tilt being as brutal, if not more.

Boston’s expected lineup is as follows:

Lucic-Krejci-Horton

Marchand-Bergeron-Jagr

Peverley-Kelly-Seguin

Paille-Campell-Thornton

Chara-Boychuk

Bartkowski-Seidenberg

Krug-McQuaid

Rask

Pittsburgh’s expected lineup is as follows:

Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis

Iginla-Malkin-Neal

Cooke-Sutter-Kennedy

Morrow-Jokinen-Adams

Orpik-Martin

Eaton-Letang

Murray-Niskanen

Vokoun

Frank O’Laughlin – Lead NHL Contributor – TitleTown Sports

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: