June 3, 2013 at 4:35 PM #52266
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Penguins in Must-Win Already? Game 2 Goes Monday Night
About all that could have gone wrong did just that for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final with the Boston Bruins. The Pens displayed an uncharacteristic lack of discipline, had their only real weakness exposed ( their defense was simply run over) and their offense, which had averaged four goals per game during the playoffs was shut out by Tuukka Rask and the Bruins. Pittsburgh was shut out for the first time since Feb. 1, 2012, in a 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference Final at Consol Energy Center but get a chance Monday night to erase all the bad memories of Saturday’s opening game.
Boston Bruins (37-17-4-3) at Pittsburgh Penguins (44-15-1-0)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, June 3, 2013
Where: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Broadcast: CBC, RDS, NBCSN
Bruins lead series 2-1
Bruins vs. Pens Betting Lines from betonline.com
Boston Bruins +1½ -180 +173 Ov 5½ +119
Pittsburgh Penguins -1½ +160 -191 Un 5½ -131
The Boston Bruins took a page out of the New York Islanders book and pressured the Pittsburgh Penguins to death in Game 1 of the East Final. The Bruins played the perfect road game Saturday and escaped with an impressive 3-0 win. Tuukka Rask didn’t have any trouble channeling his emotions as he turned aside all 29 shots he faced to record his first career playoff shutout. David Krejci scored twice to increase his league-leading point total to 19, while Nathan Horton collected a goal and two assists in Saturday’s triumph to improve to an NHL-best plus-17.
Boston now has a blue print for beating the Penguins. If they can keep up the furious forecheck, pressure the defense and lean on the Penguins big stars they certainly won’t look overmatched as many thought they would be. Rask and the defense are as good as advertised – they made things uncomfortable for Pittsburgh’s talent-latent lineup.
David Krejci now has seven goals this postseason and leads the League with 19 points. He has 45 points in his past 45 playoff games, dating back to the start of the 2011 postseason, when the Bruins hoisted the Stanley Cup and Tuukka Rask is now 9-4 this postseason with a 2.06 goals-against average and .933 save percentage – good signs for the Bruins heading into Game 2.
There are many that feel that Pittsburgh had a hand in beating themselves on Saturday night – they were clearly taken out of their game but the Bruins – a team that Pittsburgh beat in all three meetings during the regular season. Truth be told, the Penguins did some good things – they generated chances, they used their speed and they carried the play for a good part of Game 1. A lack of discipline and an inability to get one by Tuukka Rask doomed them.
But Pittsburgh is an experienced team – they should have learned something from Game 1! Should have! We can’t expect Pittsburgh to go 0 for 4 on the power play again but we can expect a better performance from Tomas Vokoun although Saturday’s loss certainly wasn’t his fault. Vokoun has posted a 6-2 mark with a 1.98 goals-against average and .937 save percentage since replacing Stanley Cup-winning netminder Marc-Andre Fleury prior to Game 6 of the first-round series versus the New York Islanders and is capable of doing enough to allow his offense to get it going.
The Penguins will be preaching patience, discipline and a similar offensive game plan Monday – tweak a few things and they should be just fine. But if they don’t score – they don’t win!
Betting Prediction: A few trends to consider:
• BOS are 23-3 in their last 26 Mon. games.
• Under is 11-4-1 in BOS last 16 vs. Atlantic.
• PIT are 20-6 in their last 26 vs. Northeast.
• PIT are 42-13 in their last 55 home games.
• PIT are 41-13 in their last 54 overall.
• Road team is 10-3 in the last 13 meetings.
The Pittsburgh Penguins played about as bad a game as they could have and they still, barring an incredible effort by Tuukka Rask could have won the game. The Penguins will be better on Monday – they absolutely have to be. This is destined to be a long series – one that returns to Boston tied!
Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins -191
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