Penguins flop at home, drop Game 2 to Boston in blowout fashion


Jun 3, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference (21) and center Patrice Bergeron (37) and defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) congratulate left wing Brad Marchand (second from right) after Marchand scored a goal 28 seconds into the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game two of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Boston Bruins won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After a Game 1 loss that nonetheless included many encouraging moments for the Pittsburgh Penguins, they can take only one good thing from Game 2 of their Eastern Conference final with the Boston Bruins.

It’s over.

Starting with an egregious Sidney Crosby turnover and ending with a backbreaking goal against Marc-Andre Fleury, the Bruins buried the Penguins with a four-goal first period on their way to a dominant 6-1 victory Monday night at Consol Energy Center. Boston will carry a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series back home for the next two games at TD Garden.

Brad Marchand scored the opening and closing goals in the stunning first frame, with Nathan Horton and David Krejci converting in between. Krejci’s goal was his eighth of the playoffs, giving him a playoff-best 20 points; Horton is second among postseason scorers with 17 points, including seven goals.

Krejci’s tally after a sharp pass from Horton chased Penguins starting goalie Tomas Vokoun from the net in favor of Fleury, who didn’t fare much better despite staying in for the rest of the night. Fleury, who hadn’t played in nine games, allowed a goal on his first shot when Marchand made it 4-1 Boston with nine seconds left in the first.

Just 25 seconds earlier, Brandon Sutter had cut the Bruins’ lead to two with a gorgeous wrist shot over Tuukka Rask’s shoulder, making Marchand’s reply doubly deflating for the Penguins and another sellout crowd in Pittsburgh.

That congregation went from quiet to hostile in the second period, especially during a bumbling Pens power play that featured poor passes, inexplicable giveaways and general confusion. Pittsburgh was officially charged with 12 unforced turnovers to Boston’s two, with Crosby committing four on his own in one of the worst games of his stellar career.

Jun 3, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic (17) and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland (5) collide during the second period in game two of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As if the night couldn’t get any worse, old friend Jaromir Jagr spun a perfect backhand pass to Patrice Bergeron for a slam-dunk goal 27 seconds into the third, and Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk hammered an unscreened slapper past Fleury in the waning moments. With two of the three goals Fleury surrendered qualifying as questionable, it’s a mystery who the Penguins will turn to for the Game 3 start.

On the other side of the ice, Rask was arguably stronger than he was in Game 1, when he recorded his first playoff shutout. The 26-year-old Finn made a handful of key saves in the second period when Pittsburgh tried to poke rebounds behind him, overshadowing the Sutter goal that briefly injected some doubt into the proceedings.

Boston outshot Pittsburgh 29-27 for the game, keyed by a 13-6 advantage in the first. The Bruins’ first shot went in, as Marchand grabbed Crosby’s ill-timed attempt to pass a bouncing puck and burned Vokoun with a high wrister 28 seconds into the game.

The visitors earned the first power play when Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik went off for elbowing, and the Penguins killed it with the help of Vokoun’s sliding save on Jagr. However, Pens blueliner Kris Letang fired a pass up the middle of the ice as even-strength play resumed, which Torey Krug intercepted and fired on goal. Vokoun made the initial stop, but Horton overpowered Paul Martin to bury the rebound at 14:37.

Less than two minutes later, the lead grew to three when the Penguins lost their bearings in the defensive zone, leaving Krejci wide open at the left post for an easy one-timer. Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma went to Fleury at that point, perhaps to inspire a reaction from his team.

For a few moments, the move seemed astute, especially after Sutter gathered Matt Cooke’s accurate pass and netted his second of the playoffs. But the Bruins had an answer when Marchand eluded Cooke in the neutral zone and snapped a 40-footer over Fleury’s glove from the left circle.


The Penguins were the last NHL team to overcome a 2-0 deficit in a conference final when they rallied against the Bruins in 1991. Pittsburgh will look to start a repeat performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday night in Boston.