The Boston Bruins hit the ice this afternoon in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins. Boston entered the game with a 4-2-0 record against their hated rivals and looked to clinch the season series. Jeremy Swayman got the start for Boston and Tristan Jarry was in net for Pittsburgh.
Bruins and Penguins Battle Early
Early on, there was no doubt that Pittsburgh would be a tough opponent for the streaky Bruins. Considering the fact that they were 10-6-4 against the other three playoff teams in the division, you would expect that this game against the Penguins would be a tightly-contested, hard-fought battle until the very last horn sounded. Sure enough, tonight’s game was nothing short of that.
It felt like everything that one team did, the other felt the need to respond by doing the exact same thing. Every hit was matched with another. Every shot was matched with one for the other side. If the Bruins did something, the Penguins had to do it better, and vice versa, for that matter. Truly, today’s game was fun to watch.
Particularly early on, it felt like both Swayman and Jarry were locking everything down. Without a doubt, this game was destined to be a low-scoring, high-hitting affair. Without a doubt, it lived up to the hype early.
Both Teams Settle In
As time went on, it started to feel like the Bruins and Penguins had figured each other out. Clearly, this game wasn’t going to be like the most recent ones for Boston.
Without a doubt, the shining stars today were the goalies. Tristian Jarry was nothing short of fantastic, and Swayman really seems to have settled in at the NHL level. Tonight was a prime example of how hockey can be fun without being a goal-fest.
Pittsburgh Breaks the Ice
Early in the third, the game saw its first goal. It came off the stick of Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel with assists going to Brian Dumoulin and Sidney Crosby. The goal came at 4:03 elapsed and would eventually go down as the game-winner.
After that goal from Guentzel, the game was relatively over. Inevitably, the Bruins would go on to lose the game 1-0. Today was just one of those games. There was no way to beat Jarry. He was just that lights-out.
Takeaways for the Bruins
If you are a Bruins fan, it is easy to say that this game was a pure negative. Obviously, with a regulation loss, the Bruins get no points. However, they are not in a bad spot for the playoffs, as the NHL’s East Division Playoff picture rounds out. Looking ahead, the Bruins can eliminate Philly just by a combination of gaining eight points or the Flyers not acquiring those eight points. Realistically, that can be done this week. Unfortunately, Philly plays the Devils three more times this week. Boston plays Pittsburgh once more and the Sabres twice. The more realistic timeline for that elimination is by May 8. The Rangers would follow not long after in that scenario.
Boston’s next game will be on Tuesday against Pittsburgh at the PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday at 7:00 PM on NESN
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