It still seems improbable even after the final whistle, but it really happened: the Boston Bruins really did open a six-pack on the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning game two of the Eastern Conference Final by a big 6-1 score to send the series back to Boston with a 2-0 lead.
Boston got off to a quick, quick start, Brad Marchand putting up his first of two goals merely 28 seconds into the first period. That, by the way, was the swiftest goal scored in the Stanley Cup Playoffs so far and that swiftness describes much of the game action. Even during seemingly rough times–a power play low on actual power, for example–good things were always on the horizon. After that lousy man advantage, Nathan Horton scored, thereby figuring into every single Boston goal scored in this series so far save for Marchand’s quick and unassisted game-starter.
David Krejci piled on another goal before the first period ended, so when it was three to nothing, the Penguins attempted to inject some life into it with a Brandon Sutter tally–which Marchand answered less than half a minute later, re-establishing a three-goal lead. Sutter’s goal came while a different goalie was between the pipes for his team: Marc-Andre Fleury, called in to play his first game since way back in the quarterfinals against the New York Islanders.
By the way, the last three shots taken by Bruins players in the first period all turned into goals. However, they then followed that amazing first period with a completely unremarkable middle stanza, marked only by Marchand taking a particularly ill-advised penalty that got him lectures from assistant coach Doug Houda and old hand Jaromir Jagr–who, by the way, put up two separate assists and says he’s never been on a team so deep and productive. (Logically, only one more milestone remains, Jagr!)
Patrice Bergeron had another great night himself, though his face looks a bit worse for wear after his game one tussle with Evgeni Malkin. His third-period tally, 27 seconds in, bumped the lead up to a fiver. When he helped out on Marchand’s second goal, that was his 50th career playoff point. He and Jagr both emerged from the game with +3 ratings, as did Johnny Boychuk, who put up the final ribbon-tying goal in the end.
By that point, the CONSOL Energy Center was so quiet that the viewer at home, being subjected to the constant Penguins boosterism from NBCSN, could easily hear people calling for passes, offside calls and, probably, the sound of an opportunistic student deciding to study during the game.
At this point, the Penguins seem lost at sea, unable to do much of anything because it would appear that they underestimated the Bruins. Like I’ve said before, this is a different team from the two Pittsburgh faced previously. But the Bruins will never get too cocky or assume they already have this series in the book–that’s not who they are. Instead, they’ll go back into their home barn, a place where they haven’t been in what feels like nine years due to how long we waited for this series to begin, and hopefully do their best. See what they can do on Wednesday night at 8 p.m.