The offense wasn’t there, and neither was the defense for most of the game.
Bruce Cassidy emphasized the Bruins’ lack of execution and how that’s led to their numbers being down across the board.
“We don’t take care of the puck well enough,” Cassidy said.
That failure to control the puck was evident in the defensive zone, where they struggled to set up breakouts or get the puck up the boards to generate offensive momentum.
The Bruins had sloppy turnovers and needed to be stronger on the puck and body.
The first period was low energy and the Bruins couldn’t get any offense going. Zach Senyshyn threw a couple hits, but there was no real physicality from the B’s.
The Bruins had a hard time clearing the defensive zone and spent the majority of the period on the defensive.
Daniel Vladar saw seven shots from the Pens and made a few nice glove and stick saves, but his team didn’t do him any favors.
The Bruins had one power play after David Pastrnak was cross-checked in front of Casey DeSmith by Brian Dumoulin. There was a lot of cycling and passing, but no real shots on net.
Overall, the Bs were outshot 7-2 and headed into the locker room scoreless after the first 20 minutes.
(Yes, two shots in the entire period.)
As the second period started, the Bruins announced Brandon Carlo (upper-body) would not return to the game.
There was much of the same from the Bruins’ back-end, as Pittsburgh was able to win battles behind Vladar and create chances. They were stronger on the puck in all areas of the zone and kept their chances alive.
The Penguins opened the scoring at 2:01 of the second period. Brandon Tanev backhanded a pass to Zachary Aston-Reese crashing the net, and he slid a backhander pass Vladar’s stick. 1-0 Penguins.
Zach Aston-Reese ties his career-high in goals per season (8) with this tally against the Bruins.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 2, 2021
Gaudreau and Tanev (welcome back!) pick up the helpers. pic.twitter.com/8zrWDCDJ54
The Penguins extended their lead at 13:12 of the second period.
Mike Matheson carried a pass from Anthony Angello from their defensive zone up the right-wing boards, then skated right past Jeremy Lauzon, shielding the puck on his backhand through the slot before moving to his forehand for a goal low past Vladar’s stick. 2-0 Penguins.
So, things are definitely going well for Mike Matheson.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 2, 2021
Matheson gets his first multi-point game of the season.
The Bruins cut into the deficit at 11:14 of the third period. Patrice Bergeron found Brad Marchand inside the low left face-off circle for a quick wrister past DeSmith top-shelf. 2-1 Penguins.
Brad Marchand gives the Bruins life.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 2, 2021
2-1 game. 8:46 to go. pic.twitter.com/K5mzecVKgZ
But hope didn’t last long as the Penguins took back a two-goal lead at 13:07 of the third period. After a turnover from David Pastrnak in the neutral zone, Evan Rodrigues skated into the left face-off circle where he sent a backhanded feed to Jason Zucker in the slot for a low goal past Vladar. 3-1 Penguins.
Try to watch this without smiling. We dare you. pic.twitter.com/1Xoq3xm1pk— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 2, 2021
The Penguins capped their win with an empty-net goal at 17:51 of the third period from Jake Guentzel, making the final 4-1 Penguins.
The Bruins are back in action Saturday at 1 PM for another match-up against these same Penguins.