Bruins maul Penguins lead East Finals 2-0

It is looking more and more like a Boston Chicago Stanley Cup Final

Brad Marchand scored twice during a four-goal first period and the Boston Bruins routed thePittsburgh Penguins 6-1 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night.

David Krejci, Nathan Horton, Patrice Bergeron andJohnny Boychuk also scored for Boston, which hardly broke a sweat while going up 2-0 in the best-of-seven series. Tuukka Rask kept Sidney Crosby and the rest of the NHL’s top offense in check once again, stopping 26 shots.

Game 3 is Wednesday night in Boston.

Brandon Sutter netted Pittsburgh’s lone goal. Tomas Vokoun gave up three first-period goals on 12 shots before being replaced by Marc-Andre Fleury.

The move did little to blunt the momentum in what has quickly become a one-sided series. Boston held Pittsburgh’s top-ranked power play scoreless for the second straight game, and the Bruins looked like the team marked as the Stanley Cup favorites, not the star-laden Penguins.

Boston insisted it was fortunate to escape Game 1 with a 3-0 victory, saying a couple of bounces could have changed the course of the game dramatically.

The Penguins are making too many mistakes, and the Bruins are cashing in. This series is not even competitive right now. In the West, Chicago is up 2-0 on LA, and looking as impressive as Boston. Of course, the Kings are defending champs, and are unbeaten on home ice this post season, and series can turn quickly so….

 

Penguins rout Senators, roll into East Finals

Pittsburgh clearly is much better than Ottawa is, and is the favorite to win it all in my view.

The Pittsburgh Penguins expected desperation.

Instead, the listless Ottawa Senators offered little more than resignation.

Swarming the Senators from the opening faceoff, Pittsburgh roared to a 6-2 victory Friday night in Game 5 of the Eastern conference semifinals to take the best-of-seven series 4-1.

James Neal picked up his first postseason hat trick as the Penguins capped a five-game onslaught against one of the NHL’s best defensive teams to stroll into the conference finals. Pittsburgh scored 22 goals in the series while ending Ottawa’s season for the third time in five years.

“We gave them the respect they deserved and we came out and I think we surprised ourselves,” Neal said. “We played with a lot of speed and got it behind them and got to the net.”

And more importantly, into the net.

Kris LetangEvgeni Malkin and Brenden Morrow also scored, and Tomas Vokoun made 29 saves to help give top-seeded Pittsburgh a few days of rest before facing Boston or theNew York Rangers in the conference finals.

The Penguins will take the time off, but considering the way they’re rolling at the moment they wouldn’t mind if the next round started sooner rather than later.

“We got to our game a lot,” Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said. “The depth we showed, different guys chipping in. The whole way through we didn’t have many lulls where we lost momentum at any point.”

 

Penguins edge Sens, take 2-0 series lead

Sydney Crosby, with the hat trick

The Ottawa Senators have plenty of respect for Sidney Crosby.

As they’re quickly learning, perhaps a little too much.

Working in wide-open swaths of ice left by Ottawa’s tentative defense, the Pittsburgh superstar needed just more than one period to complete his second playoff hat trick and lift the Penguins to a 4-3 victory Friday night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“He’s one of the best in the game and if you give him time, space to make plays, to shoot puck he’s going to burn you,” Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips said. “That’s what we did tonight. We gave him too much room and he took advantage.”

 

Penguins hold off Isles in OT take 2-1 series lead

The Penguins are getting all they want from the #8 seed Islanders

The Pittsburgh Penguins bounced back from their home disappointment and dished out their fair share to the suddenly shocked New York Islanders.

All it took was Sidney Crosby and a very powerful power play to do the trick.

Chris Kunitz scored his second man-advantage goal of the game 8:44 into overtime, off the third assist of the day by Crosby, and the Penguins rode a slew of ups and downs Sunday en route to a 5-4 victory over the Islanders that gave top-seeded Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.

The Islanders came in still enjoying the positive effects of their 4-3 comeback win on Friday in Pittsburgh that gave them a surprising split of the first two games of the Eastern Conference series.

The Penguins will try to take a commanding 3-1 lead Tuesday on Long Island.