What they're saying about Boston-Buffalo

Thumbnail image for charabig.jpgNBC’s first playoff game of 2010 starts live at 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. We’re very excited to provide extended coverage for Game 2 of the Boston Bruins-Buffalo Sabres first round series for you here to today. Let’s take a look at what newspapers, bloggers and other assorted individuals are saying about this afternoon’s game.

What Boston bloggers and newspapers are saying

Stanley Cup of Chowder has a great preview of the game that includes an injury report, possible line combinations and this interesting tidbit. (Evan also points out that the officiating might, um, lean toward Buffalo.)

– Tuukka Rask is 4-1-0 lifetime vs. Buffalo with a 1.43 GAA and a .954 save percentage.

– Ryan Miller is 16-5-6 lifetime vs. Boston with a 2.53 GAA and a .914 save percentage.

The Bruins’ lack of offensive punch was the focus of a big chunk of the Boston Globe’s coverage. Their beat writer Fluto Shinzawa covered the subject here while the Associated Press had an interesting piece on their lack of scoring as well. NBC contributor Kevin Paul Dupont predicted that this series would be a grind.

For comic relief, here’s the story of the Bruins fleecing the Toronto Maple Leafs in a “once-in-a-generation” deal to get Tuukka Rask. Sorry, Mr. Shinzawa, but the Leafs seem to make a bad trade once per season, not once per generation.

Finally, Patrick Kaleta is ruffling some feathers in Boston but here are some other Sabres to watch (according to the Globe).

What the Buffalo bloggers and newspaper are saying

Die by the Blade has a great collection of Buffalo Sabres-related links. One of the pieces that standout is this story, which covers the fact that the Sabres might not have even scouted Ryan Miller. Wow.

What’s a little animosity between friends?

More on Patrick Kaleta from the Buffalo News.

Jerry Sullivan discusses the fact that Zdeno Chara embraces the role of a villain, despite the fact that he never wears a rob on his way to ice nor does he have a habit of saying “To be the man, you have to beat the man!”

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    Sullivan calls it a ‘blindside hit to the head,’ but Marleau doesn’t think suspension’s coming

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    PITTSBURGH — It didn’t take long for the first controversial incident of the Stanley Cup Final.

    Patrick Marleau‘s illegal check to the head on Bryan Rust — one that earned Marleau a minor penalty, and forced Rust to exit the game — left Rust day-to-day with an upper-body injury, per Pens head coach Mike Sullivan.

    When asked what he thought of the hit, Sullivan was blunt.

    “It’s a blindside hit to the head,” he said. “[Marleau] gets a penalty and I’m sure the league will look at it.”

    Marleau wasn’t saying much about the incident following the game, but did suggest he wasn’t expecting supplemental discipline:

    “I just tried to keep everything down,” Marleau added. “I didn’t want to get too high on him.”

    It’ll be interesting to see what transpires. There hasn’t been a suspension in the Stanley Cup Final since Vancouver’s Aaron Rome was given a four-game ban for his massive hit on Boston forward Nathan Horton.

    Marleau has no history with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

    It should be mentioned the DoPS has been fairly active this spring, handing down five suspensions, including a pair of three-gamers to Brooks Orpik and Brayden Schenn.

    Bonino scores late, role guys star again as Pens take Game 1

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    PITTSBURGH — If this playoff run has proven anything, it’s that the Penguins are more than Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

    Tonight only reaffirmed it.

    Bryan Rust, Conor Sheary and Nick Bonino did all the scoring on Monday, with Bonino’s late marker the winner as Pittsburgh defeated San Jose 3-2 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

    Bonino’s goal, his fourth of the playoffs, came with just over two minutes remaining, capping off a quality opener in which both teams carried play for long stretches.

    Rust and Sheary punctuated a dominant opening period for the Penguins — they out-shot the Sharks 15-4 — but the Sharks replied with a stellar second frame, equalizing on goals from Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau.

    That set the stage for a dramatic third, and the Bonino goal.

    That he, Rust and Sheary did the scoring for Pittsburgh was fitting. There’d been plenty of talk heading into this series about role players coming up large, to the point where the American Hockey League sent out a press release noting that 23 of 25 Penguins that’ve played in the playoffs thus far came through Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, highlighting this spring’s “big four” of Rust, Sheary, Tom Kuhnhackl and Matt Murray.

    Rust etched himself into Pittsburgh lore in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over the Lightning.

    Murray’s exploits are pretty well-known. The 22-year-old was remarkably solid after regaining the starter’s net from Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 6 of the ECF, stopping 44 of 47 shots over the final two games of the series.

    He was good again on Monday, with 24 saves on 26 shots.

    Sheary, the diminutive speedster, scored his third goal of the playoffs tonight. Kuhnhackl tied a team high with eight hits.

    As such, Pittsburgh has to be thrilled about how tonight went. They held up home ice and got contributions from across the board — the only downer has to be the health of Rust, who twice exited the contest after taking a hit to the head from Marleau.

    As for the Sharks… well, this one will sting a bit. The club did remarkably well to rally from a two-goal deficit and carried play in the second period, but can’t be pleased.

    They were beaten in the possession game and out-shot badly (41-26), things head coach Peter DeBoer wanted to control against Pittsburgh, a team he considers the fastest in the league.

    That said, there are positives moving forward. Martin Jones was outstanding in his Stanley Cup Final debut, with 38 saves on 41 shots, and there’s still a chance to get the split on Wednesday night.

    Of course, to do that, the Sharks will have to figure out how to slow down Pittsburgh’s role players.

    Video: Patrick Marleau gets minor penalty for hit on Bryan Rust

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    Patrick Marleau made a big impact with the 2-2 goal in Game 1, yet a hit he delivered on Bryan Rust might draw more attention.

    With the score tied 2-2, Marleau was whistled for a minor penalty for “illegal check to the head” on Rust. The Pittsburgh Penguins power play was not able to score on the San Jose Sharks during that two-minute power play.

    Rust left the bench for a short period of time, yet he returned to action.

    Some believe that Marleau deserves a look from the Department of Player Safety for the check. Others wonder if it should have been a penalty at all.

    Watch the video above and check out the GIFs below to decide for yourself:

    Sharks flip the script, tie Penguins heading into third period

    PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 30:  Tomas Hertl #48 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates with teammates after scoring a second period goal against Matt Murray #30 of the Pittsburgh Penguins (not pictured) in Game One of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center on May 30, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    The Pittsburgh Penguins dominated the San Jose Sharks in the first period of Game 1, no doubt about it.

    Even so, the Sharks entered the middle frame down 2-0, and responded rather than shriveling up. They basically switched roles with the Penguins in the second period, ultimately tying things up 2-2.

    The first goal was one Matt Murray would probably like back (even more than a goalie would want any goal back, mind you), as Tomas Hertl beat him five-hole for a power-play goal.

    Witness the Sharks’ first-ever goal in a Stanley Cup Final:

    Fittingly, a grizzled veteran and longtime face of the Sharks’ franchise tied it up, as Patrick Marleau made it 2-2 with a clever wraparound:

    Which team will win the third period? Could we see overtime? Find out on NBC.