Pittsburgh Penguins

Bruins pass Capitals with fifth straight win


Milan Lucic scored his 15th of the season and Tuukka Rask made 30 saves as the Boston Bruins blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-0 on Saturday afternoon.

Zdeno Chara added an empty-netter in the final minute.

With the win, Boston has now won five straight and seven of its last nine and moves past the Washington Capitals for the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins have a game in hand on the Caps.

Boston’s win coupled with Detroit’s loss in Philly leaves the Bruins just three points back of the Wings in the Atlantic Division. Detroit has one game in hand.

Pittsburgh played much of the game without both Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.

Crosby was a late scratch from the lineup due to illness and replaced by Craig Adams following the pre-game skate.

Malkin took a hit from Chris Kelly on his first shift of the game and was shaken up. He left the game briefly, but returned to finish the first period. He did not return to start the second.

Rask’s shutout was his third of the season and the 26th of his career.

Thomas Greiss made 28 saves in the loss.

With Saturday’s victory, Boston wins the season series taking two of three from Pittsburgh. The Penguins won the first meeting 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 24. The Bruins edged the Pens with a 3-2 overtime win on Jan. 7.

Crosby a late scratch in Pittsburgh after taking warmup (updated)


Sidney Crosby was a late scratch this afternoon as the Pittsburgh Penguins play host to the Boston Bruins.

Crosby took the pre-game skate, but did not return to the ice for puck drop.


Craig Adams has replaced Crosby in the lineup.

Here’s the NHL’s explanation on the Penguins lineup change:

Malkin injured following hit from Kelly (Updated)


Evgeni Malkin was shaken up following a first period hit from Boston Bruins’ forward Chris Kelly.

Malkin went to the Penguins room, but did return to finish the first period.

He finished the opening frame with five shifts and 4:15 in time on ice.

Malkin did not return to start the second period.


Pittsburgh is already without Sidney Crosby who was a late scratch prior to puck drop.

Sidney Crosby on his down year: ‘I wouldn’t change anything I’m doing’


Sidney Crosby might not hit 100 points this season. He’s only on pace to hit 86, according to NHL.com.

And while he may be only two points off the league lead as of Friday afternoon, before the New York Islanders on John Tavares hit the ice for their game against the Senators, this is being talked about as a down season for Crosby.

His goal totals are down from a year ago. His point total is down.

And yet, he’s manufactured a Corsi For rating of 55.7 per cent at five-on-five, which suggests puck possession isn’t an issue.

“I wouldn’t change anything I’m doing, to be honest with you,” said Crosby, as per The Canadian Press. “I’m working hard. I’m doing my best. If people’s expectations are higher than mine, then I can’t change that.”

On an individual level, this is his third worst season for shooting percentage, behind the lockout-shortened season and the 2011-12 campaign, when he played only 22 games.

The Penguins team shooting percentage with Crosby on the ice during five-on-five play this season has dropped below nine per cent, which is the lowest its been in his time as an NHL player, according to stats.hockeyanalysis.com.

“I’d love to score more,” he later added.

“You can’t explain why pucks hit posts and bounce out instead of in. I don’t have a great explanation for you. Other than probably a handful of times this year, I feel like some of those pucks would usually find a way to go in and not out.”

While his point totals might be down overall, he’s been a regular contributor on the score sheet over the past three weeks. Four times in his last nine games, he’s recorded two points or more.

Oilers erase four-goal deficit, still lose to Penguins


Thursday’s contest between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers looked like a mismatch before the puck was even dropped and nothing Edmonton did in the first 30 minutes of play suggested otherwise. Edmonton nearly pulled off an incredible comeback though before ultimately suffering a 6-4 loss.

Brandon Sutter gave Pittsburgh plenty of breathing room early on with a shorthanded marker just 4:16 minutes into the game and his 15th goal of the season a little over five minutes later.

Pittsburgh continued to pick on Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens with David Perron and Sidney Crosby each finding the back of the net to chase the netminder out of the contest just 1:01 minutes into the second frame. With a 4-0 edge, the Penguins’ victory against the lowly Oilers seemed assured, but Edmonton chipped away at that lead until Derek Roy evened the score at 10:04 of the third period.

The Oilers’ efforts didn’t end up providing them with a point though as just over four minutes later Steve Downie scored what proved to be the game-winner.

“It showed a lot, coming back down 4-0 in a town like Pittsburgh… It’s frustrating (we couldn’t win it),” Edmonton’s Benoit Pouliot said, per the team’s Twitter feed.

Pittsburgh has now won three of its last four games as it battles for the Metropolitan Division title. Meanwhile, Edmonton remains locked in 29th place in the league with its sixth straight defeat.