After two lopsided wins to begin the 2013 Eastern Conference finals, the Boston Bruins beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in a more familiar way in the second half of the sweep: by playing smothering defense.
Sometimes it means getting a little lucky/Tuukka Rask making some incredible saves, though. In even more desperate moments, it occasionally comes down to players making the stops.
While it wasn’t quite as impressive as Michael Ryder’s handball save from 2011, Zdeno Chara getting his glove in the way of Evgeni Malkin’s potential tying shot was impressive and timely:
Sequences like the one above left head coach Dan Bylsma looking for answers and seemingly coming up with borderline spiritual answers.
” … And at the end it felt like not only Tuukka Rask was keeping the puck out of the net, but there was a force around the net because we had some great opportunities, good situations for our team, our players, and were not able to find any kind of goal in this series, and never a lead,” Bylsma said.