Despite win, Bruins unimpressed with Game 1 effort

Sunday, 06.02.2013 / 5:03 PM
Chris Adamski  - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- A day after shutting out what by far has been the NHL's highest-scoring offense this season, Boston Bruins wing Brad Marchand was unimpressed by his team's defensive performance.

"I don't think anything it was anything special," Marchand said.

Later, Marchand offered, "We definitely got lucky."

No matter, the Bruins still have a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins that continues with Game 2 Monday night (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS) at Consol Energy Center.

A general sentiment among the Penguins' locker room was -- barring their play in the third period once they fell behind by multiple goals -- they played well enough to win Game 1. The Bruins reacted similarly to Tuukka Rask's first shutout of the postseason.

"Tuukka stood tall and made a lot of saves at the right time," Marchand said. "We just want to make sure we collapse low and try to take away lanes. They make a lot of seam passes and stuff like that so we want to make sure we take that away.

"But for the most part, Tuukka just stood tall."

Pittsburgh entered with the League's best power play in the playoffs and, despite going 0-for-4 Saturday night, was able to create chances. The Penguins enjoyed a significant edge in shots on goal through the first two periods, and at least three of their shot attempts hit the post.

"If they would have scored (when Chris Kunitz) hit the post in the second period, it would have been a totally different game," Marchand said. "It would have been 1-1 in the third and it would have been a much different outcome."

The Bruins survived early pressure by Pittsburgh, something Boston coach Claude Julien said he expects when playing on the road in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Including 11 that were blocked and 12 that missed the net, the Penguins attempted 52 shots -- three more than Boston did. Pittsburgh was credited with nine takeaways and had a significant advantage in hits.

"We always have to be better in certain areas but the bottom line is you're good enough in other areas to win a hockey game," Julien said. "I thought our puck management, especially in the second period, wasn't very good. Certainly it was better in the third, but there are areas we need to be better at. These guys (the Penguins) thrive on turnovers; we've got to minimize them."

Boston has the best goals-against average among all Eastern Conference playoff teams (2.15) after finishing third in the NHL in that category during the regular season. Under Julien, the Bruins have been known for their structure and discipline.

Shutting out the team that has led both the regular season and postseason in goals per game for each of the past two seasons, on the surface, provides further proof of that. The Bruins, though, say they weren't at their best in Game 1.

"We turned some pucks over, uncharacteristically, in areas we don't normally do," defenseman Adam McQuaid said. "They did have some really good quality chances but Tuukka was on his game. We have to make sure we're not doing that night in and night out and are better in those areas."

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