The Boston Bruins lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday afternoon, 5-0, in front of 17,132 in Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena. The Penguins 19-year old phenom, Sidney Crosby, set the tone for his club with two goals and an assist, while Pittsburgh's young goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury, earned his fifth shutout of the season with 29 saves.
From the time the NHL schedule was put out last year, Sunday's Pittsburgh vs. Boston matinee on NBC looked to be a showcase for the NHL's most exciting team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and for Pittsburgh's most exciting player, Sidney Crosby, at the most exciting time of the regular season. And through 20-minutes, neither the Penquins, nor Crosby, had disappointed anyone -- save Boston Bruins fans.
Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin (11:54), Crosby (16:14) and Gary Roberts (17:18) all scored on the power play to put the Pens up 3-0 going into the first intermission. Former Bruin Sergei Gonchar had two assists and Fleury, Pittsburgh's starting goalie, had 13 saves on 13 shots.
Having chased Boston starter Tim Thomas
(six saves) in the second stanza, Pittsburgh's lesser-known youngsters went to work on Boston backup Joey MacDonald.
MacDonald, fresh off a tough luck loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday, let in a Ryan Malone goal at just 1:09 of the second period. But 'Joey Mac' hung tough and stopped Crosby on a breakaway and made eight saves in the period (and would finish with 17).
Meanwhile, his counterpart for the Pens, Fleury, also made eight stops in the middle stanza.
Boston had five power plays through 40-minutes, but had not been able to capitalize. Pittsburgh was 3-for-5 on the PP through two periods.
To the delight of the Pittsburgh faithful, who began to chant 'M-V-P', Crosby scored his second of the afternoon and 34th goal of the year at 4:29 of the third period and closed out the scoring. But Fleury continued his netminding brilliance, made 29 saves, and shut out the Bruins with a melodic chant of 'Fleury, Fleury, Fleury' celebrating the Pittsburgh victory in their home building.
The Bruins, who have dropped five games in a row, head to Ottawa for a tilt with the Senators on Tuesday.