This is exactly where the Penguins didn’t want to be following the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final.
After a thorough 6-1 defeat at the hands of the Boston Bruins in Game 2 Monday night at CONSOL Energy Center, the Penguins are down 2-0 in the series as they head to Boston for Games 3 and 4.
“We’re up against a really good team here, it’s not an ideal position to be in,” Brooks Orpik said.
“It’s a hole that we’ve dug ourselves, but we believe we can get out of this,” Jarome Iginla said. “We have to focus on things and winning that first game in Boston. That’s a huge one.”
The Penguins struggled to find their groove in Game 2. They turned the puck over, weren’t crisp in their passing game, failed to break through the neutral zone and couldn’t generate any offense.
All in all, it wasn’t their night.
“Pretty bad, there’s no easy way to describe it,” Sidney Crosby said. “Just a bad hockey game.
“Too many things to list where we were bad.”
“We got outcompeted and outplayed, there’s no question about that,” Iginla said. “We’ll look at ourselves. I need to be better. We all want to be better. We all believe we can.”
Boston on the other hand, were completely in sync and dominant. The Bruins were led by the efforts of Brad Marchand (2G), Nathan Horton (1G-1A), Patrice Bergeron (1G-1A) and Jaromir Jagr (2A).
Most of the action took place in the first period. The Bruins started the scoring 28 seconds after the opening faceoff. Crosby turned the puck over at the Boston blue line and Marchand had a breakaway. He shot over Vokoun’s glove for the quick 1-0 lead.
The Bruins struck late in the first period with two goals 1:54 minutes apart when Horton and Krejci tallied for a 3-0 advantage. At that point the Penguins pulled Vokoun in favor of Marc-Andre Fleury – his first game action since Game 4 against the NY Islanders.
The Penguins appeared to have some life late in the first when Brandon Sutter scored on a nasty snap shot off the rush with 34 seconds left in the opening period to make it 3-1.
But any momentum gained by the Penguins was quickly squashed when Marchand’s wicked snap shot from the circles beat Fleury to make it 4-1 with just 8.1 seconds remaining.
The Bruins went into shutdown mode for the final two periods. They sat back, clogged the neutral zone, made smart plays, took away passing lanes and blocked shots. It was a dominant effort on the part of the Bruins.
The series shifts to Game 3 Wednesday night in Boston. And logically, the contest is a must-win for the Penguins.
“We’ve shown in the past that we can bounce back,” Crosby said. “I don’t think there’s anyone too pleased with how we played. Not one guy. It’s not a good feeling, but hanging our heads isn’t going to fix anything.
“We have to go into Boston with a different mentality.”