Thoughts, musings and observations from the Penguins' 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
* The Penguins' bad luck in Boston stretches on. With the setback - which ends their win streak at four games - the Penguins are now 0-7-1 in their last eight contests at TD Garden, with their last victory coming on Nov. 24, 2014.
It didn't seem fated to go that way at first. On the opening shift of the game, Sidney Crosby picked up where he left off in his return on Tuesday and gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead just 24 seconds in.
But the Penguins couldn't sustain that hot start. To be honest, it felt like one of those nights where they just didn't have it. They looked out of sync, struggled to execute and didn't have that 'extra zip,' as assistant coach Mark Recchi told AT&T SportsNet's Dan Potash during the game.
Which is understandable, considering how tough their schedule is right now. The Penguins are in the midst of a stretch that has them playing 11 games in 20 days. And it looked like they felt it tonight. It didn't help that they were going up against a team as good as Boston, who is right above them in the league standings (the Bruins are third while the Penguins rank fourth).
"I just don't think we were good enough tonight," Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said. "I just don't think we had the jump we normally have. So we didn't make as many clean plays. We didn't control territory like we're capable. It starts with puck battles. You got to have support around the puck when you're in those battles. There's a lot of details that go into it, but we just weren't good enough."
All the Penguins can do is put this behind them and look to start a new win streak against the Red Wings on Friday in Detroit.
* On a night like this, you need your goaltender to step up, and that's exactly what Tristan Jarry did. He kept the Penguins in it and gave them a chance to win - which is all you can ask for.
The Bruins kept the momentum on their side for most of the game and barraged Jarry with shots and scoring chances. Despite that, he was his usual poised and collected self and radiated calmness from the crease. There wasn't much he could do on any of the goals, as two were deflected, one was a point-blank chance and the fourth was an empty-netter.
* After the media questioned the Bruins' toughness following their last game on Tuesday against Columbus, where goalie Tuukka Rask suffered a concussion after a collision, you knew they were going to be extra motivated to respond with some extra feistiness tonight. And they delivered in that regard.
There were scrums erupting everywhere - around the net, at the benches, on the boards - both during and after play. But while each team was assessed six penalties - including fighting majors to Patric Hornqvist and Torey Krug - they only got three power plays apiece.
Heading into tonight, a huge part of the Penguins' four-game win streak was their power play. It had clicked at a 41.7-percent success rate over that span, scoring on five of 12 opportunities. But for whatever reason, the Penguins just didn't have it on the man-advantage either, and weren't able to come up with a clutch goal at a key time to recapture the momentum.
Give credit to the Bruins - they did a tremendous job of applying pressure, taking away time and space and blocking shots. But when the Penguins did have the puck, they didn't manage it well and made poor decisions with it. They also struggled on their entries, which is one of the things Crosby had liked the most about their play on the man-advantage as of late.
This night felt more like an anomaly than anything considering the direction the power play had been trending. They'll go over plenty of video to make sure they get right back on track.