The Pittsburgh Penguins’ special teams were exactly that Saturday at Mellon Arena.
The Penguins scored three power-play goals and a short-handed goal en route to a 5-0 win over the Bruins.
In addition, the Penguins’ penalty-killing units were strong on the afternoon, especially in the first period as Pittsburgh denied four Boston power plays.
“Both periods, we had some big penalty kills early and that allowed us to get some chances on the power play,” Sidney Crosby said. “It’s a lot different when you’re on the power play and down a couple of goals because there is more pressure on you.”
Evgeni Malkin found the back of the net for a power-play goal with 8:06 left in the first period. He rifled a one-timer over the left should of Tim Thomas on the near side. Sergei Gonchar and Gary Roberts assisted on the goal.
Crosby tapped a rebound out of the air and past Thomas with 3:46 left on the clock for a 2-0 Penguins lead. Gonchar ripped a shot from the point. It deflected off Thomas and popped in the air to his left. Crashing in on the near post, Crosby swatted it out of the air and into the net. Roberts added an assist.
The Penguins struck again for another power-play goal with 2:42 left. Crosby dropped a pass to Roberts in the slot and he fired a hard shot past Thomas for the 3-0 lead. Ryan Whitney added an assist.
“We just got pucks to the net,” Crosby said. “We fed off that.”
Joey MacDonald replaced Thomas in net to start the second period for Boston.
Ryan Malone scored a short-handed goal 1:09 into the second period for a 4-0 Penguins lead. He slid the puck under MacDonald’s leg pads. Jordan Staal and Mark Eaton added assists on the play.
Crosby found the back of the net 4:29 into the third period for a 5-0 Penguins advantage. Along the far side of the net, he picked up a loose puck and fired it into the open goal. Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen assisted on the play.
Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside all 29 shots he faced to earn the shutout victory in goal.
ICE CHIPS: Joel Kwiatkowski, Chris Thorburn, Ronald Petrovicky, Nils Ekman and Alain Nasreddine were the Penguins’ scratches…Stanislav Chistov, Jason York and Bobby Allen were Boston’s scratches…The announced attendance was 17,132…Sidney Crosby (No. 1), Gary Roberts (No. 2) and Marc-Andre Fleury (No. 3) were the game’s three stars.