The Pittsburgh Penguins find themselves in an unfamiliar position. After losing Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Boston Bruins, the No.1 seed is faced with a big challenge in Game Two.
A loss on Monday night would put the Bruins in complete control, giving them a 2-0 lead as the series heads back to Boston. Pittsburgh will look to take a split at home when the puck drops at 8 p.m. ET at CONSOL Energy Center. Game Two will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network, but viewers can watch a free live stream with NBC Sports Live Extra.
The Penguins loss on Saturday may have been their most surprising of the season. It’s the first time the NHL’s highest-scoring team was shut out all season. After scoring 3.92 goals per game in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Pittsburgh missed all 29 shots on goal.
Tuukka Rask was terrific in net, but the Penguins also had trouble scoring because of self-inflicted penalties. Forward Matt Cooke was hit with a major boarding penalty and game misconduct, Chris Kunitz got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and Evgeni Malkin got into just the fourth fight of his career.
David Krecji continued to play better than anyone this postseason. He scored twice in Game One, raising his total points in the playoffs to 19. He will likely have to make another big impact on Monday night, as the Penguins have proven that they are hard to keep off the board for long. Prior to the loss, they had scored at least four goals in nine of their 11 postseason contests. Sidney Crosby wasn’t much of a factor on Saturday. He leads the Penguins with seven goals in the playoffs.
In the regular season, the Penguins went 3-0 against the Bruins. Each victory was a one-goal game.
Betting Odds: Pittsburgh-200, Boston+170
Prediction: Pittsburgh 3, Boston 1