5 things we learned as Bruins shut out Penguins

DJ Bean
December 16, 2015 - 5:43 pm
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[caption id="attachment_54640" align="alignright" width="150"] Tuukka Rask[/caption] The Penguins are so bad right now that the B'€™s came out of a mediocre performance with a 3-0 win. The struggling Penguins managed to outshoot the Bruins, 34-29, but Pittsburgh's preference to dump pucks in rather than go to the net meant that they didn'€™t generate nearly as much as their offensive talent should. With the Bruins managing defensively and Tuukka Rask stopping everything he saw, Max Talbot'€™s first-period goal (his first as a Bruin) proved to be the game-winner. Rask now has four shutouts on the season, surpassing last season'€™s total of three. Having entered Wednesday'€™s game with a .948 save percentage over his previous eight games, the 2013-14 Vezina winner is easily playing his best hockey of the season. The Bruins and Penguins will wrap up their home-and-home series when they play Friday night at CONSOL Energy Center. Here are four more things we learned Wednesday: KOKO PLAYS, TALBOT SCORES FISRT AS A BRUIN Alexander Khokhlachev was inserted into the lineup after the Bruins called him up Wednesday morning. Khokhlachev skated on Boston'€™s fourth line with Talbot and Landon Ferraro. While Khokhlachev is the best offensive player of that trio, it was Talbot who provided the offensive firepower for the line, scoring off the rush in the first period on a rough one for Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff to allow. The goal was Talbot'€™s first goal as a Bruin in 29 games dating back to last season.

SPOONER STAYS HOT The first two shifts for Ryan Spooner'€™s line with Frank Vatrano and Jimmy Hayes suggested it might be a long night for the trio. The first shift saw bad passing from Hayes in the neutral zone force Adam McQuaid to hook Kevin Porter. The second shift saw Eric Fehr'€™s line hem Spooner'€™s line in the Boston zone. As it turned out, the Spooner line had plenty to give. Hayes forced a Brian Dumoulin turnover that eventually led to Talbot'€™s goal in the first period, while a pass in front from Spooner went off Ian Coles'€™s skate and in to make it 2-0. Spooner'€™s goal gave him his fifth point (three goals, two assists) over his last five games. SECOND-PERIOD REVERSAL The Bruins played keep-away from opponents in the second period both on Saturday against the Panthers and Monday against the Oilers. On Wednesday, the Bruins got a taste of their own medicine. The B'€™s fell silent as the Penguins pushed back following Boston'€™s second goal. With the Penguins setting up shop in Boston'€™s zone and rarely leaving, the Bruins did not register a shot on goal over the final 14:56 of the second period. Fortunately for the Bruins, Rask was Rask and stopped all 14 of the shots he faced in that span. Chris Kunitz also rang iron during the Penguins'€™ only power play of the second period, as Zdeno Chara went off for interference. MCQUAID GETS A MOUTHFUL Adam McQuaid is no stranger to bad luck. The latest case of this came when McQuaid got hit in the mouth with a shot off a faceoff at 6:40 of the second period. McQuaid fell to the ice but got up in short order, holding his face. Fortunately, there was no trail of blood as he left the ice. After going to the trainer'€™s room and missing 11:05, McQuaid returned late in the second period.
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