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Full Story: Bruins Beat Penguins in Gritty Battle, 2-1

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Pittsburgh Penguins game Boston Bruins Brandon Tanev

With five games in seven days, the Pittsburgh Penguins probably expected a few bumps and bruises. They probably didn’t expect the percolating street fight with the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night. A key injury, a key ejection, and Boston forward Trent Frederic’s wrist shot through traffic sunk the Penguins six-game win streak. Boston won 2-1 at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday night.

The Penguins game elevated from physical to outright chippy after Boston defenseman Jared Tinordi’s solid open-ice hit on Penguin star Evgeni Malkin early in the first period.

Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith made his ninth start of the season. Boston gave 23-year-old rookie Dan Vladar his NHL debut. Penguins center Teddy Blueger was a surprise scratch. The goalies did their job, but the story of the game was two thunderous hits.

“We’ve been on such a good run, we’re not going to let this affect us,” DeSmith said.

Evgeni Malkin has scored in every game this March. However, early in the first period, Tinordi crunched Malkin in the corner. It was a clean hit with a bad result.

Malkin left the ice and went to the locker room. He returned for one power-play shift, but he left the ice again and did not return.

With seven minutes remaining in the second period, Brandon Tanev took some revenge on Tinordi. Tanev raced the width of the ice along the red line and slammed Tinordi into the wall, just as Tinordi released the puck for a dump-in.

Tinordi’s back and head slammed into the wall, and he crumpled to the ice. Officials assessed Tanev a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

Officials reviewed the call, and it stood to the vociferous displeasure of the 2800 fans at PPG Paints Arena.

(Sorry yinz, I thought it was a charging major, but it’s the same hit Zach Aston-Reese put on Dylan Cozens, but with a running start. You’d be REALLY upset if Marchand did that to a Penguins defenseman). 

The make-shift Penguins PK unit was without Teddy Blueger and Tanev, the team’s top two penalty killers, yet the Penguins allowed only a few shots on goal and no high-danger chances. Mark Jankowski had a breakaway, and Sidney Crosby almost had a break.

The teams traded goals in the first period. Boston scored first on a pretty power-play rush just three minutes into the game. David Pastrnak (13) streaked into the Penguins zone behind defenseman Brian Dumoulin and slipped a backhander through DeSmith.

The Penguins game eventually gained speed. In the middle of the opening period, Evan Rodrigues deflected Kasperi Kapanen’s shot. Vladar made the initial save,  but Brandon Tanev (7) slammed it into a waiting net.

Unlike Monday night, the Penguins were not badly outshot, as the shot clock stayed close to even, despite the Bruins five-minute power play in the second period.

On Monday night, the Bruins outshot the Penguins 43-26. The Penguins outshot Boston 35-33 on Tuesday.

However, in the middle of the third period, Bruins forward Trent Frederic made a late change. He yelled for the puck as he raced into the Penguins zone behind the play. Frederic (4) found a little space in the high slot and ripped it past DeSmith.

“There was a double screen there. I looked around it on the short-side,” DeSmith said. “I could tell from his release he was going far side. I slid over but it didn’t hit me.”

Game winner.

In the end, the Penguins didn’t have the necessary offensive depth to mount a credible challenge. DeSmith stopped 31 of 33 shots. Dan Vladar stopped 34 of 35 shots in his NHL debut, including a lunging stick save on Colton Sceviour.

Gold Stars:

The Penguins game was bottled by the Boston defensive strategy. And without Malkin, the top line with Sidney Crosby knew they had to carry the offense and did their best. Crosby, Jake Guentzel, and Bryan Rust combined for 14 shots.

The Penguins’ penalty kill did allow a power-play goal, but they killed the five-minute major to Tanev and gave the Penguins momentum and a chance.

Colton Sceviour had one of his finest games. He was noticeable, and that’s not always the case. Sceviour hung onto pucks and played hard low.

Black Eye: 

This won’t be popular, but Tanev’s hit was absolutely a penalty. A player cannot launch an opponent violently into the boards. Those are the exact adjectives used in the rule book. Tanev did just that.

Instead of taking a run at him, the better thing would have been to drop the mitts.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Michael Hanczar
Michael Hanczar
4 months ago

Did Jack Edwards write the Black Eye comment? Tinordi put himself in a bad position following his pass.

Katz
Katz
4 months ago

Losing both Malkin and Tanev was a hill too high. I have said it before I like Frederick for Boston ….a gamer. Is it me or does it seem ZAR almost always pulls his checks at the last moment to mitigate the impact? It’s as if he fears his hardest hits may result in him having to drop the gloves and I think he truly fears having to fight. Not in a cowardly way but in a way that he lacks any confidence in his ability fight hence he pulls his punches in his body checks to avoid the possible… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Katz
Iwasiam
4 months ago

That Tanev call really pissed me off. How many times have Pens fans had to hear, keep your head on a swivel, don’t admire your shot, in slow motion it looks much worse, or the most popular, maybe Pens need to get heavy, play the right way….WTF…. When Bostons Carlo got hit by Wilson the NHL, the announcers, the Boston sports writers, the coach cried like bitches while us Pens fans watched and probably thought that sh$t happens to our players all the time and no one says anything. For you DAN to make your horse shit excuse as a… Read more »

Iwasiam
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

You know dam well if he got up and skated slowly off the ice like Geno did there would not of been barely any call at all…and if your not a “Pens reporter” don’t use “yinz” in such an A-hole manner.

William Stone
William Stone
4 months ago
Reply to  Iwasiam

So he’s an asshole for saying “yinz” and having a different view on the hit than you? It didn’t look like a major to me either, but chill out

Iwasiam
4 months ago
Reply to  William Stone

It’s actually the condescending way he used “yinz”. If your ok with Dan talking down to his readers from Pittsburgh even though you didnt like the call either…Im sure Dan likes you sticking up for him

Kathy
Kathy
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Pasta only got 2 mins for the boarding. So you are liken this hit to a Wilson/Marchand type hit? Next time maybe this player should have an Enforcer watch his back😉

Tim Guardian
Tim Guardian
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

I don’t like these hits at all, agree!!! They happen, they happen often, too often! You can now see these hits as a reason to think about modern ice hockey in general. I like players like Guentzel, J. Hughes, Marner, Stützle…technically insanely good, fast, but just not particularly massive and heavy guys. Such players are slowly finding their way into the NHL, but who wants to see J. Hughes get destroyed by T. Wilson on the boards? I for one don’t. Ice hockey is and should remain a contact sport, but the players should get more protection by the rules. We… Read more »

Ricardo58
Ricardo58
4 months ago

Your account and detailed description of the Tanev hit is excellent IMO. I so appreciate Tanev’s aggressive play, but if the same hit was put on 87 with the same result into the boards Canfield and Rupp wouldn’t be justifying the hit. Definitely charging. Like you said, drop the gloves and answer the bell. No Pen can do that successfully though. Go Pens.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Ricardo58

Dropping the gloves is no longer any type of deterrent. So Tanev fights Tinordi? Nothing changes. Reaves chased Tom Wilson all the way to Vegas and finally had to hit him high to send a message. Wilson won’t fight him. So Tinordi hits Malkin clean and hard, but you need to respond. Say Angello fights Tinordi. What message is sent? Nothing changes. You could have Bob Probert fight Tinordi and nothing would change. Fighting is no deterrent in the NHL now. As for the hit, we see guys getting launched into the wall all the time now. Players across the… Read more »

Ricardo58
Ricardo58
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I appreciate your opinion. You feel strongly about it. We simply see it differently. We agree that fighting has a place in the game though. I’d rather see a square off and both go at it and the best man wins. Cheap and dirty shots like the push in the back sending a player into the boards or the charging tonight don’t send a message either. My old way of thinking to fight man on man and give everything you got is a thing of the past. Go Pens.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Ricardo58

For sure. I don’t think we disagree completely. I prefer the take a number and hit back clean and hard approach. That’s what I was taught. And I think that’s what Tanev tried to do. I was torn by the hit. In the moment, I thought it wasn’t a major. More I heard the rule read, I can see it. It still seems a little gray. I think Tanev was trying to hit him hard as a message, and the fall into the boards is what caused the penalty and injury. I just think the old “drop the gloves” argument… Read more »

Kathy
Kathy
4 months ago
Reply to  Ricardo58

Oh I think they would drop the gloves. Should bring back an Enforcer 😉

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Kathy

I don’t disagree that fighting has a place. Mostly now I think it is about momentum. Fighting won’t deter players from taking liberties or making these dangerous hits. I think more Talbot in the playoffs. Best example I can think of as a deterrent?

Remember when Gary Roberts owned Ben Eager? Only reason that fight happened is because Eager cheap-shotted then avoided Georges Laraque. Eager just had no idea that Gary Roberts is a beast.

Iwasiam
4 months ago
Reply to  Ricardo58

If that hit happened to Sid you know dam well we’d hear Sid should not of admired his shot, or in real time the ref couldnt make the call, or Sid put himself in a vulnerable postion….go follow “Russian machine never breaks” because you’ll love how Wilson is always justified in his hits

Ricardo58
Ricardo58
4 months ago
Reply to  Iwasiam

Unfortunately you are probably correct and we’d hear that BS. The only choices available is to have a player respond effectively in a fight or return the cheap shot. I choose the fight. I understand it may not always be the best choice. Bottom line is our Pens got to stay healthy and get Ws.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago

Tanev’s hit was nothing like ZAR’s hit. Taney hit him as he shot the puck, he didn’t have to take several steps. Tanev’s was underneath the shoulder, not the head. Tanev’s was far from the boards. Tanev didn’t leave his feet, nor extend his arms. It was a clean, open ice hit. Other than all that, your description of the play was spot on. Btw, I’m neither from Pittsburgh, nor the surrounding area, so not sure why you think everyone is a yinz.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I agree with you on Tanev’s point of contact. The issue here is the language of the rule. In the end, boarding is subjective. Tanev didn’t target the head. It was clean up until the aftermath. For reference, here’s the rule. It’s subjective and includes what happens after the hit. If it happens at center ice and Tinordi doesn’t hit the wall—never mid the fact it wasn’t a hit right along the wall—it likely isn’t a penalty. “ Boarding – A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who checks an opponent in such a manner that… Read more »

Jstripsky
Jstripsky
4 months ago

Officiating needs more consistency between crews and from game to game with the same crew.

Frank
Frank
4 months ago

While it makes for emotional discussion whether the hit last night was penalty worthy or not and how inconsistent calls by the refs may be . .. trust me . .. in the final analysis it does not matter. I have been watching hockey for over 40 years and every year at several points for just about all teams there is a hit that triggers this conversation. None of those hits over 40 years have changed much in the NHL and the Tanev penalty/hit last night will not either. The calls ARE inconsistent and the refs absolutely have some degree… Read more »

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