BOSTON — That cannot keep happening. The Pittsburgh Penguins (28-11-8) ended a four-game winless streak, put four goals on the board, and got depth scoring with two goals by Danton Heinen to beat one of the likely playoff teams in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins 4-2 at TD Garden on Tuesday.
So, what exactly can’t keep happening?
The Penguins structural mess: Allowing 45 shots on goal, being well outchanced (30-17), losing net-front battles, and winning hockey games with a concentrated 10-minute effort.
“I thought the game was sloppy in so many areas. It certainly wasn’t our best by any stretch, and it’s funny how this game is–I thought the game before the break, we played a terrific hockey game, and we came out in the wrong end of the score,” Sullivan said. “I do think that when you play the right way consistently, more often than not, you’re going to get the result you’re looking for. And so I give the players high marks because I thought we dug in as the game went on. It wasn’t the prettiest game by any stretch, but we got a resilient group. We find ways to score goals, and I think we’re just a scrappy group.”
That’s the glass-half-full version. One wonders if Sullivan will go to bed happy with his team’s latest ugly win. While the Penguins were shorted against Washington Capitals last week, they had a six-game winning streak that featured a few real uglies.
Evgeni Malkin did not play, so the lineup reverted back to much of the pre-Malkin swag with Evan Rodrigues in the middle with Heinen and Radim Zohorna. They were solid. They weren’t as dangerous as they were disruptive, and they were not as effective as they were tenacious.
And if you want the full scoop on the Brad Marchand – Tristan Jarry incident, you can read about it here.
The Penguins’ last win in which they outplayed their opponent was… wait, hang on…well, it will come to me eventually. And what the Bruins were able to do in several phases of the game should send up red flags if they happen again on Thursday against the Ottawa Senators or any other teams with consistency.