RECAP 37: Matheson dazzles as Pens dominate B's 4-1 for Sullivan's first win in Boston

RECAP 37: Matheson dazzles as Pens dominate B's 4-1 for Sullivan's first win in Boston

Penguins

RECAP 37: Matheson dazzles as Pens dominate B's 4-1 for Sullivan's first win in Boston

By

BOSTON, MA – APRIL 1: Mike Matheson #5 and Jason Zucker #16 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate the second period goal against the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden on April 1, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Penguins, winless in Boston since Mike Sullivan took the helm, looked to build off an incredible March as they battle for the top spot in the East division.

Sidney Crosby was named the NHL’s first star of March after posting 7 goals and 14 assists in 15 games.

LINEUP

Brandon Tanev returned from injury after missing several games. He last played on March 18th against New Jersey.

Tristan Jarry did not dress, but he did make the trip to Boston.

Casey DeSmith in goal. He’s been lights out since the beginning of March.

1st period

Frederick Gaudreau with a phenomenal forecheck on the penalty kill.

You might see Mark Jankowski on waivers real soon.

Jared McCann sprung Jason Zucker for a breakaway late in the period, but he had a tough time corralling the puck and was only able to muster a weak backhander.

No score after one.

2nd period

PIT GOAL – Aston-Reese (8) A: Tanev, Gaudreau [2:01] 1-0 PIT

After McCann and Jake Guentzel were both denied on breakaways, ZAR, Turbo and Freddy G teamed up for the game’s first goal.

Hockey is hilarious because this somehow found its way to the back of the net right after two prime scoring chances were turned away.

PIT GOAL – Matheson (3) A: Angello, Ceci [13:12] 2-0 PIT

OH BABY MIKE MATHESON.

Pens fans have been waiting to see this all season. Now if he could do it a little more frequently.

Suddenly the Pens are in control of a game in Boston??

Turbo was displeased with the Bruins at the end of the period. “You’ve played fu**ing 10 games. Who are you? Go back to the minors. You’re a fu**ing joke.”

Zucker was loving it. That’s the exact same smile Chirs Kunitz used to have when Phil Kessel went on tirades from the bench.

3rd period

BOS GOAL – Marchand (14) A: Bergeron [11:14] 2-1 PIT

The Bruins finally got on the board when Brad Marchand sniped one over the shoulder of Casey DeSmith halfway through the third.

PIT GOAL – Zucker (5) A: Rodrigues, Pettersson [13:07] 3-1 PIT

Zucker got on the board thanks to a beautiful pass from Evan Rodrigues off the rush. Much needed wiggle room.

I’ve been pleased with Zucker’s performance in a very limited sample since he returned from injury. The Penguins suddenly look like they might be an addition away from being candidates for a playoff run.

PIT EN GOAL – Guentzel (15) A: Letang, Crosby [17:51] 4-1 PIT

Guentzel put the cherry on top with a floater from the neutral zone that found its way to the back of the net.

FINAL: 4-1 PIT

What a pleasant surprise to not only win in Boston, but to do it in dominant fashion as well.

Let’s hope we don’t go another six years before the next one.

The Bruins outshot the Penguins 31-23, but the Penguins controlled 62.2% of the scoring chances.

Evolving Hockey gives the Pens a 2.69-1.85 expected goals advantage.

Notes

  • The Guentzel-Crosby-Rust line has been cratered playing against the Bruins’ top line this season, but tonight was a much different story. They didn’t get on the score sheet, but controlled 65.4% of the shot attempts and 74.4% of the expected goals when they were on the ice.
  • Let’s take another moment to appreciate that Mike Matheson goal. What a thing of beauty. Him and Cody Ceci have formed an extremely solid pairing. They controlled 61% of the expected goals at 5v5 nearly 15 minutes of ice time.
  • Casey DeSmith wasn’t tested very much in this game, but he stood tall and turned in another stout performance. Don’t chastise me, but he’s been better than Tristan Jarry and should probably be splitting starts with him.

Thanks for reading! Let’s talk hockey on Twitter. Follow me @shireyirving.

All data via Evolving Hockey, Natural Stat Trick

More Sports

7hr

The Mets might as well have put out a lineup that looked like this: CF Crewman Grant SS Horta Fodder RF Crewman Hendorff 1B Lieutenant (…)

More Penguins