The Pittsburgh Penguins lost 2-0 to the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon, but it was the Penguins that didn’t play, rather than exploits of the ones that did, that was the biggest story of the day.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby took part in pre-game warmups, but was a late scratch from the game and replaced by veteran forward Craig Adams in the team’s lineup.
“With Sid, I was walking out to the bench for the start of the game and I was told that Sid was seeing the doctors and wasn’t feeling well after warmups,” said Penguins head coach Mike Johnston.
In addition to Crosby’s absence, Evgeni Malkin was injured on his very first shift of the game after absorbing a hit from Bruins forward Chris Kelly 1:25 into the first period.
“He tried to come back after that, but he just couldn’t come back,” said Johnston.
With Crosby and Malkin both absent from the lineup, the Penguins struggled to generate quality offensive chances, despite tallying 30 shots against Bruins goaltender Tuuka Rask.
Rugged Boston forward Milan Lucic got the Bruins on the board with a goal at 9:53 of the first period, assisted by rookie forward David Pastrnak and defenseman Dougie Hamliton. The Bruins were able to make the 1-0 lead hold up for most of the rest of the game.
The Penguins particularly missed their two top scorers with the man advantage, as they failed to score and got just four shots on goal on three power play chances.
With the Penguins playing games on back-to-back days, Thomas Greiss got the start in goal. He took a tough-luck loss, making 28 saves, but got no offensive support, as the Penguins were shut out for the seventh time this season.
The Bruins sealed the win when captain Zdeno Chara scored an empty-net goal from his own zone at 19:22 of the third period. Gregory Campbell assisted on the play.
The Penguins won’t have much time to replace their top two scorers if they are unable to play, as they host the Detroit Red Wings Sunday afternoon at 12:30.
Photo credit: NHL