for this game

Bruins edge Penguins despite Conklin's effort

Feb 14, 2008 - 5:07 AM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- The Boston Bruins relied on their own Europeans to trump Evgeni Malkin.

Petteri Nokelainen and Vladimir Sobotka scored less than two minutes apart midway through the first period and Tim Thomas made 20 saves as the Bruins held off the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1, on Wednesday.

The victory halted Boston's two-game skid as well as Pittsburgh's three-game winning streak.

"I thought we had a real good start tonight," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Obviously, our desperation showed. We were on top of the puck and we put a lot of pressure on them. We forced them into mistakes, and we were able to capitalize on them."

Boston atoned for most of its mistakes, extinguishing seven of Pittsburgh's eight power-play opportunities. The Bruins entered the game ranked 29th on the penalty kill, while the Penguins came in third on the power play.

"It's tough when we were taking or, I mean, they were calling a lot of penalties and we spent most of the time shorthanded," Boston captain Zdeno Chara said. "It's a tough way to play, but I really thought you could tell everybody was in the game, everybody was battling, playing really hard for each other. We just have to continue to play like this for the rest of the season."

"One of the things we talked about before the game was making an effort to block shots, and the guys did a good job of that tonight," Thomas added. "The penalty-killers won the game for us tonight."

Malkin scored his 32nd goal and Ty Conklin turned aside 31 shots for the Penguins, who fell to 10-2-1 in their last 13 home games.

"We played a team that was hungry to play, and we weren't," Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said. "The first period was one of the worst that we've played this year. The concentration was not there. It was a good thing that Conklin showed up to play or it could have been worse.

He was solid tonight. He gave us a chance to hang in there. If it wasn't for him, we would've been in trouble early in the game."

Many of Conklin's saves were of the spectacular variety, including one on P.J. Axelsson's breakaway 4 1/2 minutes into the contest. But the goaltender was unable to stop Nokelainen, who scored his third goal in as many meetings with Pittsburgh this season to give Boston a 1-0 lead.

With 7:02 remaining in the first period, the Finn grabbed the rebound of Glen Metropolit's shot and beat Thomas from the right hash marks for his sixth goal of the season.

"(Metropolit) made the play," Nokelainen said. "He took a good shot, but the goalie made a good blocker save. I just put in the rebound."

Just 1:45 later, Sobotka doubled the lead with his first career tally.

While falling in the right corner, Jeremy Reich made a backhand pass to the Czech, who redirected the puck under the crossbar from the doorstep at 14:42 for a 2-0 advantage.

"I'm just so happy I scored my first goal in the NHL," said the 20-year-old Sobotka, whose parents were watching the game on satellite back in the Czech Republic. "It was just really good work by the whole team. ... (Reich) made a good play and passed it to me, and I just shot the puck.

"It was a very lucky goal, but it was my first goal in the NHL, so I am glad."

The Bruins maintained their two-goal advantage until 13:02 of the third, when Malkin halved the deficit with a blast from the right faceoff circle during a power play for his fourth goal in three games.

"I didn't see it," Thomas admitted. "Chara was trying to block the shot, which is OK because he took away everything except for that one spot that (Malkin) put it in."

Despite breaking through late, Malkin was disappointed with his team's performance with the man advantage.

"We didn't try to play fancy (on the power play)," the All-Star Russian said through an interpreter. "They had good penalty-killing tonight and they basically knew what's going on, how we play on the power play, and shut us down. The third period. we tried to figure something else to play differently. and it seems like it worked a little bit."

As the Penguins pressed to get the equalizer later in the period, they created odd-man opportunities for the Bruins. But Conklin kept it a one-goal affair, first stopping Metropolit off a 2-on-none rush, then denying Phil Kessel's breakaway chance with 89 seconds remaining.

"Conks once again played great," Pittsburgh's Ryan Malone said. "Even in the first period, he made some big saves to keep them off the board early where the game could have gotten out of hand."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 2 0 0 2
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PETTERI NOKELAINEN 6 (GLEN METROPOLIT, MILAN LUCIC)
    12:58
    BOS - VLADIMIR SOBOTKA 1 (JEREMY REICH, SHAWN THORNTON)
    14:43
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: PIT - (PP) EVGENI MALKIN 32 (PETR SYKORA, JORDAN STAAL)
    13:02
    POW

    Feb 13 10:00 PM
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    Bruins vs. PenguinsFeb 13 9:58 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    PITTSBURGH 1
    3RD PRD: PIT - (PP) EVGENI MALKIN 32 (PETR SYKORA, JORDAN STAAL) 13:02

    Bruins vs. PenguinsFeb 13 9:48 PM
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    Bruins vs. PenguinsFeb 13 9:29 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 2 0 2
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PETTERI NOKELAINEN 6 (GLEN METROPOLIT, MILAN LUCIC)
    12:58
    BOS - VLADIMIR SOBOTKA 1 (JEREMY REICH, SHAWN THORNTON)
    14:43
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- ----

    Feb 13 9:04 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 2 2
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PETTERI NOKELAINEN 6 (GLEN METROPOLIT, MILAN LUCIC)
    12:58
    BOS - VLADIMIR SOBOTKA 1 (JEREMY REICH, SHAWN THORNTON)
    14:43
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOS 13

    Feb 13 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    PITTSBURGH 0
    1ST PRD: BOS - VLADIMIR SOBOTKA 1 (JEREMY REICH, SHAWN THORNTON) 14:43

    Bruins vs. PenguinsFeb 13 8:02 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    PITTSBURGH 0
    1ST PRD: BOS - PETTERI NOKELAINEN 6 (GLEN METROPOLIT, MILAN LUCIC)
    12:58

    Bruins vs. PenguinsFeb 13 8:00 PM
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    Bruins vs. PenguinsFeb 13 5:37 PM
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    Bruins vs. PenguinsFeb 10 11:08 PM
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    Bruins vs. PenguinsFeb 9 6:47 PM