Imagine if Sidney Crosby had made his return to the Pittsburgh lineup today.
The Penguins superstar postponed his return from post-concussion syndrome at least one more game rather than face the Bruins today. And his absence didn’t hurt Pittsburgh one bit, as the Penguins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and never looked back en route to a 5-2 win.
Without Crosby, Evgeni Malkin (3 assists) and James Neal (1 goal, 2 assists) continued to be the Penguins’ offensive stars. David Krejci scored twice for the Bruins, who lost Adam McQuaid, Patrice Bergeron and Max Sauve (making his NHL debut) to injuries over the course of the day.
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Here are a few quick notes on the game:
•Veteran goaltender Marty Turco was solid in his Bruins debut. He relieved Tim Thomas to start the second period and made a couple great saves on Jordan Staal and Joe Vitale on breakaways. He finished with 20 saves on 22 shots. Thomas added to his season-high with five straight starts, but left the game after allowing three goals on just 10 shots.
•After the game, Julien said that McQuaid suffered an upper-body injury while Bergeron and Sauve left the game with lower-body injuries. Bergeron clearly blocked a shot in the second period and twice attempted to return to the game but couldn’t skate more than one shift before leaving again.
•Andrew Ference returned to action after missing five games with a lower-body injury. He logged 19:03 of ice time and posted an even rating.
•Boston now leads Ottawa by two points for the Northeast Division lead with two games in hand. The Bruins continue their road trip in Florida with games against Tampa Bay (Tuesday) and the Panthers (Thursday). Here’s my CBSBoston.com column on that matter.
•The Bruins have allowed the first goal five straight games and the first two goals in three of those contests.