Tristan Jarry led the Pittsburgh Penguins to a, 1-0, shutout over the Boston Bruins on Sunday afternoon at PPG Paints Arena– earning his first shutout of the season in a 30-save effort.
Jarry (21-8-3, 2.70 goals-against average, .911 save percentage in 33 games played) stopped all 30 shots that he faced en route to his sixth career shutout for the Penguins.
Bruins goaltender, Jeremy Swayman (5-2-0, 1.57 goals-against average, .946 save percentage in seven games played) made 28 saves on 29 shots against in the loss.
Boston fell to 27-14-6 (60 points) on the season, but in command of 4th place in the MassMutual NHL East Division, while Pittsburgh improved to 32-14-3 (67 points) overall and in command of the division standings (1st place).
The B’s also fell to 4-3-0 against the Pens this season and are now 13-8-3 on the road in 2020-21.
After a, 6-4, loss to the Buffalo Sabres on the road on Friday, the Bruins shifted their focus to Pittsburgh for a pair of games against the Penguins.
Boston was without Ondrej Kase (upper body), John Moore (hip), Brandon Carlo (upper body) and Trent Frederic (non-COVID protocol related illness) on Sunday, but witnessed the return of Patrice Bergeron to the lineup after their captain had missed Friday night’s loss in Buffalo with a lower body injury.
As a result of Bergeron’s return, Charlie Coyle went back to his usual role centering the third line, while Sean Kuraly and Curtis Lazar returned to the fourth line as left wing and center, respectively.
Anton Blidh was the only forward to come out of the lineup, while Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made no changes to his defensive pairings against the Penguins.
In the crease, Jaroslav Halak served as Swayman’s backup on Sunday with Tuukka Rask earning the afternoon off in the press box as a healthy scratch.
Rask was joined by a long list of names including healthy scratches, taxi squad members and injured players such as Frederic, Greg McKegg, Carlo, Moore, Kase, Jack Ahcan, Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril, Callum Booth, Connor Clifton, Blidh, Karson Kuhlman and Jarred Tinordi.
Not much happened in the opening frame on Sunday.
In fact, neither team scored a goal, nor was there a penalty in the first period as the two teams entered the first intermission tied, 0-0, on the scoreboard and in shots on goal, 10-10.
Boston, however, held the advantage in blocked shots (6-0) and giveaways (3-2), while Pittsburgh led in takeaways (1-0), hits (14-9) and faceoff win percentage (59-41).
As there were no penalties called in the first period, both clubs were 0/0 on the power play.
Nothing happened in the second period either, except for a bunch of saves for each goaltender.
Through 40 minutes of play, Swayman had stopped all 21 shots faced, while Jarry made 18 saves on 18 shots as the Penguins led the Bruins, 21-18, in shots on goal, including an, 11-8, advantage in the second period alone.
The scoreboard still read, 0-0, as Boston held the advantage in blocked shots (10-6) and Pittsburgh led in giveaways (7-4), hits (23-21) and faceoff win% (55-45).
Both teams had four takeaways each and were 0/0 on the power play as no penalties were called in the action entering the second intermission.
Jake Guentzel (21) fired a one-timer from the faceoff dot over Swayman’s glove side to give the Penguins the game’s first goal, while Sidney Crosby (36) and Brian Dumoulin (10) recorded the assists as Pittsburgh took a, 1-0, lead at 4:03 of the third period.
It turned out to be the only goal of the afternoon.
With less than two minutes left in regulation, Cassidy pulled his goaltender for an extra skater, but while Boston was defending their own zone, Bergeron caught Guentzel with a high stick and received the game’s first and only infraction at 18:32.
The Bruins used their timeout to come up with a strategy to handle both being shorthanded and what to do should they get possession in the attacking zone and even things up at 5-on-5 with Swayman heading for the bench, but it was to no avail.
The Pens did not convert on the ensuing power play, however.
Time simply ran out for Boston and Pittsburgh as Jarry and the Penguins secured the, 1-0, victory, despite trailing in shots on goal, 30-29, on the afternoon.
Boston held the advantage in shots in the third period alone, 12-8, as well as in blocked shots (14-8), while Pittsburgh led in giveaways (11-7) and faceoff win% (52-48).
The two teams finished the afternoon even in hits, 33-33, while only the Penguins had a power play on the afternoon– going 0/1 on the skater advantage in the process.
The Bruins fell to 8-9-3 (3-3-2 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 6-6-2 (3-3-0 on the road) when tied after one period and 5-6-3 (5-5-2 on the road) when tied after two periods this season.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, improved to 20-4-2 (12-1-2 at home) when scoring the game’s first goal, 7-2-1 (4-2-1 at home) when tied after the first period and 7-3-1 (5-1-1 at home) when tied after the second period in 2020-21.
The B’s close out their five-game road trip (2-2-0) with another matchup in Pittsburgh against the Penguins on Tuesday. Boston finished the month of April at home on Thursday night against the Buffalo Sabres.