The Eastern Conference finals are only one game old and the Pittsburgh Penguins are already playing catch up. The Boston Bruins got the best of them with a 3-0 win in Game 1 thanks to the heroics of Tuukka Rask and David Krejci and now the Penguins have to win in Game 2 or they will head to Boston with no guarantee of playing another home game this season.
The Penguins outplayed the Bruins for much of Game 1, but they were sloppy in front of both goals and spent too much time in the penalty box, nullifying anything they may have done well. It was uncharacteristic of an experienced team, but it happened and now they find themselves in a hole.
Meanwhile, the Bruins are feeling good with a 1-0 series lead despite not playing well in Game 1. All that means is they have room for improvement and if they do improve, look out. They already dominate the face-off circle and have Rask in goal to go along with the red hot Krejci. If they can get a little cleaner exiting the zone and do a better job clearing pucks in front, they may be Stanley Cup Finals bound for the second time in three years.
Can Tuukka Rask star again?
The Penguins dominated large stretches of Game 1, only to be turned away by Tuukka Rask time and time again. It wasn't always pretty for the Bruins' netminder as he was caught scrambling on several occasions, but he was always there to make the save. The Penguins have so much attacking firepower that Rask is going to be challenged no matter how well the Bruins play and when he is, Rask has to be phenomenal again.
Will the Penguins keep their cool?
Things got away from the Penguins in the second period of Game 1 when Matt Cooke got a game misconduct, Chris Kunitz earned an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and Evgeni Malkin got into a fight with Patrice Bergeron after the horn. The Penguins completely lost their cool and were slapped with 28 penalty minutes in the game, something that cannot happen again in Game 2 if they want to get even in the series.
Can David Krejci stay hot?
David Krejci has made a habit of catching fire in the playoffs and this year is no different. After leading the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 23 points, Krejci is already up to 19 points in this year's postseason thanks to two goals in Game 1. The Penguins, like the Canadiens and Rangers before them, are going to have a tough time getting past the Bruins if they can't slow down the sensational Krejci.