The opening period of Saturday’s road game against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden bore all the traits of the basic formula that have made the Penguins’ successful in recent weeks.
Claim an early lead.
Get an offensive from a role player.
Play stout defense in the immediate vicinity of the net.
And have the goaltender make routine saves.
Twenty minutes into this contest, the Penguins had embarked on a familiar route in pursuit of another victory.
Unfortunately for them, the final 40 minutes resembled Route 30 after a landslide in an ice storm.
The Bruins swarmed the Penguins’ zone, particularly around the crease, and erupted for five goals in the second period. That surge was too much for the Penguins to overcome as they lost 7-5. It was a season-high for goals against.
“It just boils down to details,” coach Mike Sullivan said via video conference. “Some of the details got away from us (Saturday), mostly in the second period, and that’s why we gave up the types of chances that we gave up.”
The defeat snapped a five-game winning streak. Beyond that, the contest strayed from what the Penguins have cited as a driving factor in their otherwise strong play in recent weeks.
Namely, defense directly near their own cage.
Much of the Bruins’ offense in the second period came off of chances within the range of a garage door remote.
After Penguins forward Mark Janowkski opened the scoring 3 minutes, 24 seconds into regulation with his third goal of the season, the…