Bruins blank Crosby-less Pens

Pittsburgh, PA ( - Tuukka Rask stopped 30 shots for his third shutout of the season, as the Boston Bruins took advantage of a Pittsburgh team without superstar Sidney Crosby and claimed a 2-0 victory over the Penguins on Saturday at CONSOL Energy Center.

Milan Lucic scored in the first period and Zdeno Chara added an empty-net goal in the final minute for Boston, which has won five straight and improved to 7-0-1 in its last eight.

Crosby took part in the pregame warmup, but was a late scratch for an undisclosed reason. Evgeni Malkin also missed most of the contest after taking a first-period hit.

"I was told that Sid was seeing the doctors and wasn't feeling well after warmups," said Penguins coach Mike Johnston. "Geno was hit during the game. He tried to come back after that and he couldn't."

Thomas Greiss made 28 saves in defeat, as the Penguins lost in regulation for only the second time in their last 10 games (7-2-1).

"It's tough when you lose two guys like that right away, but everyone's got to step in and help," said Pittsburgh's Brandon Sutter.

Each team had plenty of chances in a first period that featured a combined 26 shots, but Lucic notched the only goal when his wrister from the slot off a feed from David Pastrnak eluded Greiss.

Rask turned aside all 12 shots he faced in the opening period and 10 more in the second. He also saw a pair of Pittsburgh chances ring off the post in the middle stanza.

The Penguins mustered only a few quality scoring opportunities in the third and failed to convert a 2-on-1 with just over four minutes to play.

After a Rask stop with the Greiss pulled for an extra attacker, Chara fired the puck from near his own goal line the length of the ice into the empty cage to seal the contest.

"I don't think we gave them too many great scoring chances," said Rask. Defensively, we played a solid game."

Game Notes

Rask notched his 26th career shutout, snapping a tie with Byron Dafoe and tying Gerry Cheevers for fifth on the Bruins' all-time list ... Pittsburgh defenseman Christian Ehrhoff returned after missing six straight games because of concussion symptoms ... The last eight games between the teams had been decided by one goal ... Pittsburgh's Maxim Lapierre skated in his 600th NHL game ... Boston scored the first goal for the 11th consecutive game, the longest stretch for the Bruins since they scored first in 12 straight from Feb. 3-26, 1990 ... The Penguins lost in regulation for only the second time in their last 12 games against Boston (8-2-2) and fell to 4-1-1 in their last six at home against the Bruins.