Pittsburgh, PA – Tomas Vokoun stopped 31 shots and Joe Vitale netted the winner late in the first period as the Pittsburgh Penguins remained hot with a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins at CONSOL Energy Center.
Sidney Crosby added a goal for the Penguins, who extended their season-high win streak to nine games.
"It's been different guys who have stepped up every game," Crosby said when asked what's been working so well for the club over the course of their win streak. "Seeing 'Joey V' get a big one for us before the end of the first period and then 'Voky' playing the way he did today, it seems like it's always different guys. That's what you need in order to have success consistently. Tyler Seguin tallied and Tuukka Rask made 16 saves for the Bruins, winners in five of six coming in."
Crosby opened the scoring on a one-timer from the slot with just under eight minutes to play in the first period.
Capping a minute of pressure in the Pittsburgh zone, the Bruins eventually tied the game as Seguin one-timed a blocked Johnny Boychuk shot home from the left circle with 3:22 remaining.
Vitale sent the hosts to intermission up 2-1 with his first of the year at 19:28. It was the 27-year-old's first goal since Feb. 26, 2012, and it held up as the difference maker.
Vokoun made nine saves and Rask five in a scoreless middle 20 minutes.
The Bruins' best chance to tie the game in the third period came when Seguin appeared to have Vokoun beaten on a wraparound at the left post. The puck somehow rebounded out into play after the Penguins netminder did the full splits.
Due to pressure at center ice and inside their offensive zone, Pittsburgh didn't allow Rask to leave for an extra attacker until 30 seconds remained. Boston failed to mount any offense until the final buzzer.
"I'm not disappointed in our effort here today. I thought we competed hard, I thought we had a chance to win," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "Today, to me, was a typical playoff game. I thought we played well, we played hard, so did they."
Pittsburgh has won five straight and 10 of the last 13 games against Boston since November of 2009, including five of eight in the Steel City during that span ... Vokoun has won each of his last three starts, improving to 7-3-0 this season ... This nine-game run is the Pens' longest winning streak since taking 11 in a row from Feb. 21-Mar. 17, 2012 ... Bruins forward David Krejci left the game late in regulation after taking a shot off his right leg and did not return ... Pens defenseman Kris Letang left after the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return.