PITTSBURGH — The Boston Bruins are in complete control of the Eastern Conference finals.
Brad Marchand scored two first-period goals, and the Bruins raced to a big early lead on their way to a 6-1 rout of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 on Monday night at Consol Energy Center.
Boston has a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series as its heads home for the next two games, beginning with Game 3 on Wednesday night. The Penguins, the conference’s top seed, will need at least a split in Boston just to get the series back to Pittsburgh.
Marchand scored his goals during a four-goal barrage in the opening period. Nathan Horton, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Johnny Boychuk also had goals for the Bruins. Jaromir Jagr contributed two assists, and Tuukka Rask stopped 26 shots.
Pittsburgh’s lone goal was scored by Brandon Sutter.
Boston took command of the game from the start, scoring the game’s first three goals to drive Pittsburgh goaltender Tomas Vokoun from the game, and building a 4-1 lead after one period.
Vokoun was making his ninth straight start after replacing Marc-Andre Fleury during Game 4 of the first round series against the New York Islanders. Vokoun stopped just nine of 12 shots Monday.
Boston scored on its first shot, just 28 seconds into the game, as Marchand beat Vokoun on a breakaway.
Horton made it 2-0 with 5:23 left in the first as he poked in a rebound of a Torey Krug shot that trickled away from Vokoun. It Horton’s seventh goal of the postseason.
Vokoun was then pulled after giving up a goal to Krejci, who scored with 3:39 remaining in the period on a wrist shot from the left circle. Krejci’s eighth goal moved him into a tie with Chicago’s Patrick Sharp for most in this postseason.
Fleury replaced Vokoun and received a loud ovation from the home crowd. The move seemed to give the Penguins momentum as they scored their first goal of the series with 51 seconds left in the first. Sutter’s shot hit the crossbar and trickled behind Rask for his second goal of the playoffs.
However, the Bruins answered just 42 seconds later when Marchand whipped a shot past Fleury for his fourth goal of the playoffs and second of the period.
The Bruins outshot the Penguins 13-6 in the opening period. Pittsburgh held a 7-5 edge in a tight-checking second period in which neither team scored.
Bergeron scored 26 seconds into the third period to put the Bruins ahead 5-1 and end any chance of the Penguins making a comeback. It was Bergeron’s fourth goal of the playoffs.
Boychuk added a goal with 1:26 left to complete the Bruins’ domination, even though the Bruins held just a slight (28-27) edge in shots on goal. It was Boychuk’s fifth of the postseason.
Vokoun stopped nine of 12 shots, while Fleury made 14 saves on 17 shots.
NOTES: Pittsburgh made two lineup changes from Game 1, dressing C Joe Vitale and D Deryk Engelland and scratching C Tyler Kennedy and D Mark Eaton. ... The Penguins recalled former Manchester Monarchs goalie Jeff Zatkoff from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League to give them depth in net behind Vokoun, Fleury and Eric Hartzell. ... Boston RW Jaromir Jagr skipped the morning skate, not unusual since the 41-year-old often saves his energy for the game. ... Krug said he broke his “lucky” stick in Game 1. He had used the stick to score all four of his playoff goals.