The Pittsburgh Penguins jumped all over the Boston Bruins early in their matchup Sunday afternoon, taking a 2-0 lead just seven minutes into the first period. Tough guy Arron Asham scored his fourth of the season to spot the Pens the one goal lead. Asham beat Tim Thomas on an odd-looking goal from the right wing.
The Pens took the two-goal lead on Matt Niskanen's fourth goal of the season. Niskanen took a pass from Evgeni Malkin and fired a quick shot from the point that Thomas had trouble picking up due to a great screen in front by James Neal, who occupied Boston giant Zdeno Chara. Most notably for the Pens, the assist was the 500th point of Malkin's career while the secondary assist from Neal was the 200th point of his career.
Malkin and Neal wouldn't be stuck long on those milestone marks, as the two hooked up on yet another brilliant power play connection. The Pens third goal came with a two-man advantage as the frustration levels on the Boston side continued to mount after a dominating first period by Pittsburgh. After the Bruins cleared the puck just over the blue line, Malkin grabbed it and quickly re-entered the zone while Boston tried to change lines. Geno hit Neal with a perfect cross-ice skip pass and Neal buried his 31st goal of the year on a low drive. The goal snapped a nine-game drought for Neal and put the Pens firmly in control as they look for their ninth straight win.
For more on Pittsburgh check out SB Nation's Penguins blog Pensburgh and SB Nation Pittsburgh. For more on the Boston Bruins, visit SB Nation's Bruins blog Stanley Cup of Chowder and SB Nation Boston.