The Boston Bruins saved the best for last.
Mark Recchi had a goal and assisted on two of Boston's five third-period goals Wednesday night as the Bruins stunned the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 7-4 victory at the Consol Energy Center.
Boston entered the third period facing a 4-2 deficit, but the Bruins bombarded Brent Johnson in the final 20 minutes. Nathan Horton and Zdeno Chara scored 15 seconds apart over the first 4:04 to tie it, Shawn Thornton was credited with the winner with 7:20 to play, Blake Wheeler scored with 3:47 left and Milan Lucic added an empty-netter. Fifteen of Boston's 18 skaters had at least a point.
Tim Thomas made a season-high 42 saves to improve to 8-0-0 for the Bruins, who are now 6-1-0 on the road this season, They had lost their previous two games after winning seven of eight.
"Obviously, ideally we don't want to put ourselves in the situations where we've got to come back like that," said Thomas, who extended a franchise record by winning his eighth consecutive decision to start a season. "But if we're in (that situation) we know we're not out of it."
Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists for the Penguins, who have lost six of their past eight and are now just 2-5-0 in their new home.
"We made big mistakes (in the third); that basically was what it was," Crosby said. "It's not like we gave them a ton of chances, but the ones we did were big ones, and they capitalized on them all. We got into playing some pretty risky hockey, and we paid for it."
Pittsburgh took a two-goal lead on goals by Chris Kunitz and Crosby over the final 4:16 of the second period. Crosby moved into a tie for second on the NHL goal list when he was credited with his 10th on what was intended to be a pass across the slot, but deflected off of Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart and past Thomas during the final minute of the second.
Then the Bruins flipped the switch.
"We said in the locker room (during the second intermission), 'We still have an opportunity to win this game,"' Wheeler said. "It speaks to what we have in the room that guys know it's never over until it's over. It certainly helps to get one early because it gives you some confidence, and we took it from there."
Horton scored his seventh of the season 3:49 into the period on a turnaround wrist shot from low in the left-wing circle. Chara's seventh was a one-timer from the slot while on a 3-on-2.
Thornton had his second in three games when he collected a puck at his own blue line, carried it down the right wing and beat Johnson high to the glove side.
"The talk in our dressing room going out for the third period was managing the puck and playing the right way," Pens coach Dan Bylsma said. "(Boston) started coming hard and they took advantage of some miscues on our part."
Asham's goal 1:05 into the game was his first as a Penguin, and Orpik's was his first of the season and ninth of his 459-game career.
The 42-year-old Recchi, who began his career in Pittsburgh 22 years ago, scored his the first goal of the season and 564th of his career.
"I think for the third period, for sure, and for parts of the rest of the game, the guys really kind of came together and tried to do it by committee," Thornton said. "Every line chipped in, and you're going to need that when you're missing a guy like (David) Krejci."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
|Arron Asham (1) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (7), Matt Cooke (5)|
1 - 0 PIT
|PPG - Mark Recchi (1) ASST: Tyler Seguin (3), Patrice Bergeron (5)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Brad Marchand (2) ASST: NONE|
2 - 1 BOS
|Brooks Orpik (1) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (8), Sidney Crosby (11)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Chris Kunitz (4) ASST: Kris Letang (11), Sidney Crosby (12)|
3 - 2 PIT
|PPG - Sidney Crosby (10) ASST: Alex Goligoski (7), Kris Letang (12)|
4 - 2 PIT
|Nathan Horton (7) ASST: Dennis Seidenberg (6), Matt Hunwick (2)|
4 - 3 PIT
|Zdeno Chara (3) ASST: Jordan Caron (1), Mark Recchi (7)|
4 - 4 Tie
|Shawn Thornton (3) ASST: Gregory Campbell (3), Adam McQuaid (1)|
5 - 4 BOS
|Blake Wheeler (2) ASST: Mark Recchi (8), Michael Ryder (6)|
6 - 4 BOS
|EN - Milan Lucic (6) ASST: Patrice Bergeron (6), Nathan Horton (6)|
7 - 4 BOS
|Shawn Thornton Fighting (maj) against Eric Godard|
|Eric Godard Fighting (maj) against Shawn Thornton|
|Gregory Campbell Fighting (maj) against Maxime Talbot|
|Maxime Talbot Fighting (maj) against Gregory Campbell|
|Kris Letang Hooking against Patrice Bergeron|
|Arron Asham Tripping against Nathan Horton|
|Adam McQuaid Fighting (maj) against Arron Asham|
|Arron Asham Fighting (maj) against Adam McQuaid|
|Brooks Orpik Interference against Michael Ryder|
|Jordan Caron Hooking against Mark Letestu|
|Gregory Campbell Slashing against Evgeni Malkin|