BRUINS 17-3-3 (37 pts) AT PENGUINS 18-8-0 (36 pts)
10:20 p.m. - Postgame Snapshots - FINAL: PIT 3, BOS 2
B's Fall to Pens 3-2: The Penguins were able to come up with three goals in the third period to top the B's in Pittsburgh 3-2. That loss snaps the B's three game winning streak and extends the Penguins streak to six consecutive wins.
Sutter Ties It, Then Puts Pens Up One: 51 seconds after Kunitz scored, Brandon Sutter notched his seventh goal of the season to tie the game with assists coming from James Neal and Beau Bennett. A short time later, Sutter was able to intercept the puck at the blueline and convert on unassisted goal for his second of the game to put the Penguins up one. Sutter's second goal of the game, eighth of the season, proved to be the game winner. That was Sutter's fourth career two-goal game.
Kunitz Brings It Within One: Kris Letang was able to deliver a perfect one timer pass to Kunitz who fired a slapshot past a shifting Khudobin to eliminate the netminder's shutout bid and bring the Penguins within one. That goal marks Kunitz's 18th goal of the season and extends Letang's assist streak to six games (0-11=11).
B's Kill Off a 5 on 3: The B's PK was truly put to the test with Patrice Bergeron, arguably one of the best Bruin penalty killers, sent to the box at 3:09 into the third. Adding to the B's penality trouble came 55 seconds later with Anton Khudobin getting called for a high stick, putting the Bruins on a five-on-three man disadvantage. Right at the tail end of the five-on-three, the B's narrowly escaped unharmed with Crosby ringing one loudly off the post. The B's were able to kill off the almost all the remaining penalty seconds to Khudobin's high-stick, before Pittsburgh's Kunitz was called for tripping. That gave the Bruins the man advantage for the remaining 1:44, however were unable to convert keeping the game 2-0. Coming into that five-on-three, the Penguins lead the NHL in five-on-three goals with four.
B's Postgame Coverage: Stay tuned for our postgame coverage and follow us on Twitter @NHLBruins for quotes from the B's locker room and Head Coach Claude Julien.
Next Game: The Bruins play again Thursday in Boston against the Florida Panthers at 7:00 p.m. ET.
9:06 p.m. - 2nd Intermission Snapshots - BOS 2, PIT 0
Khudobin Staying Strong: Khudobin put up another perfect frame for the B's in the second period, turning aside all 11 shots he faced. A couple of Khudobin's highlight saves included Crosby putting two shots on net right in the doorstep just a few feet outside the crease, and then left to right save he made on Tyler Kennedy, who received a feed at the left wing circel from Crosby. So far tonight, Khudobin has made 22 saves and will look to put up another flawless frame for the B's to earn his second career shutout in just 13 games. At the other end, B's were only able to put up seven shots in the second and will look to pick up their skating game in the third.
B's Defense Solid: The B's defense has been great in front of Khudobin tonight blocking a total of 17 shots so far this game. Leading the way is defenseman Johnny Boychuk who has put his body on the line for the team several times for the B's, racking up a team-high five blocks this game. Close behind is Dennis Seidenberg who has four blocks (in his 200th game as a Bruin, nonetheless) and Adam McQuaid with three. Chara and Bergeron also have two blocks apiece. In the second half of the frame, the Pens generated a high amount of sustained pressure in the B's zone - though the Bruins had trouble clearing, they didn't panic, stayed their calm selves, and kept trying to keep it to the perimeter.
B'S PK 2-2: At 7:02 into the second period, Brad Marchand was called for tripping on Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton, sending the B's PK unit to work. Crosby was out for a large chunk of the power play for the Penguins but the B's were very aggressive in their own zone, not letting Crosby have any room to make any sort of play. The B's limited the Pens to just one shot on goal preserving the 2-0 lead and making them 2-2 on PK tonight.
8:30 p.m. - 1st Intermission Snapshots - BOS 2, PIT 0
B's PK: The B's were able to kill off 1:25 of a penalty to Andrew Ference at 18:35 into the first period for delay of game, and will have to kill off the final 35 seconds to start the second.
Dobby Stops Neal: As the closing minutes of the first were winding down, Pittsburgh's Neal found himself on the door step of the B's goal, but Khudobin went down and was able to stone Neal. Khudobin then laid in the blue paint to ensure the puck stayed stayed out. Khudobin was very strong for the B's in the first period as he turned away all 11 shots he saw.
Seguin Scores: The B's top producing line came through again in the first period making it a 2-0 game. The three showed tremendous puck movement, starting with Brad Marchand, who battled to keep possession and sent two shots on goal, before quickly sending it to Patrice Begereron behind the goal line, who sent a perfect pass to an off-balance Tyler Seguin. Despite being tripped up by Tyler Kennedy, Seguin showed incredible athleticism to control his body and roof a shot past Fleury before falling to the ice. That goal marks Seguin's ninth of the season. That is assist number 16 for Bergeron and number nine for Marchand. The Bergeron-Marchand-Seguin line have now combined for 41 points in the last 12 games for the B's.
Chara's Bomb: Just 3:03 into the first period, the Penguins were called for too many men, giving the Bruins their first power play chance of the night. The B's wasted no time getting themselves on the board with a Zdeno Chara slap shot from just inside the blueline at the right point to put the B's up 1-0. A key play on the goal was Brad Marchand winning a puck battle in the corner, and getting it up to Rich Peverley, enabling him to swing it up to defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who quickly got it across to Chara for the bomb. The Captain actually started the play by firing the puck into the zone. Also playing a role on the play was Bergeron, who provided the B's a great net-front presence and was able to limit Fleury's view of the inbound Chara shot. That goal was No. 33's fifth goal of the season and the second on the man advantage.
Bergeron Doing the Little Things: Bergeron's two-way play in the first period led to a solid B's scoring chance as he was able to steal a puck away from the Penguins in the Pittsburgh's own zone, flipping it over to Marchand who was skating down the slot, unleashing a quick wrist shot blocker-side. Fleury was just barely got his body on it deflecting it away with his right shoulder to keep the game 1-0. Bergeron continues to show his trademark defensive tenacity in the first period.
7:05 p.m. - Pregame Snapshots:
Matchup: Both the Bruins and Penguins come into tonight looking to extend their own respective winning streaks, with the B's looking for their fourth straight victory and the Penguins looking for their sixth. Last season, the Bruins went 1-3-0 against the Penguins and will try and start off this season's series on the right foot in their first matchup of three this evening against Pittsburgh. The Bruins are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games against the Penguins but have won three of their last four on Pittsburgh's home ice.
Starting Goaltenders: Khudobin (4-1-0), 2.41 GAA, .910 Save %) vs. Fleury (12-5-0), 2.71 GAA, .902 Save %). This will be Khdobin's first start against Pittsburgh. Fleury is 9-5-2 with a 2.20 GAA and .930 Save % with two career shutouts in 17 games against Boston.
Lifetime Series: Tonight's meeting between B's and Penguins will be the 187th meeting between the two teams. The Bruins hold a 103-57-21-5 record and a 722-579 scoring advantage in those games. Lifetime in Pittsburgh, the Bruins are 41-36-15-2 despite the Penguins holding a 335-321 scoring edge during those games.
Streaking: David Krejci is currently riding a four-game point streak coming into tonight's matchup versus the Penguins, earning one goal and four assists during that span. Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton of the B's energy line come in riding point streaks as well with Paille scoring two goals and Thornton earning a goal and an assist in their last two contests. Pittsburgh's Sydney Crosby leads the Penguins with season-high eight-game point streak registering 20 points (5-15-20) during that span. Kris Letang and James Neal also carry point streaks for the Penguins with Letang's 11 assists and Neal's four goals and four assists in their last five games.
Plus/Minus Leaders: Patrice Bergeron leads the Bruins with a +17 rating which is tied for fourth in the NHL. Linemates Tyler Seguin (+16, T-5th in NHL) and Brad Marchand (+15, 6th in NHL) are not far behind, which has been attributed to the lines solid two-way play thus far this season. Combined, the trio has accumulated 38 points in their last 11 games with Bergeron's 14 (four goals, 10 assists), Seguin's 12 (six goals, six assists) and Marchand's 12 (five goals, seven assists) with a plus/minus rating of +48 on the season.
Rask Among NHL Leaders: Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask is among the NHL leaders in several categories for goaltenders this season. The B’s netminder is currently tied for first in NHL wins (13), tied for third in shutouts (2), tied for fourth in goals against average (1.96) and fifth in save percentage (.927).
Milestones: Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is expected to play in his 200th game in a Boston uniform tonight… Boston's next win will be Head Coach Claude Julien's 246th win behind the Bruins bench and will put him in sole possession of second place on the club's all-time coaching wins list (Julien is currently tied with Milt Schmidt).
Special Teams Comparison:
Boston: 11-for-71 on the PP (15.5%, 23rd in NHL), 84-for-91 on the PK (92.3%, 1st in NHL)
Pittsburgh: 26-for-101 on the PP (25.7, 3rd in NHL), 78-for-99 on the PK (78.8, 22nd in NHL)