BOSTON - Like they have for much of the season's first month, the Bruins cruised through the early-going on Monday night at TD Garden. The Black & Gold surged to a three-goal lead and appeared to be well on their way to a sixth straight victory.
But things can change quickly in the National Hockey League. And, for the first time this season, Boston was faced with some adversity on their home ice.
Throughout the second period, the Bruins were back on their heels as the Pittsburgh Penguins seized control with four straight goals, including a dagger with just 2.6 seconds remaining in the middle frame to give them the lead.
"Wave after wave, it was like no one could put a stop to it," said Torey Krug. "I think they just outskated us that period, to be honest…we took our foot off the gas pedal, which can't happen in this league, especially against a team like that that has the fire power."
Suddenly trailing entering the final period, Boston was being tested. And they passed with flying colors.
The Bruins regrouped for the closing 20 minutes, tallying three unanswered goals to secure their sixth consecutive victory - a 6-4 triumph over the Penguins - and extend their point streak to 10 games. It is the third straight season the Bruins have had a point streak of 10-plus games.
"You want to try and learn something from every game, whether it's good or bad, take the positives and the negatives and try to learn from both," said Brad Marchand, who notched the winner with 1:57 remaining. "We have to learn that when we get up, we can't let a team crawl their way back in. We have to stay calm and focused all the way through the game. We have to play a full 60.
"And we've been pretty good at that, but there's always games that aren't going to be your best and you have to find ways to win those games. At the end of the day, we did that."
Video: PIT@BOS: Marchand's shot goes in off post, Jarry
With much of the credit going to Marchand. The winger was a force in the third, picking up three of his five points to get the Bruins back on the rails. Marchand started the comeback with some stellar hand-eye to keep the puck in the Penguins zone, before finding Krug, who unleashed a wicked slapper from a sharp angle in the corner to tie the game, 4-4, at 8:14 of the third.
"We're trying to obviously tie the game and it's one of our best players who competes on the puck like crazy," said Krug, who has nine points (goal, eight assists) in his last nine games. "He definitely makes his fair share of turnovers, but in a play like that it's important to give him trust and it ends up right in my wheelhouse.
"So, great on Marchy. He showed it all night that he was willing to compete and battle and I think at times he single handedly brought us back in the game."
Marchand completed the comeback with 1:57 to play when he surged down the wing and fired a wrister on goal. The puck clanked off the back of Pittsburgh goalie Tristan Jarry - who had replaced Matt Murray in the second - and trickled over the goal line to put the Bruins ahead, 5-4.
"I knew it hit the post and everyone started cheering so I thought it was in," said Marchand, who also assisted on Patrice Bergeron's empty-netter with 14 seconds remaining. "But then when I started going around the net, I realized it was still kind of bouncing around there. But that's one of those lucky plays where it bounces your way."
The puck has been bouncing Marchand's way plenty of late. The 31-year-old's five-point performance was his second in the last four games and extended his career-high point streak to 13 games (10-18-28). Marchand also extended his career-best assist streak to 12 games with three more helpers, giving him the longest such stretch since Marc Savard had a 12-game streak in 2007.
"[Point streaks are] nice, but you don't dwell on them," Marchand, who played a team-high 24:21, said of his five-point night. "You're going to have good nights, you're going to have bad nights and you just try to stay even keel all that time. At this point now, it doesn't matter in this room who has a good night.
"As long as we win, we're all happy and you're going to see every guy come into this room just as happy as the next. They're fun to be a part of, but you don't expect them to come often but they're definitely nice when they do."
Video: Marchand Addresses Media After 6-4 Win Over PIT
Wait, There's More
- Krug and Charlie McAvoy both left bloodied in the third period, but appear to have escaped any major damage. McAvoy crashed into the post trying to break up a Pittsburgh odd-man rush, while Krug took a skate to the face in front of the net. "I don't believe there's anything more...I think it was just the cut in the back of [McAvoy's] head and Torey got kicked, too, up high," said Cassidy. "I'm going to assume that the worst of their damage will be some sutures."
- Cameron Hughes landed one hit in 9:53 of ice time during his NHL debut. The winger played mostly with Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner. "Worked hard, good stick, as advertised," said Cassidy. "It was a good working game. He learned some lessons about how to be strong on the puck. In the neutral zone, there were a couple of loose plays that were just some of the stuff [Anders] Bjork had to learn. But I liked his game; I liked his effort, and he fit in with that line."
- David Pastrnak ripped home his 14th goal in 14 games in the second period and added an assist to extend his point streak to 12 games (14-15-29), tying his career high.
- Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara both had assists. Carlo now has five points (2-3-5) in his last five games, while Chara has four points (1-3-4) in his last four contests.
- Jake DeBrusk scored the game's opening tally, giving him goals in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Video: Marchand's five-point night powers Bruins to 6-4 win