BOSTON BRUINS (18-8-2) vs. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (20-9-1)
9:46 p.m. Third Period Snapshots: FINAL BOS 3, PIT 2
CHARA LIFTS THE B'S: Zdeno Chara provided the game-winner with 13 seconds left to lift the B's over the Pittsburgh Penguins in one of the most intense games this season. Tuukka Rask made 28 saves en route to his 15th win of the season as well as the teams' 19 victory. The Bruins are back in action tomorrow night against the Maple Leafs in Toronto at 7:00 p.m.
KREJCI TIES IT: The Bruins knotted the game with 1:29 remaining in the third period when David Krejci sniped a clutch goal from the slot past Fleury for his fifth goal of the season. Earning assists on the game-tying goal were Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla.
RUINS GO ON THE PP: At 16:17 into the first period, Chris Kunitz was called for tripping, giving he Bruins a two-minute man-advantage. The Bruins managed to keep the puck in the Penguins zone for a majority of the power play, creating two separate scoring chances for Reilly Smith from just below the right faceoff circle, where he nearly scored on both attempts. The Penguins managed to weather to storm to maintain their one-goal lead with just over 14 minutes to go in the third.
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.
BRUINS ON INSTAGRAM: Follow NHLBruins on Instagram for behind-the-scenes pictures and the best in-game photos: www.instagram.com/nhlbruins.
NEXT GAME: The Bruins will play their second game of the back-to-back set tomorrow night against the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
8:39 p.m. Second Period Snapshots: BOS 1, PIT 2
IGINLA FOR HOLDING, KUNITZ FOR SLASHING: B's forward Jarome Iginla was called for slashing at the 8:38 mark in the second period putting the Bruins on the PK once again. However, 30 seconds into the Penguins power play, Kris Kunitz was called for slashing, yielding 1:30 of four-on-four play. Neither team was able to generate much momentum during the four-on-four action and the Black & Gold didn't fair much better with the 30 second man-advantage, keeping the score tied at 2-1 with just under six minutes go in the second period.
MARCHAND CALLED FOR HIGH-STICKING: Brad Marchand was assessed a four-minute double minor for high-sticking on the Penguins' Chris Kunitz at the 19:16 to start the second period. Dennis Seidenberg played a critical role on the PK making a spectacular leg save from within the B's crease for Rask, who was slightly out of position. The Bruins were able to successfully kill off the penalty to Marchand, keeping the game within reach.
8:04 p.m. First Period Snapshots: BOS 1, PIT 2
NEAL PUTS PENGUINS UP 2-1: James Neil converted on the Penguins second power play goal of the game putting the Penguins up 2-1 at 14:30 into an action-filled first frame. The power play was a result of a series of penalties, stemming from a post-whistle scrum in the Penguins zone (see below).
ORPIK WHEELED OFF: Penguins defenseman Brook Orpik was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher after a post-whistle scrum resulting in a 10-minute penalty for Shawn Thornton (served by Dougie Hamilton). Sticks taps from both teams could be heard from both teams as Orpik left the ice, all hoping he's okay. Prior to that, James Neal was called for kneeing on Brad Marchand for a two-minute penalty.
SMITH TIES IT: At 10:13 in to the third period Reilly Smith tied the game when Patrice Bergeron picked the pocket of Chris Kunitz and fed a pass to Reilly Smith who was streaking in from the blueline. Smith then let a slapshot fly past Fleury to knot the game at 1-1. The goal marks Smith's sixth of the season with Bergeron earning his sixth assist.
ERIKSSON UPDATE: Per the Bruins official twitter account - @NHLBruins: UPDATE: Loui Eriksson will not return to tonight's game ^BB
LUCIC DROPS THE MITTS: Milan Lucic tried to spark his teammates with 12:41 to go in the first period when he dropped the gloves with Pittsburgh's Deryk Engelland in the Penguins' zone. The bout saw both combatants throw their fair share of blows, with Lucic connecting with a few solid right-hands before the two were separated by the linesman and sent to their respective penalty boxes. Entering tonight, the Bruins compiled a 51-23-3 record since the 2010-11 season when the Bruins have had a fighting major in a game.
PENGUINS SCORE ON THE POWER PLAY: At the 14:16 mark, Bruins winger Shawn Thornton was called for roughing following a scrum out in front of the Bruins crease on Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik putting the Penguins on the power play. The Penguins took a 1-0 lead off an unlucky bounce, when Kris Kunitz attempted to send a pass to a crashing James Neal backdoor, but the puck deflected off Chara in front past Tuukka Rask. Kunitz gets credited for the goal on the play marking his team-leading 17th goal.
BRUINS GO ON THE PENALTY KILL: Just 21 seconds into the game, the Bruins and Penguins brought the physicality causing a little bit if chippiness by both squads. Following a big hit on Loui Eriksson by PIttsburgh, Zdeno Chara was called for cross-checking on Pittsburgh's Kris Kunitz putting the Bruins on the PK for the first time this evening against the Penguins NHL best power play squad. The B's managed to buckle down for the penalty to Chara, killing off the two-minute minor with 17:39 to go in the first frame of play.
6:30 p.m. - Pregame Snapshots: BOS vs. PIT
STARTING GOALTENDERS: Rask (14-7-2, 1.90 GAA, .934 Save %) vs. Fleury (16-7-1, 2.01 GAA, .922 Save %). Rask is 2-5-0 with a 2.73 GAA and .903 save % in seven career games against Pittsburgh. Fleury is 11-5-3 with a 2.27 GAA and .924 save % with two shutouts in twenty career games against Boston.
LUCIC LEADING THE B’S: Bruins winger Milan Lucic enters tonight ranked first on the team in goals (11) and is tied for first in points (21) with linemate David Krejci. Lucic has a two-game point streak coming into tonight, notching two goals and an assist during that span.
B’S IN BACK-TO-BACKS: The Bruins begin their sixth set of back-to-back games with tonight’s game against Pittsburgh, rounding out the set with tomorrow’s matchup in Toronto against the Maple Leafs. The B’s have compiled a 4-1-0 record in both the first and second games of back-to-back sets.
BRUINS VS PENGUINS LIFETIME: The B’s and Penguins will meet for the 192nd time tonight with the Bruins holding a 104-61-21-5 record and a 733-593 scoring edge. The Bruins are 63-22-6-3 in their 94 lifetime meetings in Boston, holding a scoring advantage of 393-264 in those contests. The Bruins beat the Penguins 4-3 in overtime on November 25, the last game between these teams and they are now 2-8-1 in their last 11 regular season games against the Penguins.
TOYS FOR TOTS COLLECTION DRIVE: The Boston Bruins will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for the U.S. Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” program at the following Bruins home games in December: Saturday, December 7 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Tuesday, December 17 vs. Calgary Flames, and Saturday, December 21 vs. Buffalo Sabres. U.S. Marines will be stationed at the TD Garden entrance turnstiles, the Community Corner located in Loge 4, and on the balcony level collecting toys and monetary donations. For every toy donation or $10 donation, fans will receive a raffle ticket to be entered into a drawing for Bruins autographed memorabilia including a team-autographed jersey, team-autographed stick, and a player-autographed puck & photo.
182 AND COUNTING: Following last Saturday’s home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Bruins have sold out 182 consecutive regular season and playoff games at TD Garden. Their last non-sellout was on Dec. 2, 2009 when they hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning and drew 16,553.
PENGUINS NOTEBOOK: The Penguins are playing their third game in five days and are riding a five-game winning streak, their last loss being a 4-3 overtime defeat against Boston on November 25… Centerman Evgeni Malkin will miss tonight’s game with a lower body injury; he led the NHL in scoring in November with 25 points and leads the NHL with 30 assists… Forward Sidney Crosby leads the NHL with 41 points, is third overall with 26 assists, and is tied for fifth overall with 15 goals… Winger Chris Kunitz is on a six game point streak with five goals and four assists during that span… Winger James Neal has recorded multiple points in seven of his last nine games.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Bruins power play: 13-for-75 (17.3%, T-16th NHL), Bruins penalty kill: 74-for-86 (86.0%, T-4th NHL)… Penguins power play: 27-for-102 (26.5%, 1st NHL), Penguins penalty kill: 74-86 for- (86.0%, T-4th NHL).