But it didn't necessarily matter the the Black and Gold didn't put forth a perfect game, because they flew back to Boston with a 3-2 overtime win over the Penguins.
The much-needed win was a relief, even if it took a few extra minutes for that relief to kick in.
At 2:43 into extra time, Milan Lucic's shot fired from up top deflected past Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with Patrice Bergeron and Simon Depres battling for positioning in front.
Most Bruins began to celebrate, and some even headed down the tunnel to the locker room, but not so fast.
After video review, it was inconclusive whether the puck hit Despres' glove or Bergeron's stick. Both were determined to be at or below the height of the crossbar. The call on the ice was a good goal, and it stood. Good goal Boston. Game over.
It was the break the Bruins needed.
"I thought it was inconclusive and they had a good goal on the ice, so usually that's what happens," Bergeron said postgame. "Hard to turn back, so I was pretty confident that I was below the crossbar."
The Bruins have not had their shortage of disallowed goals this season.
"I mean, at some point, it's going to have to go our way and [Wednesday night] was the case," he said. "And definitely, you know, it wasn't perfect by all means, but definitely a good effort and we found a way to get the big win."
In the four-on-four overtime, the Bruins didn't deploy three forwards and one defensmen for all shifts as they normally do - not with Pittsburgh's firepower. In the teams' last meeting in Boston, the Bruins got burned in OT by a Sidney Crosby-Evgeni Malkin two-on-one rush.
Prior to the win, the Bruins had lost three straight games in overtime or a shootout.
Earlier in the overtime period, the crowd's reaction suggested the game was over in favor of Pittsburgh, but Beau Bennett's bid went off the post and stayed out.
Two minutes and five shots on goal later, the Black and Gold earned the winner.
"Yeah, a lot of overtimes and shootouts lately and good to see us getting a good bounce there off the post and out and then getting a goal for us there after that," said Tuukka Rask, who 37 of 39 shots in the win. "So, not a perfect game, but you know, a win is always a win."
Even if it takes a little extra time before being able to celebrate.
"It's always tough because you see the stick go up and it matters when the stick actually hits the puck and I wasn't sure - I don't like to celebrate there, and then have to go back in the net, but luckily the goal was allowed," said Rask.
"We really needed that," a calm, but contrite Julien said postgame. "So it was a big relief."
Boston did not have the start that it wanted. The visitor was outshot 7-1 to start the first, and allowed a strike from Bennett just 3:37 into the game.
But the Bruins kept at it, started picking up more shots on goal, and were rewarded with a tying goal from Zdeno Chara that made it 1-1 with 2:03 to go in the opening frame. It came after a simple play from David Krejci to Milan Lucic entering the zone. Chara wound up and fired in the loose puck for his third goal of the season.
"We stuck with it," said Chara. "We were working really hard and tried to focus on the process and towards the end, I thought we had a little bit more chances we could put it in, and finally we did in overtime."
With 25.2 on the clock, a play was reviewed to make sure the puck didn't cross the goal line behind Rask. Crosby had thrown up his arms in celebration. The score remained tied entering the second.
The Bruins had another call go their way at 3:28 into the period, when it was deemed that Zach Sill had knocked into Rask when Craig Adams' shot made it through. "No goal due to contact with the goalie" was the call.
Like in the first period, the Bruins were again vastly outshot to start the second, this time by a 10-0 margin and ultimately 14-6 in the period.
"I thought the first half of the first, we were really tight and the second half of the first we started playing a little bit more," said Julien. "Same thing in the second. I thought the first half of the second we were a little tight, we took some penalties and it just put us on our heels, and then we kind of started picking it up a little bit later in the second period."
"So it wasn't a perfect game, but I think the win was really important for us. You talk about, 'Where's the confidence?' Well, you need to win some games to get some confidence, so it feels good to get that win in overtime."
"And finding a way to win, I think that feels good, but no means do we feel or think that we're out of the woods here. But it's a good start."
Despite Pittsburgh's onslaught, especially during their power play opportunities, Rask stood tall and the Bruins found a way to grab a 2-1 lead with 4:23 left in the second.
Bergeron netted his first of the night after Lucic powered down the left wing and fired on Fleury, creating a rebound that Daniel Paille put a stick on before the centerman could pot the loose puck.
Julien had made a line switch for the second, putting Paille with Lucic and Bergeron.
To start the game, Seth Griffith had been in the right wing position on that line. Reilly Smith was with David Krejci and Brad Marchand. Chris Kelly, Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson remained together.
Julien opted for mostly three lines all night, especially in the second and third periods, for a variety of reasons including the matchup game that Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Johnston wanted to play.
"I really didn't want our young players getting caught out there against the Crosbys and the Malkins, so I had to tweak my lines a little bit and try and make sure I had some experience out there," said the bench boss. "So we did those kind of things because not all the time, but he tried to take advantage in our end - let's say Griffith's on the ice and you put Crosby, versus, [Brandon] Sutter out there, so I thought Piesy going in there did a pretty good job, he was skating well."
"The last couple of games for Dan have been better, his skating's starting to come around, so I thought it would be good to have some experience there on that side. So, you know, there's a lot of reasons and sometimes just to keep guys on their toes and [if] they're playing well, just give them a little bit more ice, so just tried to manage it the best I could."
"Shortening the bench is not a bad thing, but it's not always the best when you've got back-to-backs."
The B's also had a shortened bench for the end of the second and most of third, without Eriksson.
"He got dinged up there, so he came back in the third, played a little bit and then he said he couldn't keep going," said Julien. "So we inserted different guys in different spots and they did the job."
That meant that the line switches stayed, with the exception of Gregory Campbell joining Kelly and Soderberg. Griffith only played 5:21.
The shortened bench suggested urgency to the Bruins' game, feeling that this was a must-win.
"I think right now, it's about what's in this dressing room and no one is feeling sorry for ourselves outside of this room, so we know that," said Bergeron. "We know it's up to us to find a way and to find some urgency and find some desperation to get the wins and get the result and battling from ups and downs during games and I thought we did that."
"Like I said, it wasn't perfect, but we'll definitely take the result and build from that."
Malkin whipped a shot past Rask just 15 seconds into the third and the Bruins were on their heels to start the period again. But they kept powering ahead, even if they didn't put up double digit shots on goal in any single period.
They did, however, earn their 5-2 shots advantage in overtime. Bergeron ended the night with five of the club's 24 shots on goal. The leaders showed up, from the back end out.
"We obviously recognize what the situation is and where we are in the standings," Rask said, when a reporter noted that they're back in the playoff picture after the Leafs suffered a loss.
"I think, most importantly, we talk about our game and the state of our game and obviously that hasn't been where it should be in the past half a year, so we're just trying to get our game where it should be, and we know the wins are going to come that way."
"It wasn't a perfect example, but great way to grind it out."
The Bruins don't feel in the clear. They feel know there is still a ways to go. They'll have to turn around quickly and play the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night at TD Garden.
"I think that right now, for this team, it's something that we need to be strong and really stick together and be positive," said Chara. "We know that we need to be better and we will be better."
"We know that we've got to pick it up."