Pittsburgh certainly didn’t look like a team who had played just 24 hours earlier when they faced off with the Boston Bruins on Saturday, as the Penguins were relentless in their efforts. They put forth one of their best performances of the season, battling hard in an extremely physical game. And although the Bruins scored late in regulation to force the extra period, the Penguins showed plenty of resiliency to battle back for the two points – led by Dustin Jeffrey’s two-point night.
Not only did the Penguins win the foot races to loose pucks; but they also won the ensuing battles in the corners and on the boards for puck possession. Pittsburgh established offensive zone time and tested Bruins goalie Tim Thomas hard and often, throwing a total of 39 pucks to the net.
The Penguins put also put forth another solid defensive effort that spanned throughout their entire lineup, as Pittsburgh’s forwards backchecked hard and made the Bruins turn over pucks.
The game featured two of the league’s best goaltenders in Thomas and Marc-Andre Fleury, and neither netminder disappointed. Fleury played brilliantly for the Penguins, making 29 saves – several of them coming at crucial moments – to earn his 29th win of the season. The Penguins are now within two points of Philadelphia for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Dustin Jeffrey’s first-career two-goal game couldn’t have come at a better time.
Jeffrey scored the game-winning goal just 1:52 into overtime to power the Penguins past the Bruins and help his team earn two much-needed points. He also scored with 8:41 left in the second period that put the Penguins up 2-1 at the time. His tally would prove to be a crucial goal, as Boston’s David Krejci tied the game with 32.5 seconds left in regulation to force the extra period.
Jeffrey’s game winner came when he picked off a Bruins pass in the neutral zone. He turned and accelerated past the scrambling Boston defenders, carrying the puck on his backhand while shielding it with his body. Jeffrey cut across the slot and went to his forehand before lifting the puck over Thomas to score just 1:52 into the extra period.
He finished with four shots, three takeaways and two hits through 14:51 of ice time. The Penguins are now 6-0 on the season when Jeffrey scores a goal and 8-0 when he records a point.
The Bruins turned it on hard as the second period wore on. They got on the board just over seven minutes in and kept going at the net hard and often, having a particularly good shift just over halfway through the period when they forced Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to come up with a series of tough saves.
But when a long rebound bounced into the slot, Matt Cooke tied up the stick of the last Bruins defender and subsequently flipped the puck to Tyler Kennedy, who headed down the ice for a two-on-one rush with Jordan Staal. The two Penguins made a couple of bing-bang-boom passes before Staal eventually tucked the puck into a wide-open net.
From there, the game was all Pittsburgh, as the Penguins went on to score again just 1:10 later to get a 2-1 lead that allowed them to eventually win the game in overtime, 3-2.
BOSTON (AP) - Dustin Jeffrey scored his second goal of the game 1:52 into overtime and the Pittsburgh Penguins snapped the Boston Bruins' winning streak at seven with a 3-2 victory on Saturday night.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots, and Jordan Staal also scored for Pittsburgh, which had won only one of the previous seven - including four overtime losses.
David Krejci got the Bruins even at 2 when he scored with 33 seconds left in regulation while Boston goalie Tim Thomas was pulled for an extra skater.
Zdeno Chara had the other goal for Boston, which was on its longest winning streak since a 10-game run from Dec. 12, 2008, to Jan. 1, 2009.
- Forward Matt Cooke played in his 800th career game on Saturday. He earned an assist on the Penguins’ first goal with a smart defensive play. After a rebound bounced into the slot, Cooke tied up the stick of the last Boston defender that allowed him to dish the puck to Tyler Kennedy. Kennedy and Jordan Staal were then free to go off to the races on a two-on-one rush, with Staal getting the goal that tied the game at 1-1.
- Defensemen Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek didn’t miss a beat after logging staggering amounts of ice time on Friday against New Jersey, as they and Kris Letang led all skaters from both teams in terms of minutes played. Martin, who turned 30 on Saturday, played for 28:36 minutes en route to earning 'Second Star' honors. Letang skated for 26:57 minutes while Michalek logged 26:03 of ice time.
- Mike Rupp got the Penguins fired up early in the game when he dropped the gloves with Boston’s Shawn Thornton just three minutes into the first period. The two duked it out at center ice, with Rupp landing a few right-handed punches that sent Thornton to the ice.
- James Neal showed why he is developing into one of the game’s premier power forwards with his physical play on Saturday. He threw three hits on the night, with the highlight coming when he sent the 6-foot-9, 255-pound Zdeno Chara into the boards as the two raced for a loose puck behind the Bruins net.
- Nine of the Penguins’ past 17 games have now been decided in overtime or a shootout, with Pittsburgh going 5-4 in those contests with Saturday’s win. Each of the team’s last four games and seven of the previous nine have stretched beyond 60 minutes. For the season, the Penguins are 10-8 when the game stretches beyond regulation.
- The Bruins recalled Pittsburgh native Matt Bartkowski on an emergency basis on Friday, and he played Saturday. Bartkowski has made two other NHL appearances this season, both of which came against the Penguins. He played 9:13 minutes and recorded one hit and one blocked shot.
#1. Marc-Andre Fleury
Goaltender - 1
#2. Paul Martin
Defenseman - 7
3 blocked shots
#3. Dennis Seidenberg
Defenseman - 44
4 blocked shots
Author: Michelle Crechiolo