When the Bruins scored twice in a 13-second span to tie the game 2-2 over halfway into the second period on Saturday, the memories of Monday’s collapse came flooding back. But the Penguins showed their mettle, with Jordan Staal netting what would prove to be the game-winning goal just 3:25 into the third. The Penguins then held off Boston’s furious third-period onslaught to get a 3-2 win in the Bruins’ own house.
The Penguins talked prior to today’s game about how they needed to put together a full 60 minutes of hockey against the Bruins. Truer words have never been spoken.
Both teams put on a fantastic display of speed and skill, with the game not being safe until the final buzzer sounded. Boston barraged the Penguins in the final minutes of the game, firing 20 shots in the third and getting a multitude of quality scoring chances. The puck twice trickled under Marc-Andre Fleury and came uncomfortably close to crossing the goal line. But a combination of luck and fantastic defensive play kept the Bruins from tying the game.
Although Fleury stood on his head all game, he proved what a clutch goaltender he is with his play in the game's waning moments, making a season-high 44 saves to get his team the win. The defense in front of him also played outstanding, making several key plays to stifle the Bruins at opportune moments. Not only did Pittsburgh’s forwards step up to get on the board thrice, but their play on both ends of the ice was crucial in getting the win.
All in all, it was an exciting, edge-of-your-seat hockey game. The Penguins displayed no shortage of heart, never getting down on themselves and playing an outstanding overall game that resulted in the victory.
The Bruins seem to have a penchant for third-period rallies, as the Penguins well know. They’ve been on the losing end of those rallies twice so far this season, with the Bruins putting together a five-goal third period to top the Penguins 7-4 on Nov. 10 before tallying four times in the final 3:43 of regulation to win 4-2 on Monday.
And boy, did they ever try to put together a third-period comeback for a third-straight time against the Penguins. But thanks to the outstanding play of Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, they weren’t able to.
Fleury made a season-high 44 saves against the Bruins on Saturday en route to earning his 20th win, the third-straight year and the fourth time in five years that he’s reached that mark.
The Bruins got a power-play opportunity just 2:12 into the game, but Fleury made a couple of big saves right off the bat to set the tone. He played consistently solid through the first 40 minutes, especially when the Bruins had a four-minute power play just 57 seconds into the middle frame after Pascal Dupuis got a double minor for hi-sticking.
But the third period – especially the second half – is where Fleury really shined. Boston fired 20 blasts on net in the final 20 minutes, coming uncomfortably close to finding the back of the net. But Fleury held off every shot to help his team hang on for a 3-2 win.
The Penguins had gotten off to a great start, jumping out to a 2-0 lead early in the game after Chris Kunitz tallied 10:57 into the first and Pascal Dupuis scored just 41 seconds into the second. But the Bruins responded emphatically when Dennis Seidenberg and Michael Ryder scored just 13 seconds apart just over halfway through the middle frame to tie the game 2-2.
For a moment, it seemed like the Penguins were in danger of experiencing a collapse against the Bruins for the third-straight time. But Jordan Staal ensured that just wasn’t going to happen this time around.
His beauty of a backhand shot beat Tuukka Rask shortside just 3:25 into the third period. His goal proved that the Penguins were not going to roll over and let the Bruins steal the momentum, and Pittsburgh was able to hold onto the lead and emerge with a 3-2 victory.
BOSTON (AP) - Jordan Staal scored with 16:35 left in the third period to help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat Boston 3-2 Saturday and avoid another collapse against the Bruins.
Five days after giving up four goals in 3:23 to hand a victory to Boston, the Penguins blew another two-goal lead before recovering to win without Sidney Crosby for just the second time in five games.
• Jordan Staal has been scorching in his last two contests. With his game-winning goal and assist on Chris Kunitz’s first-period tally, the Penguins center now has five points (2G-3A) in his last two games. He was a force all over the ice, playing 21:31 of ice time and firing four shots.
• Pascal Dupuis had a fantastic outing for the Penguins, scoring his first goal in regulation since Dec. 22 vs. Florida, which had been a 10-game drought for the Penguins forward. He tallied just 41 seconds into the second period after Zbynek Michalek’s shot from the point hit the back boards and bounced directly to the stick of Dupuis, who had great position in front of Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. Dupuis stuffed the puck into the cage for his 9th goal of the season.
• Dupuis not only chipped in offensively, but he also had a great defensive game against the Bruins. His most notable display of two-way play came with 1:33 remaining in the second, when Marc-Andre Fleury found himself out of the net after making a big save on Michael Ryder. Dupuis scrambled quickly to the cage and cleared the puck out of danger before any Bruins could capitalize.
• Evgeni Malkin now has a five-game scoring streak against Boston that has seen him record one goal and seven assists with his helper on Dupuis’ goal. Malkin now has a total of 20 points (10G-10A) in 17 career games against the Bruins.
• The Penguins had to kill off a four-minute penalty just 57 seconds into the second after Pascal Dupuis was assessed a double minor for hi-sticking. Video replay showed that defenseman Steve Kampfer had gotten struck in the face by the stick of teammate Zdeno Chara, but Dupuis was the one sent to the box.