Is there any stopping these Bruins?
After a second-period scare Monday night, Boston pulled off a thrilling 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden. And both squads put on quite a show.
Jaroslav Halak pushed away 40 of the 44 shots he faced. Matt Murray stopped 11 shots before being pulled in the second period. Tristan Jarry blocked 14 through the rest of the game.
Both David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand extended their point streaks to 12 and 13 games, respectively. Marchand had himself a five-point night with two goals and three assists.
The Bruins improved to 11-1-2 with the win while the Penguins dipped to 8-6-1.
Here’s how it all went down:
BRUINS TAKE CONTROL … AGAIN
The Bruins wasted no time putting points on the board.
Jake DeBrusk put Boston on the board first, intercepting a pass by Kris Letang in the neutral zone before flicking a wrister behind Murray just 5:24 into the period. The 23-year-old now has scored in back-to-back games.
The B’s found themselves on the penalty kill midway through the first after David Krejci was whistled for tripping, landing him in the box for two minutes. But some impressive saves by Halak helped stave off Pens’ power play, which entered Monday’s contest ranked 24th in the NHL.
Meanwhile, Marchand and Pastrnak continued to excel. Marchand potted his ninth goal of the season off a quick feed from Pasternak with less than seven minutes left in the period, extending their point streaks to 13 and 12 games apiece.
The Black and Gold found themselves on the man-advantage late in the first after Letang was called for slashing Marchand with just 1:56 on the clock, but failed to capitalize. Boston took a 2-0 lead into the second.
PENS PUSH BACK
It was all Penguins all the time this time around.
The Pens dominated the first four minutes of the period, outshooting the B’s 5-0 in the process. But Pastrnak snapped the cycle with his 14th goal of the season to make it 3-0 Boston, leading Pittsburgh to pull Murray.
The Pens struck back just 1:13 later with their first goal of the game on a Dominik Kahun wrister.
Pittsburgh’s dominance continued throughout the second, outshooting the B’s 12-2 before scoring its second straight goal. This time, Nick Bjugstad slid one between Halak’s legs on the breakaway, trimming the Bruins’ lead to one.
But the Penguins didn’t stop there, tying thing up at three goals apiece on Bryan Rust’s second goal of the season.
And just like that, the Bruins’ lead evaporated.
A tripping penalty called on Pittsburgh’s John Marino gave the Bruins a glimmer of hope with 2:10 left in the period. But the Brockton, Mass. native nabbed a loose puck while exiting the box, tossing one past Halak to give the Pens a 4-3 lead with just 2.6 seconds left on the clock.
That certainly wasn’t the period the B’s had in mind.
A THRILLING CONCLUSION
Boston had a chance to turn things around in the third and did just that.
Brandon Carlo and Zach Aston-Reese got tangled up behind the Bruins’ net seven minutes into the third, and the two squads quickly found themselves in a little 4-on-4 battle. And the Bruins capitalized, with Torey Krug’s slap shot knotting the game at four goals apiece midway through the period.
Bjugstad made his way to the box with 8:13 left on the clock, leading to Boston’s third man-advantage of the game. A Rust short-handed breakaway led to a beautiful save by Halak, but Charlie McAvoy smacked the side of his head into the goal post and exited the game with blood visibly dripping from his visor.
The two teams battled through the final moments of the third, but Marchand gave the Bruins the lead for good with his 10th goal of the season, putting the B’s up 5-4 with just 1:57 left to play.
And boy, was it a beauty.
Patrice Bergeron sealed the deal with an empty-netter as Boston skated to its 11th win of the season.
The Bruins have themselves a quick turnaround as they head to Montreal for a Tuesday night tilt against the Canadiens. Puck drop at Bell Centre is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images