Bruins Wrap: Craig Smith’s Overtime Winner Defeats Penguins 3-2

Yet another game won after regulation


Jan 26, 2021

A third period rally from the Pittsburgh Penguins made things interesting for the Boston Bruins, who gave up the infamous two-goal lead in the third period to force overtime.

But after killing off six power play opportunities, the Bruins were plenty used to playing with their backs against the wall throughout this game. They only gave up a goal on one, in addition to a goal at full-strength.

And in OT, it was Craig Smith who called game with 11 seconds left. Goalie Tuukka Rask was clutch with a few saves on breakaways and odd-man rushes –including a 3-on-0 — in and beyond regulation to help the Bruins win their third straight.

Brad Marchand and Nick Ritchie also scored goals for the Bruins. Charlie McAvoy had three assists with David Krejci and Marchand recording helpers, as well.

The Bruins outshot the Penguins 36-30 in the 3-2 win, and moved to 4-1-1, while the Penguins fell to 4-2-1.

Here’s how it all went down:

It was a strong opening 20 minutes for the Bruins as they killed off three penalties and scored a shorthanded goal.

Smith built off his strong performance last game getting a shot on net less than a minute into the period, but Pittsburgh goalie Tristan Jarry made the save.

Things were back and forth through the first five minutes, with each offense firing four shots in that that span.

Rask came up with a great stop from Sidney Crosby on top of the crease, and shortly after that, Bryan Rust capitalized on a Marchand turnover and set off on a breakaway. The attempt was high over the Boston net and into the glass, however.

Adding to the pressure, Connor Clifton was sent to the box for two minutes for cross-checking. The Bruins killed the penalty and then some, with Marchand getting the team on the board.

McAvoy came up with a loose puck after a poor pass from the Penguins and sent the puck up to Marchand. The left winger handled it by Kris Letang and buried it in the near top corner.

Boston was relentless for a few sequences in the final minutes of the period, but seven consecutive and unanswered shots didn’t amount to a second goal for the Bruins in the frame.

They outshot the Penguins 11-6 in the stanza and led 1-0 entering the first intermission.

Oh, and we can’t forget this, from NESN play-by-play man Jack Edwards.

It was Clifton setting the tone out of the gates yet again, getting the first shot of the period 20 seconds in. And like in the first period, the Bruins went to the box early and often.

However, Boston went to the power play after Trent Frederic drew a penalty from Chad Ruhwedel, and Brandon Tanev followed him to the box to give the Bruins a 5-on-3 chance for 1:24.

Marchand racked up his second point of the night, assisting Ritchie along with McAvoy to make it a 2-0 game.

The Bruins killed off two more penalties, and even rode out a 4-on-4, while getting out shot 17-15 by the Penguins in an intense period.

Yes. That means goalie Tuukka Rask came up with 17 saves in the second alone.

Frankly, it was hard to imagine Pittsburgh not capitalizing on a single power play with how many it benefited from. Eventually, it was bound to happen.

Ritchie was sent off for tripping with 7:39 elapsed in the third that eventually allowed the Penguins to get on the board.

In a weird play, while fighting off shots being fired his way, Rask seemed to have an apparent ailment that prevented him from getting up in time to stop a shot from Jason Zucker.

The Penguins had a chance to tie it up came on a breakaway from Kasperi Kapanen, but Rask came up with an incredible save.

But Pittsburgh continued to rally, with Kapanen tying up the score with under four minutes to play in regulation.

Early on in OT, Patrice Bergeron and Marchand were pursuing a 2-on-1 that got stuffed. On the other side, Rask was fending off two-skater breakaways.

The Bruins lost their lead, but they weren’t going to lose the game. Smith sunk the game-winner as he and Krejci passed it up the ice alone to win it.

Pittsburgh is sticking around in Boston for the time being, and the two teams will face off once again Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Bruins Forward Craig Smith
Previous Article

Watch Craig Smith Score Game-Winning Goal In Overtime Vs. Penguins

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford
Next Article

NFL Rumors: Matthew Stafford Lists Detroit-Area Mansion For Sale

Picked For You