By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88
The story tonight in the Bruins 3-2 defeat of the Pittsburgh Penguins was the spectacular play in between the pipes. Despite what you may read or hear from the many online armchair GM’s, Rask kept the team in the game and made plenty of heart-stopping saves. The Penguins had a tough time with special teams tonight and Boston’s defense at times had difficulty getting out of their own zone.
In a nicely fast-paced first period, the defense was tested early on and luckily Tuukka Rask came up with great saves in net. A miscue with the puck led to a potential breakaway goal for the Penguins, however, Rask was able to handle the shot. Connor Clifton was called for a cross-checking penalty on Evgeni Malkin but it would be Boston who took advantage as Brad Marchand opened up the scoreboard, sending the puck past Tristan Jarry. It would be his 28th career short-handed goal.
There was continued pressure on both ends of the ice as the Penguins looked to tie up the game. Lots of physicality on the ice as players skated hard towards the net on either end. For the second time of the night, the Bruins would be down a man as Chris Wagner was called for interference. Pittsburgh would drive towards the net but were unable to score on the power play.
FIRST PERIOD SCORE: BOS-1, PIT-0
SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-11, PIT-6
Rask continued to calmly shut down the Penguins while comfortably handling the puck behind the net. Captain Patrice Bergeron would be called for a hooking penalty that gave the Pens their third power play of the night. Rask once again denied any scoring chances with seconds left to the penalty. Boston’s defense came up huge as the puck bounced loosely in front of the net in what could’ve been the tying goal.
The Bruins would draw their first penalty of the night and within a few moments drew another, giving Boston a five-on-three man advantage. With the Black and Gold buzzing around, Nick Ritchie would tip the puck in from a Marchand feed, making the score 2-0.
Jake DeBrusk would not return to the game due to a lower-body injury. Boston’s Craig Smith was called for a slashing penalty, the fourth drawn for Pittsburgh. The defense was forced to clear the zone many times as the Pens advanced quickly to the net.
Like clockwork, the Bruins Jakub Zboril would be called on a tripping penalty in the last minute of the first period. But as luck has it, Boston also drew a penalty as the period saw four-on-four action. The Bruins would continue their power-play into the third.
SECOND PERIOD SCORE: BOS-2, PIT-0
SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-15, PIT-17
Boston was unable to capitalize on the man-advantage in the first minute of the third. Lots of big hits as Pittsburgh were looking to get their first goal of the night. Nick Ritchie would get called for a tripping penalty but no score. In what would be a repeat of the first goal, both Bergeron and Marchand had dangerous chances to widen the score. Rask appeared to be injured in the net as he went down awkwardly and looked to be unable to get back into position. No whistle was called and Pittsburgh scored, making it 2-1.
Gameplay started to shift as the Penguins made it difficult for the Bruins defense to clear their own zone. Pittsburgh forced turnovers that lead to a potential breakaway goal. Luckily for the Bruins, Rask kept it a 2-1 game. With three minutes left in the period, the Penguins would slide one in as they tied things up. Kasperi Kapanen would notch his first goal of the season in a new uniform. The game would go into overtime.
END OF REGULATION: BOS-2, PIT-2
SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-6, PIT-6
Overtime saw intense play that led to another possible breakaway goal for the Pens, but again Rask would deny the shot. In what looked like a blatant trip on Marchand (which wasn’t called) the Penguins had three undefended players heading towards the net but were unable to score. With 10.9 seconds left in the period, the Bruins own Craig Smith would score the game-winning goal.
FINAL SCORE/OT: BOS-3, PIT-2
TOTAL SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-36, PIT-30
NEXT GAME: Thursday, January 28th -Boston Bruins vs Pittsburgh Penguins, with puck drop after 7:00 PM