(Photo Credit: Steven Senne/AP Photo)

By: Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter / X @adbblue

The Boston Bruins lost 6-5 to the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden Thursday night, which snapped their four-game winning streak. The Bruins had a tough time at the face-off dot losing 65% of the draws. They also struggled to deal with the Penguin’s fore-check.

Too many sloppy stretches of play, including bad turnovers and ill-advised passes, were their downfall. They were able to string enough opportunities to tie the game in the third period, but an untimely penalty is what ended up deciding their fate.

First Period

There was a lot of action early in this one that featured four goals in 6:39. The Bruins opened the scoring just 41 seconds in when Marchand buried a loose puck on the doorstep, making it 1-0. Pittsburgh answered after Kris Letang threw the puck toward the goal from up top, and Drew O’Connor put home the rebound to tie it 1-1. The Penguins struck again quickly with a Ryan Graves shot from the point, deflecting in off Charlie Coyle’s stick and making it 2-1.

Boston answered right back, with David Pastrnak finishing from the front of the net to tie it 2-2. The Penguins then retook the lead 3-2 after Sidney Crosby won a race and was able to feed Jake Guentzel, who tapped it home. There was a lot of offensive play in the first half of the opening frame.

Things settled down for a few minutes, with both teams trading some zone time, until Pittsburgh struck again. Lars Eller beat Swayman on a one-timer to make it 4-2, which the Penguins would take into the room. Pittsburgh outshot Boston 16 to 12, and a rare sight with Jeremy Swayman fighting the puck, making 12 saves. It was a sloppy overall period for the Bruins.

Second Period

The start of the second period was a much different story from the first period. The pace of play settled down, with perhaps both teams being a little gassed from an eventful first frame. The Penguins extended their lead on just after their first power play opportunity expired. Jeff Carter put home a rebound in the blue paint, extending the lead to 5-2.

After they were asleep at the wheel for a long stretch, The Bruins got a much-needed goal from Morgan Geekie staying hot and ripping home a shot from the right face-off circle off the rush, beating Nedeljkovic to make it 5-3. Boston got another one with under a minute left in the period as Brandon Carlo blasted one by Nedeljkovic to make it 5-4. Carlo touched on the timing of his goal post-game. “I think that’s a good thing, obviously from the vice versa aspects of you got scored on in the last minute it’s hard to come into the room, think about it for a while, then go back out there and re-focus, so it definitely created some good momentum.”

Swayman was better in the middle frame, stopping ten of Pittsburgh’s 11 shots, including some timely saves, while Boston was shorthanded. After doing so many things poorly and being dominated for most of the stanza, the Bruins escaped the second period only down one goal.

Third Period

The Bruins had a strong start to the third period with a solid couple of opening shifts. That was disrupted by Charlie McAvoy taking a delay of game penalty. On that penalty, Brad Marchand made a great individual effort to get inside position on Letang and rifle a shorthanded goal top shelf to the game 5-5. Head Coach Jim Montgomery spoke about Marchand’s effort after the game. “Unbelievable. First of all, to protect the puck as he did so, the defenseman couldn’t chip it out; very underrated play, and then he gets the puck and puts it through him, and just his bulldog strength, how he gets under the guy and frees himself up, and it really energized the bench.”

After the Bruins tied the game, both teams started to tighten things up, keeping most of the possession to the perimeter. Frederic had a great chance after catching the puck behind the net and attempting a wraparound but was denied by Nedeljkovic. McAvoy took a second consecutive penalty, this time for hooking. Coyle spoke about taking too many penalties after the loss.

“I think taking minor penalties is something we need to work on and kind of limit, whether we think they’re hockey plays or not, they’re called, and those guys made us pay a few times.” The Penguins cashed in when Crosby threw a puck on net that deflected under Swayman for a 6-5 Penguins lead. The Bruins had one final push with the extra attacker on but couldn’t finish before the final siren.

Up Next

The Bruins will be back at it on Saturday night for a 7:00 p.m. puck-drop against Atlantic Division rival Tampa Bay Lightning. It will be the second meeting between the two teams this season. Tampa Bay won the first one 5-4 in overtime.