In what was one of their first real tests of the season, and a possible playoff matchup preview, the Pittsburgh Penguins not only survived, but put on a comeback to defeat the Boston Bruins, 3-2 on Tuesday night. The victory widens the Penguins’ Atlantic division lead to nine points over the New Jersey Devils, and puts them in a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with the Montreal Canadiens.
The first period was all Bruins. Less than five minutes into the period, Zdeno Chara took advantage of a struggling Penguins penalty kill for his fifth goal of the season. Currently, Pittsburgh’s penalty kill ranks twenty-fifth in the league, killing only 78.2% of power plays (ouch). Tyler Seguin gave Boston a 2-0 lead when he beat Marc-Andre Fleury at the 13:30 mark of the period. That’s the way the first period would end, with the Bruins holding a 2-0 lead while being outshot by Pittsburgh, 11-5.
The Bruins decided to go with Anton Khudobin in net over Tuukka Rask since they were in their second of back-to-back games. It was his first career start against the Penguins, and he came out on fire. After stopping all eleven Pittsburgh shots in the first period, Khudobin would stop eleven more in the second period. There was no scoring in the period as Fleury and Khudobin shut down everything.
Entering the third period, the night had the feeling that if the Penguins could get one behind Khudobin then they could get multiple. However, it would take a little over thirteen minutes for the Penguins to get one by the twenty-six year old goaltending. Chris Kunitz would continue to be on some kind of hot streak, beating Khudobin for his eighteenth of the year. Eighteen, people, eighteen. Less than a minute later, Brandon Sutter would, once again, make us all forget who Jordan Staal was when he tied the game at two. Sutter wasn’t done though. At 17:57 he would intercept a pass from Dennis Seidenberg and snipe Khudobin to put Pittsburgh ahead, 3-2. In the closing moments, the Bruins would put the pressure on to tie the game, but Fleury held strong to give Pittsburgh the 3-2 victory.
Looking to stay undefeated in the month of March, the Penguins head back to Toronto Thursday night (7:00 pm/est, Root Sports) for another contest with the Maple Leafs.
-Penguins are 5-0 when Mark Eaton is in the lineup.
-Brandon Sutter now has eight goals on the season, three are game-winning goals.
-Pascal Dupuis was hitting anything with a “B” on it’s chest.
1. Brandon Sutter (2 goals)
2. Chris Kunitz (1 goal)
3. Zdeno Chara (1 goal)