The Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Boston Bruins 6-5 Thursday night in a wild, back-and-forth game that saw multiple lead changes and 11 total goals scored. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby played the hero, scoring the game-winning power play goal with just 2:16 remaining in regulation.
Penguins Jump Out to Early Lead
The Penguins roared out of the gates in this one, finding the back of the net three times in a span of just over 12 minutes to grab a 3-0 advantage early on. Bryan Rust started off the scoring barrage at the 4:56 mark of the first period, followed by goals from Jake Guentzel and Rickard Rakell to build what looked to be a commanding lead after just 20 minutes of play.
However, the Bruins would battle back in the second period, scoring three unanswered goals of their own from David Pastrnak, Taylor Hall and Hampus Lindholm to knot the game at 3 heading into the final frame.
Back-and-Forth Third Period
The wild scoring outburst would continue in the third period, as these two potent offensive clubs traded goals back and forth. Teddy Blueger and Jeff Carter scored 1:08 apart early in the period to regain the two goal edge for Pittsburgh at 5-3.
But the Bruins kept clawing back, getting goals from Pavel Zacha and Brad Marchand to tie things up yet again at 5-5 with just over five minutes left on the clock.
That set the stage for Crosby’s late-game magic. With Boston’s Tomas Nosek in the box for tripping, the Penguins lethal captain rifled home the game-winner on the power play with just 2:16 remaining, sending the visiting Penguins home with a thrilling 6-5 victory.
Analysis and Reaction
The 11 goals scored marked the highest combined total between these teams since October 2011. While the frenzied pace certainly entertained fans, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan was frustrated with his team’s inability to protect multiple-goal leads.
“It was an entertaining game to watch, but it sure wasn’t very pretty from a defensive structure, attention to detail standpoint,” Sullivan said.
Bruins coach Jim Montgomery lamented his team’s puck management and decision making throughout the game.
“I didn’t think we were very smart with the puck tonight,” said Montgomery. “We were trying to make plays that weren’t there.”
The Bruins were also left disappointed they couldn’t close out Pittsburgh after rallying to tie the game three separate times.
“We crawl back every time and then we give up another lead,” Marchand said. “It’s hard when you’re chasing the game like that.”
But the Penguins kept their composure and eventually found a way to earn two critical points thanks to their captain. Crosby’s heroics extended his point streak to five games and sent a resilient message about Pittsburgh’s championship pedigree.
The Penguins continue their road trip with another tough Metropolitan Division battle against the New York Islanders on Friday night. Meanwhile, the Bruins will try to rebound on Saturday as they host the rival Toronto Maple Leafs. With the playoffs looming just three months away, this game was an entertaining preview of what fans may witness if these two talented squads meet again in the postseason.
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