BOSTON – The Bruins went into Thursday night calling their match-up with the reigning champ Penguins a measuring stick game, and they must have come out of it feeling pretty darn good about themselves.
That’s because the Bruins piled up eight goals on the Penguins without their best player in Patrice Bergeron, and exploded with three power play goals in an 8-4 win at TD Garden after a special teams’ slump for the better part of a month.
The Bruins enjoyed a whopping nine players with multi-point nights including a David Krejci hat trick for the first time in six years, and a two-goal, three point outburst from David Pastrnak after a quiet offensive period from him as of late.
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It wasn’t all sunshine and roses as Tuukka Rask gave up three tough goals on seven shots in the first period, but the Bruins offense wasn’t going to let them fall behind the Penguins on this night. Instead they poured it on after an early goal from Olli Maatta, and David Krejci, David Pastrnak and Rick Nash all scored within the first six minutes of the game.
Phil Kessel came back and scored on a bad angle goal to seize some of the momentum back, but David Backes and Torey Krug responded with a couple more first period scores that insured the Bruins weren’t going to fall back behind.
The Penguins got another at the end of the first period on a nice individual play from Riley Sheahan, but the Bruins pulled away in the second period when Krejci and Pastrnak continued pouring on the offense. It was a strong night for a couple of the new guys as well with both Nick Holden and Brian Gionta getting on the score sheet in their Bruins debuts, and leading an all-around effort that send a message to a Penguins team that was hurting without injured goalie Matt Murray.