GOLD STAR: Brad Marchand refused to lose in the third period. He was Boston’s best player throughout the game and played an instrumental role on both the game-tying and game-winning goals in the third period. Marchand fought off Bryan Rust at the top point and fed Torey Krug for a one-time bullet that tied the game in the third, and then Marchand scored the game-winner on a snipe off the far post that bounced off the back of Tristan Jarry and then trickled over the goal line with less than two minutes in the third period. Marchand finished with two goals and five points, was a plus-4 and led all Bruins with 24:21 of ice time. Marchand and Jaro Halak were the two big reasons that the Bruins won the game.
BLACK EYE: Charlie McAvoy exited the game in the third period after the side of his head banged into the post following a head-first dive to break up a scoring play. McAvoy immediately covered his head and blood started pouring all over the ice before he skated off under his own power eventually. It was obviously a concern that McAvoy might have suffered a concussion given his history over the last few seasons, but Bruce Cassidy believed postgame that the issue was more to do with the cut on the back of his head than any concussion issues. Minutes later Torey Krug exited the game as well with a cut under his chin, but appeared to be okay afterward and spoke to reporters following the game.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins were outshot 21-6 in the second period and gave up four unanswered goals, and it looked like this was going to be the evening when it wasn’t their night. The defense was breaking down, the speed of the Penguins was stifling the B’s and their best players couldn’t win enough battles to get the puck back in the offensive zone. But rather than pack it in after clearly relaxing once they built a 3-0 lead, the Bruins got back to work in the third period and made enough plays to tie the game, get the game-winner from Brad Marchand on a beautiful long distance shot and then pop in the empty netter to secure the win. They were still outshot 14-10 in the final period, but made enough plays to win the game.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jaroslav Halak gave up four goals and was still one of the biggest positive factors for the Bruins in the win. He ended up making 40 saves and backstopped a Bruins team that was outshot 44-26 by a speedy Penguins team that simply kept coming at them in waves, and overwhelmed them in the second period while outshooting the B’s by a 21-6 margin. But Halak stood tall through the onslaught even if his temper got the best of him when he snapped his stick at the end of the second period, and finished strong while stopping all 14 shots that he saw in the final period of play.
BY THE NUMBERS: 13 – the number of consecutive games with points for Brad Marchand, who is now on the longest point game streak of his entire NHL career while putting together his second five point game of the season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “We just, we weren’t good enough. They were faster than us. [Pittsburgh’s] pace was very good tonight, the fastest team I’ve seen this year. So that’s good for our guys to know that we’ve got to play faster if we want to compete with these teams. We won the game tonight, so that’s sometimes a good lesson to learn this time of year.” –Bruce Cassidy on the second period and lessons learned in the comeback win against Pittsburgh.
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