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Saturday, April 20, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Penguins 3, Bruins 2

By Joe McDonald



BOSTON -- If the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins meet at some point during the Stanley Cup playoffs and Saturday's game is any indication, the Bruins will run into trouble.

The surging Penguins (21-2-0 in last 23 games) scored a pair of power-play goals in the third period en route to a 3-2 win at TD Garden. Pittsburgh won, and continues to win, without stars Sidney Crosby (broken jaw), Evgeni Malkin (upper body) and James Neal (concussion). But it was Penguins newcomer Jarome Iginla who proved crucial Saturday. He scored the go-ahead goal at 4:43 of the third period.

Every time he touched the puck, the 17,565 in attendance booed.

At the trade deadline, the Bruins and the Calgary Flames agreed to a trade that would send Iginla to Boston, but the future Hall of Famer had a no-movement clause in his contract and decided he wanted to play in Pittsburgh. Saturday was his first visit to Boston since then.

BruinsPenguinsThe Penguins received goals from Jussi Jokinen, Iginla and Kris Letang in the win. Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin scored for the Bruins.

This game was originally scheduled for Friday night, but it was postponed due to the citywide manhunt for the second suspect of Monday's Marathon bombings. With Boston in lockdown all day, the NHL rescheduled the game for Saturday afternoon, the second time this week the Bruins were rescheduled due to tragic events. On Wednesday, the Bruins were the first professional team to play in the city in the wake of the bombings, and while it was an emotional night, they still lost 3-2 in a shootout to the Buffalo Sabres.

After the suspect was captured late Friday night, there was more of a celebratory atmosphere Saturday at the Garden, but the Bruins came up short and have lost four straight games.

The Bruins gained a 1-0 lead at 10:18 of the first period when Marchand scored his 17th goal of the season, a power-play tally with defenseman Zdeno Chara and goaltender Tuukka Rask getting the assists as Marchand snuck the puck past Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun.

The Penguins tied the game at 1-1 when Jokinen scored at 5:10 of the second period. The Bruins couldn't respond after Iginla's power-play goal at 4:43 and Letang's man-advantage tally at 8:29.

Seguin scored Boston's second goal of the game with 2.6 seconds remaining in regulation, but it was not enough. The goal was his 16th of the season.

DROP 'EM: Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid dropped the gloves and fought Tanner Glass at 8:01 of the first period. The 17,565 fans in attendance rose to their feet as the two exchanged blows. Late in the second period, McQuaid was injured when he was on the receiving end of a late hip check by the Penguins' Matt Cooke and could barely make it to the bench as play continued. McQuaid needed assistance down the tunnel. He was able to return and tried to bait Cooke into dropping the gloves in the third period to no avail.

HORTON HURT: During a first-period fight with Iginla, Nathan Horton suffered an injury and did not return to the game. The two dropped the gloves at 17:56 and barely tussled before Iginla fell to the ice to end things, probably knowing Horton was hurt. Overall, Horton has 13 goals and nine assists for 22 points and is plus-1 in 43 games this season.

LUCIC SCRATCHED: It's no secret Boston's management and coaching staff have not been happy with Milan Lucic's game this season, especially of late. During the team's practice Thursday, Lucic was wearing a green sweater, which meant he was skating with the fifth line. After that practice, he admitted it has been a disappointing season and said he wouldn't blame Bruins coach Claude Julien if he was a healthy scratch, and that's exactly what the coach did Saturday. Before the game, Lucic was one of six Bruins players who skated, including goalie Anton Khudobin, Wade Redden, Kaspars Daugavins, Dougie Hamilton and Aaron Johnson.

HAMILTON SCRATCHED TOO: For the third time in a week, Julien decided to scratch rookie defenseman Hamilton. The 19-year-old blueliner was a healthy scratch against the New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes but was back against the Sabres on Wednesday. Overall, he has played 40 games and has four goals and 11 assists for 15 points and is plus-5.

DEBUT: After playing the last five seasons in the Swedish Elite League, forward Carl Soderberg finally made his Bruins debut Saturday. He arrived in Boston on Tuesday after the Bruins signed him to a three-year deal on April 13. The Bruins originally acquired him in a trade with the St. Louis Blues in exchange for goalie Hannu Toivonen in July 2007. On Saturday, Julien had Soderberg on a line with Chris Kelly and Jaromir Jagr.

UP NEXT: The Bruins have a total of six games in nine days, and it continues Sunday when they host the Florida Panthers at 12:30 p.m.