Monday, January 10, 2011
Rapid reaction: Bruins 4, Penguins 2
By Joe McDonald
The Boston Bruins produced one of their more emotional victories of the season Monday night when they erased a two-goal deficit late in the game and finished with a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center.
Trailing 2-0 in the third period, the Bruins’ Zdeno Chara scored a power-play goal at 16:37 before teammate Brad Marchand netted the game-tying tally 12 seconds later. The Bruins netted another power-play goal, which proved to be the winner when Mark Recchi scored at 19:10. Gregory Campbell provided an empty-net goal.
The Penguins were without Sidney Crosby, who missed his third consecutive game because of a mild concussion.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask made 23 saves to earn the victory.
LIFE ON THE POWER PLAY: The Bruins entered the game 0 for their last 13 on the man-advantage, so facing the NHL’s top penalty-killing unit didn’t seem fair for Boston. But the Bruins were able to control the point on the man-advantage and it finally paid off when Chara’s slap shot knuckled past Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury at 16:37.
Boston’s game-winner also came on the power play. Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg did a tremendous job showing patience with the puck, moving it to Michael Ryder, who took the shot. Recchi, camped out in front, did the dirty work and pumped it in.
On a night he drew an uncharacteristic unsportsmanlike penalty, Mark Recchi also scored the winning goals with 49.2 seconds to play.
REX IS A MONSTER: It was an emotional night for Recchi. The former Penguin was called for a hooking penalty in the second period while on the back check, and as he was heading to the box, he was jawing at the referee, who handed him another two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct. That is unusual for the future Hall of Famer, but he made up for it with his winning goal with 49.2 seconds remaining in regulation. It was Recchi’s 1,612th NHL game, tying him with Ray Bourque for eighth on the all-time list.
TANDEM IN ACTION: With the Bruins in the midst of a tough schedule, look for coach Claude Julien to start using both Rask and Tim Thomas as an equal tandem. Rask was given the nod against the Penguins and played well. The Penguins got on the board with a bad goal, one Rask should have stopped, but when Pittsburgh took a 2-0 lead late in the second period, Boston’s goaltender had no chance as he was screened on a power-play goal. Other than those two goals, Rask kept the Bruins within striking distance and his teammates finally rewarded him with a come-from-behind victory.
Meanwhile, Penguins netminder Fleury appeared unbeatable until the Bruins finally broke through with a power-play goal at 16:37 of the third period. It took the Bruins only 12 more seconds to tie the game at 2-2.
HOMETOWN HERO: It must have been a dream come true for Bruins rookie Matt Bartkowski, who made his NHL debut Monday night in his hometown of Pittsburgh. The 22-year-old defenseman was recalled Sunday on an emergency basis from the Providence Bruins of the AHL. He was paired with veteran Andrew Ference on Boston’s blue line. Bartkowski posted four goals and eight assists for 12 points in 34 games for the P-Bruins this season. The Florida Panthers selected Bartkowski as a fifth-round pick (190th overall) in the 2008 draft. The Bruins acquired him, along with defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, from the Panthers in exchange for Byron Bitz and Craig Weller on March 3, 2010.
UP NEXT: The Bruins get right back at it Tuesday night when they host the Ottawa Senators at 7. Boston then hosts the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday before getting another shot at the Penguins at home on Saturday. It’s a busy and important week for the Bruins.