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Observations: Penguins 5, Bruins 2

For the second straight game, the Bruins came out flat and could not recover, losing 5-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

But the loss was the least of the Bruins’ worries as Patrice Bergeron, their second-leading scorer, as well as defensemen Adam McQuaid and Max Sauve were lost to injuries.

Tim Thomas left the game, but not due to injury. Thomas allowed three first-period goals and was replaced by Marty Turco to start the second period.

David Krejci was the only bright spot for Boston as he scored both goals.

Evgeni Malkin had three assists, James Neal had a goal and two assists and Marc–Andre Fleury made 34 saves for the Penguins.

Injury bug bites hard again -- As if the Bruins' infirmary wasn’t packed already, the injury bug bit again as McQuaid, Bergeron and Sauve all were lost to injuries. McQuaid came away hurt after making a hit in the first period and did not return. Bergeron blocked a shot in the second period and tried to battle through the pain but left for good early in the third period. Sauve, playing in his first NHL game, suffered a lower-body injury and didn’t return.

Defenseman Johnny Boychuk, only three games removed from returning from a concussion, took a hard hit into the boards from Malkin in third period but returned after missing a few shifts. The team did not provide any updates on the injured players after the game, although all were staying with the team as it traveled to Florida for Tuesday's game at Tampa Bay.

"Guys just have to step up," Boychuk told reporters in Pittsburgh after the game. "If it means you have to play an extra five minutes, you have to step up."

Zdeno Chara expressed similar sentiments. "When your bench is short, you have to play without guys. It's unfortunate when you lose guys during the game. But you have to keep going."

Slow start burns Bruins again -- For the third time in their last five games, the Bruins found themselves down by two goals within the first nine minutes. On Sunday they fell behind by three goals before Krejci was able to beat Fleury 1:56 into the second period.

"The effort was there in the second and third, but we have to make sure we come out ready for the first period," Boychuk told reporters. "That's what's killed us the last two games."

Krejci does his best to keep Bruins in it -- When Krejci puts his mind and body into it, he can be one of the most dominating players around. On Saturday, that wasn't the case as Krejci had a five-game point streak snapped and took a bad penalty in the third period. But on Sunday, the dominant Krejci was out in full force as he scored two goals to crack the 20-goal plateau for the season and was by far the Bruins' best player. Krejci became the fourth Bruin to reach the 20-goal mark.

Turco replaces Thomas after first -- Thomas started his fifth straight game Sunday and it showed as he allowed three goals on 10 shots and was pulled in favor of Marty Turco after the first period. In Thomas’ defense, his teammates were no-shows in front of him, but even so Thomas clearly wasn’t on and Julien did him a favor before his psyche and stats had a chance to take a beating. Turco, making his Bruins debut, allowed two goals and made 20 saves.

Ference returns; Sauve makes NHL debut -- Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference returned from an upper body injury that kept him out for the last five games. As a result, Greg Zanon watched from above as a healthy scratch. Fellow blueliner Mike Mottau joined Zanon in the press box as Sauve, who was called up from Providence on Saturday, was in the lineup thanks to Benoit Pouliot (lower body) missing his second straight game. Mottau played forward Saturday as a result of Pouliot’s injury.

Here’s what Sunday's lineup looked like:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jordan Caron

Brian Rolston-Chris Kelly-Max Sauve

Lane MacDermid-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk

Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo

Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas

Marty Turco