On November 4, 2019, the Boston Bruins laced up against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The first period began with fast play. Both teams had a dump and chase approach before really being able to generate offense. The Bruins defense was hot. The layers were solid and held up steady against Pittsburgh. Jake Debrusk got on the scoreboard, first with a wrist shot, undressing the defensemen and Pens goalie, Matt Murray. Almost immediately after the goal, David Krejci was whistled for a trip. The majority of the penalty kill was spent in the defensive zone. The B’s had significant difficulty getting it out.
Luckily, Jaro Halak stood on his head and was able to save every shot that came his way – and believe me, there were a lot. With about seven minutes to go in the first, the perfection line struck again with Brad Marchand scoring his ninth goal of the season. The assists were earned by David Pastrnak and Zdeno Chara. With less than two minutes to go in the first, Kris Letang was called for a slash. For the umpteenth time this season, the first unit struggled to set things up. The Penguins, however, had several shorthanded chances.
The first period wrapped up as one of the fastest periods in hockey history, only taking 27 minutes to complete, and that included the six-minute required t.v. timeout.
The beginning of the second period was riddled with zone time from the Penguins. Halak made numerous saves to keep the two-goal lead. Finally, after four minutes of chasing the play, David Pastrnak scored his fourteenth goal of the season. The assists were earned by Brandon Carlo and Brad Marchand. With more than fourteen minutes left in the period, the Pens finally got one past Jaro. The next few minutes of play was dominated by Pittsburgh as well, resulting in another goal for the opposing team. The B’s seemed to have lost the spark they had in the first.
The rest of the period was utterly dominated by the Penguins. With four minutes left in the second, the Penguins scored their third goal. With a little more than two minutes to go in the period, the Bruins were awarded a power play. On the power play, the B’s were able to create several chances but also gave up several opportunities. With three seconds left in the power play, Pittsburgh scored on a breakaway to lead the Bruins 4-3. Overall, it was a disappointing second period. Pittsburgh had twenty-one shots on goal – the most against the Bruins in a single period all season. “I don’t think we did anything well at all,” head coach, Bruce Cassidy, shared post-game. “We chased it the whole time. We weren’t able to correct it.”
The first five minutes of third was very back and forth. Both teams seemed to have difficulty generating consistent offense. With more than twelve minutes left in the game. Brandon Carlo and Zach Aston-Reese were awarded matching minors for roughing. The Bruins shifted the ice during the four-on-four. Torey Krug sniped one past Matt Murray to tie the game back up! Almost immediately after the significant goal, David Krejci fed David Pastrnak a breakaway pass that almost slipped past the Penguins goalie. What a great look from the young star. The Bruins, after establishing consistent zone time late in the third, were awarded another power play with just eight minutes to go. The Bruins won the face-off, but the puck was cleared multiple times by the Pens. With twenty-three seconds left on the man advantage, Pittsburgh had a tremendous chance on a breakaway.
Trying to stop Bryan Rust from scoring a shorthanded goal, Charlie McAvoy slides headfirst into the far side post. He instantly left the ice. With less than two minutes to go, Brad Marchand scored his second of the night, bringing the Bruins up by one. “Don’t dwell on them. You’re gonna have good nights and bad nights. Goodnights are fun to be a part of, but it doesn’t matter who has a good night as long as we get the win,” Marchand shared in a post-game interview. Patrice Bergeron earned the empty netter and closed the game out with six goals to Pittsburgh’s four. Brad Marchand had a five-point night and undoubtedly deserved the first star.
It was remarkable that the B’s came back to win after such a disastrous second. Each team’s goalies posted great saves, though the score did not reflect it. “I think we’re continuing how to win in different scenarios. But there’s another level that we can reach, and that’s what we’re striving for. We just need to keep trying to improve.” Torey Krug said post-game.
It will be interesting to see what happens against Montreal. But regardless, it’s always nice to beat the Pens.