Boston Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak was nearly impenetrable. Recently recalled Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry grew stronger throughout the game but could not stop Joakim Nordstrom’s deflection in overtime. The Penguins have not beaten an Eastern Conference team since Oct. 18 in Toronto and have not won consecutive games since that four-game Canadian road trip which also began with that win over Toronto. Boston beat the Penguins 2-1 in OT at the TD Garden, Friday.
The Penguins have also lost six straight in Boston.
Jarry, 23, made the start because the Penguins were in the first of back-to-back games and starting goaltender Matt Murray was placed on IR, Thursday. Jarry was 14-6-2 in the NHL last season. He made 34 saves in regulation and was a difference maker for the Penguins in the third period to set up overtime. Boston set up camp in the Penguins zone but could not beat Jarry.
Jaroslav Halak was the Bruins best player. The Penguins peppered Halak with 11 scoring chances and 4 high-danger chances in the second period, Halak made several 10-bell stops, including a pair of saves on Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby in the closing seconds of the period. The Penguins had 16 shots in the middle period and yielded 13 as the game opened up from the clean, no-space, tight-checking slog in the first period.
Six minutes into the second period, the scoreboard zeros finally went away. The Penguins power play again looked like a crisp group of professionals as they worked the puck around the zone. Evgeni Malkin (9) blasted a slap shot to the top corner over Boston goalie Jaroslav Halak. The goal extended Makin’s scoring streak to six games. And with an assist, Phil Kessel’s scoring streak ran to seven games.
Boston was the beneficiary of a soft goal later in the second period. Defenseman Jake DeBrusk (9) teed up a shot from near the blue line which zipped past the outstretched Jarry low glove-side.
There was some controversy late in the second period as well, as Boston celebrated the go-ahead goal. David Backes backhander may or may not have trickled across the goal line. The Bruins near the goal celebrated, but not video evidence could confirm the goal. The referees did not see it cross either, so the no-call goal was confirmed via review.
“I had it covered the whole time. The second guy pushed me into the net,” said Jarry.
Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist remained in the locker room after the second intermission, according to reports. Hornqvist suffered a big hit late in the second period.
Each team had 37 shots. Jarry made 35 saves, while Halak made 36 saves. Halak improved to 8-2-2. Jarry is 0-0-1 but figures to get additional starts while Murray is on IR.
The Penguins out-chanced Boston, 24-18 at 5v5, and had more high-danger scoring chances, 8-6.
“We’re looking for wins. We’re looking for wins,” said Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan.