It is not how you start, it is how you finish. The Pittsburgh Penguins punched back from a three-goal first-period deficit to beat the Boston Bruins 4-3, Sunday. The Penguins won their 31st game of the season, but it did not start well.
Boston had a 2-0 lead after they launched an opening 2:02 blitzkrieg on Penguins goaltender Matt Murray. The 25-Year-old netminder even received mock cheers from the home crowd, but Murray responded by playing a solid game with 34 saves, including several high-danger saves with the game on the line in the third period.
Seconds after Boston took the three-goal advantage on David Pastrnak’s 37th of the year, the Penguins got cracking. Dominik Simon received a Sidney Crosby behind-the-net pass and roofed a snapshot from a sharp angle near the side of the net to make it 3-1. The Penguins finished the period strong despite not adding another goal.
Down two to start the second period, the Penguins opened action with another goal. Just 33 seconds, Sidney Crosby made his mark once again. Crosby beautifully completed a between-the-legs backward pass to Teddy Blueger, who finished it from in front to cut the deficit to just one. Game on.
After not scoring for the rest of the 19:27 of the second period thanks to Boston’s Jaroslav Halak’s goaltending, the Penguins broke through twice in the final frame. Similar to the second period, the Penguins exited the intermission with buzz and added a goal early. If Dominik Simon’s first-period goal provided a gut punch to twitter, Jack Johnson came over the top with the knockout haymaker. Johnson, trailing on a play, received a centering pass from Brandon Tanev and scorched a slap shot home to tie the game at three.
Finally, with 7:25 left in the game, the Pittsburgh Penguins found their vindication. Evgeni Malkin forced a turnover along the boards and passed out to Bryan Rust, who fired the puck home from in close to give the Penguins the lead and complete the comeback.
You can get a broader picture of the Penguins comeback in Dan Kingerski’s recap and the PHN Extra Report Card.