After getting off to a slow start, Bruins vs. Penguins contest turned into a good battle. There were some big hits, huge saves and seven total goals to keep the fans entertained. On the way to overtime, the Bruins saw their lead vanish twice as Pittsburgh proved to be a tough team to finish off.
The first half of the first period was rather uneventful. The Bruins put a lot of pressure on the Penguins early, but there were few scoring chances. Overall, the atmosphere was dull and quiet at PPG Paints Arena until the later stages of the period.
Brad Marchand was able to put the visitors on the board first just past the halfway mark of the frame. Pittsburgh made a bad change that allowed Boston easy entry into the offensive zone. Marchand found the puck on his stick at the top of the circle, and his shot snuck past Murray. Justin Schultz was able to get the game tied up a few minutes later when he beat Rask.
Although both goals occurred during five-on-five play, penalties were a big factor. The Bruins were unable to cash in on a long five-on-three opportunity. The penalties were important because the home crowd started to get rowdy after the questionable calls leading to the five-on-three. Heading into the second period, the clubs were tied at one.
— Marina Maher (@marinakmaher) December 15, 2016
The second period saw a lot more action than the first. At the start of the period, Pittsburgh was able to pin the Bruins in their end for an extended period. Tuukka Rask had to come up with some key saves, including a point-blank chance from Phil Kessel.
Once again the visiting B’s managed to pull out to a one goal lead when Tim Schaller and David Pastrnak moved the puck to the front of the home team’s net. Waiting in front was David Krejci and after some fancy stick work, he scored.
Not long after, the Penguins tied the game up again on a power play goal from Nick Bonino. Bonino was never challenged as he walked into the offensive zone and zipped a shot past Rask. After swapping goals for 40 minutes, the clubs were set up for an eventful third period.
For the first time in the contest, Pittsburgh jumped out to a lead. After a very questionable call on Brad Marchand, Conor Sheary found the back of the net when he tipped a shot from the point. The Bruins went on the attack and Pastrnak took advantage of a turnover by Murray to tie the game back up. This game went to overtime to determine a winner, as the teams were tied at the end of the period again.
Both goalies were peppered with shots all game long. Rask saw 37 shots come his way while Murray faced 44. In the end, it was Murray who earned the win after Bryan Rust was able to blow past Ryan Spooner and Rask for the overtime winner. This was a tough loss for Boston because they held the lead on two different occasions.
Rust wins it in overtime pic.twitter.com/FYbmYVL9r0
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 15, 2016
BOS-Brad Marchand (9) assisted by David Backes (7) and Patrice Bergeron (5)
PIT-Justin Schultz (5) assisted by Sidney Crosby (12) and Conor Sheary (10)
BOS-David Krejci (5) assisted by Tim Schaller (6) and David Pastrnak (7)
PIT-Nick Bonino (5) PPG assisted by Trevor Daley (8) and Matt Murray (2)
PIT-Conor Sheary (8)PPG assisted by Brian Dumoulin (6) and Justin Schultz (11)
BOS-David Pastrnak (19) Unassisted
Bryan Rust (8) assisted by Evgeni Malkin (21) and Justin Schultz (12)
THW THREE STARS
First: Justin Schultz (one goal-two assists)
Second: Bryan Rust (GWG)
Third: David Pastrnak (1 goal-1 assist)
Anaheim Ducks at Boston Bruins
TD Garden-7:00 p.m. E.S.T
Broadcast Channels-NESN, PRIME, 98.5 The Sports Hub
2016-17 Season Series: First Meeting of the Season
Anthony Pagliarulo is a Boston Bruins contributor for The Hockey Writers. He is a Massachusetts native and a Worcester State University alumni. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @APags87.