By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Bruins made quick work of Penguins goaltender Matt Murray on Monday night at TD Garden, chasing the two-time Cup winner with three goals on 11 shots. But the Bruins made even quicker work of the three-goal lead they had, blowing it (in ugly fashion) with four goals in 14:22 of second-period action to find themselves down by a goal after 40 minutes of play.
It was the "kick in the ass" the Bruins needed to get themselves back to their game in the third period, according to head coach Bruce Cassidy.
That kick led to a Torey Krug four-on-five bomb that brought the Bruins back even, making Monday's Bruins-Penguins an 11:46 affair, one ultimately decided by a Brad Marchand goal with 1:57 left to give the Bruins a 6-4 win on Garden ice.
"We started playing, had the puck a little more, made a few plays," said Cassidy. "We’re fortunate, very fortunate we capitalized on most of our opportunities and got key saves at the other end. Our goaltender outplayed theirs, and that ends up probably being the difference in the game."
Before everything got hazy with one of the most up-and-down (and not necessarily in a good way) finishes to a hockey game you'll see in 2019-20, Boston began their night with first-period strikes from Jake DeBrusk and Marchand.
The DeBrusk strike came off a no-angle chance to the right of Murray, while Marchand beat Murray with what felt like a soft-toss Spring Training toss towards No. 63 in front of the Pittsburgh net. DeBrusk's goal was good for his third of the season (and second in as many games), while Marchand's homer was enough for his ninth goal of the season.
And in the second period, it was David Pastrnak who officially chased Murray with a wicked release for goal No. 14 on the year.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) November 5, 2019
But the Bruins seemed determined to keep the Penguins alive in the middle period, even before the Pastrnak goal, as they were downright reckless in the defensive zone and had Halak scrambling for his life in the Boston crease.
Dominik Kahun broke through for the first Pittsburgh goal of the night, scored just 1:13 after Pastrnak's goal, and a Nick Bjugstad breakaway goal on Halak just 4:21 later made it a one-goal game before the halfway mark of the middle frame.
The Bruins outright refused to tighten up from there, though, surrendering 17 shots to the Penguins before the 15-minute mark of the frame, and it was Bryan Rust who knotted things up at 3-3 with a glove-side strike on Halak at 15:59.
Playing with fire the entire period, the Bruins were burned by way of a John Marino goal scored as Marino exited the box and came in on Halak all alone for a goal with 2.6 seconds left in the second frame. The goal was a double (maybe even triple) whammy for the Bruins, too, as it was in the immediate aftermath of what felt a brutal non-call when Kris Letang hauled Charlie McAvoy down with a clear-as-day skate-on-skate trip on a scoring chance in the Pittsburgh zone.
Deadlocked at 4-4 in the third period thanks to the aforementioned Krug goal a little beyond the midway point, the Bruins challenged Tristan Jarry with a power-play opportunity, but failed to break through the Penguin blue line for high-quality looks.
But after a would-be Pittsburgh goal was wiped off the board by Rust's collision in the Boston crease, Marchand saw a corralling puck and took it the other end for a classic No. 63 goal that beat Jarry with just under two minutes left to play.
Marchand's second goal of the evening would hold as the winner, too, as the Bruins held off a 6-on-5 advantage in the final minute plus, and added a Patrice Bergeron empty-net goal for their sixth straight win.
The Bruins will skate in a Tuesday night head-to-head with the Canadiens in Montreal.