By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Things hardly looked promising when Sidney Crosby put the Penguins on the board on their first shot of the evening, and just 24 seconds into the first period, on Jaroslav Halak's third appearance in four nights. But the Bruins regrouped, and Halak stopped all 29 shots thrown his way after Crosby's goal for a 4-1 win on TD Garden ice.
Playing from behind off the jump, it didn't take long for the Bruins to even things up at 1-1, as Sean Kuraly's shot (with Karson Kuhlman driving towards the net) bounced through Tristan Jarry at the 10:03 mark of the opening frame.
Good stuff from Boston's third line. Heinen forces a turnover and Kuhlman fires one in that Lindholm tips home. 2-1 Bruins. https://t.co/BEEnPEEGBT
The goal, good for Kuraly's fourth of the season, was followed up with by a Par Lindholm strike just 2:13, and with Kuhlman once again playing a pivotal role in the strike by way of another primary helper.
It was about as perfect a reintroduction to NHL ice that Kuhlman, who last played for the Big B's on Oct. 19, could have had in his 9:46 of ice-time.
Clinging to a one-goal lead, Halak's greatest test of the evening came in the final moments of the second period, when he had a 2-on-0 coming his way after Charlie McAvoy flubbed a shot attempt at the other end. But with the Penguins bearing down on him for what could've been a game-changing strike, Halak stood tall, and rattled off three straight saves on the Penguins' Zach-Aston Reese before he got a whistle with just seconds to play.
Not one, not two, not three... #NHLBruins https://t.co/zZt7FInDLr
The B's wasted no time finding some breathing room in the third period, either, as Patrice Bergeron scored just 3:19 into the third period to give Boston their first two-goal lead of the evening. The goal was good for Bergeron's 20th of the season, making it the 11th time the two-way center has hit that mark in his Bruins career.
And just for good measure, Brad Marchand truly ended things with an empty-net goal with 52.6 left to play.
With the victory, the Bruins now have wins in eight straight home meetings against the Penguins dating back to 2015.
Bruins center David Krejci, who entered this one as a game-time decision due to an upper-body injury, missed this contest. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy didn't seem to think that Krejci was going to play given how uncomfortable No. 46 was during the team's morning skate, but didn't officially rule him out until the pregame warmup.
The B's honored Rask for his 500th NHL start before the start of Thursday's game, and gifted him a Lars Ulrich-styled drum set. Rask, as you may or may not know, is a big fan of all things loud, so the gift was certainly welcomed.
The Bruins will travel to Pittsburgh for a Sunday matinee with the Penguins.