Primary Menu

Boston Bruins

Jan 26, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Craig Smith (12) celebrates with defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) after scoring the game winning goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during an overtime period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

Craig Smith and the Bruins did what the Penguins couldn’t do in overtime Tuesday night at TD Garden, and that’s land a shot (and goal) on net with a numbers-on-nobody advantage in the extra session for a 3-2 win.

Sealing the deal on a Bruins win with 10.9 seconds left in an outright chaotic five-minute overtime period, Smith’s opportunity came moments after the Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang tandem failed to land a single shot on Tuukka Rask, which came after Malkin missed a breakaway opportunity of his own long before that whiff.

In a night that saw them sent to the kill a whopping six times, the Bruins made their first trip to the box count by way of a Brad Marchand shorthanded goal that turned Kris Letang inside out before he beat Tristan Jarry.

With the goal, the Bruins’ Marchand and Patrice Bergeron combination totaled for what was their 11th shorthanded goal since the start of the 2018-19 season, which is more than seven different NHL franchises (and as many as three other teams) have scored over that same span.

Marchand’s goal was also good for the 28th shorthanded marker of his career, which moved him into a nine-way tie (joining names such as Jeremy Roenick and Rod Brind’Amour) for the 28th-most in league history. His 28 shorthanded goals are also the most among all NHL players since Marchand became a full-time NHLer in 2010.

Up by one through 20 minutes of play, the Bruins doubled their lead with during an extended five-on-three in the middle frame, as Nick Ritchie potted his third power-play goal of the season at the 7:58 mark of the period.

Ritchie’s goal continued what’s been a tremendous run as Boston’s net-front jammer, with the B’s top unit having scored six goals on 20 shots in just 12:33 of power-play action with No. 21 with the first unit at the time of his goal.

In net, Tuukka Rask was spectacular, with 28 saves in the winning effort.

Rask’s best work certainly came during the Pens’ second-period push, too, as the 33-year-old’s 17-save period included a point-blank stop on a great look from Pittsburgh’s Bryan Rust with the Bruins down a man. And it took a Rask overextension to get the Penguins on the board, too, with a Jason Zucker shot through a down-and-out Rask after Boston’s netminder appeared to suffer either a cramp or injury on a left-to-right sprawl on the previous shot.

Rask even came through with a beautiful breakaway stop on the Penguins’ Kasperi Kapanen, though that was spoiled by Kapanen’s game-tying goal with 3:16 remaining in the third period.

Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, who was considered a game-time decision after skating Tuesday morning, missed his second straight game due to a lower-body injury. That kept Connor Clifton in action on the left side of the B’s second pair.

The Bruins suffered another in-game injury, too, as Jake DeBrusk departed this contest in the first period with a lower-body injury. DeBrusk will be considered “day-to-day” until more information is available, according to Bruce Cassidy.

With the win, the Bruins extended their home win streak over the Penguins to nine games.

The Bruins will conclude what has been a perfect homestand with a Thursday night meeting against these same Penguins.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.