Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 02: Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park on January 02, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

  • The Bruins sure know how to give Fenway Park its money’s worth.

    Skating in their second Winter Classic at the cathedral on Jersey Street and first since 2010, the Bruins once again came through with late-game heroics to send a Pennsylvania-based team home miserable.

    For the Bruins, it was a good old fashioned script-flipping, as the Boston crowd had absolutely nothing to celebrate before the Bruins — like they have at a consistent clip this year — found the opening they needed to blow this game open with a pair of third-period strikes and some more strong goaltending.

    With the win, the Bruins improved to 3-1-0 in the NHL’s annual outdoor contest, and are 4-1-0 in outdoor games since 2010 if you include the team’s 2021 excursion to Lake Tahoe.

    Here are the 98.5 The Sports Hub (dot com) 3 Stars of the game from another Winter Classic victory at Fenway

  • No. 3 Star: Taylor Hall

    Jan 2, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) skates against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson (28) during the second period of the 2023 Winter Classic ice hockey game at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 2, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) skates against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson (28) during the second period of the 2023 Winter Classic at Fenway Park. (Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports)

  • In a game full of ’em through 40 minutes of play, Bruins winger Taylor Hall made sure his late-game look on the Penguins’ Casey DeSmith was more than a one-and-done.

    On the receiving end of a sweet feed from David Krejci, Hall drove towards the Pittsburgh net with space, and tried to go backhand through DeSmith’s left pad. But even when the shot was denied, Hall’s drive put the rebound right on the tape of the left-shot Jake DeBrusk for what was a wide-open tuck into the net.

    It would hold as Hall’s only point of the afternoon, but it came at the perfect time for the Bruins, who avoided overtime and the always dreaded shootout.

    In addition to the helper, Hall finished tied for the most shots among Boston forwards, with five shots, and Hall’s four individual scoring chances at five-on-five play tied for tops among all Bruins.

  • No. 2 Star: Linus Ullmark

    Jan 2, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) walks towards the ice before warmups in the 2023 Winter Classic ice hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 2, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) walks towards the ice before warmups in the 2023 Winter Classic ice hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway Park. (Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Even outside, Bruins netminder Linus Ullmark remained the Vezina-quality — maybe even Hart-quality — he’s been for this Bruins team all year long.

    Hit with 27 shots in the winning effort, Ullmark turned aside all but one shot. That goal came with two separate Boston defensemen losing pucks and battles behind their net, and without a lick of support to help deny what was an undoubtedly glorious chance for the Penguins’ Kasperi Kapanen.

    With the win, Ullmark improved to 21-1-1 on the year, increased his league-best save percentage from .938 to .939, and dipped his league-best goals against average down from 1.90 to 1.86.

  • No. 1 Star: Jake DeBrusk

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 02: Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park on January 02, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 02: Jake DeBrusk celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

  • With the Bruins unable to muster any sort of momentum through two periods of action, it was fair to wonder if Jake DeBrusk’s first-period chance, which saw DeBrusk miss with a wide-open cage to the left of the Pittsburgh net, was going to come back to haunt the Bruins.

    But DeBrusk himself made sure that was not the case, as he rallied for two goals in just under 10 minutes in the third period, on the way to another Boston comeback victory.

    And man, did he pay the price to get the Bruins on the board.

    Tagged hard by a shot, a limping DeBrusk stayed on the ice, veered to the side of the net, collected a Brad Marchand feed, and tucked a puck under and through DeSmith for the B’s first goal of the night. Bruins forward Nick Foligno called the goal “good karma” for DeBrusk, and that’s pretty much the best and only way to describe it.

    “That’s the nature of the business in the front of the net,” DeBrusk said of the bruised-body tally. “Sometimes you get yourself into positions where you don’t know if the puck’s coming or it’s just a game of inches. But it was one of those things where I was to try to wear it off.”

  • DeBrusk’s second goal — and what ultimately held as the game-winning goal in this contest — was more of the right place, right time fortune that’s returned to DeBrusk’s game with less on his shoulders and mind these days.

    “He’s a lot tougher than people think, and he’s more committed than people are aware,” Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said. “And because of those things, his game is growing. He’s matured and you can see it. I mean, he’s on pace to get over 30 goals. And it doesn’t matter where I use him, he seems to spark the people he plays with.”

    And Monday at Fenway was more than a spark. It was a damn firework show.

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