December 8, 2013

Bruins win it late, 3-2, in a rough game

David Krejci and Zdeno Chara score with time winding down as bad blood boils and Penguin Brooks Orpik leaves on a stretcher.

The Associated Press

BOSTON — Zdeno Chara scored with 13 seconds left in regulation after David Krejci tied it late, lifting the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday night in a game that saw Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik taken from the ice on a stretcher.

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Boston goalie Tuukka Rask blocks a stuff-shot attempt by Pittsburgh’s Chris Conner in the first period of the Bruins’ 3-2 win over the Penguins at Boston on Saturday. Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik was taken off the ice on a stretcher after an altercation with Boston’s Shawn Thornton.

Photos by The Associated Press

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Boston’s Reilly Smith celebrates his goal with teammates after he scored to tie the game at 1-1 in the first period Saturday against Pittsburgh. The Bruins went on to win the game, 3-2, at Boston.

Reilly Smith also scored for the Bruins, who haven’t lost in regulation at home since late October (10-0-2).

Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots for Boston.

Chris Kunitz and James Neal scored power-play goals for the Penguins, who had their season-high, five-game winning streak halted.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 18 shots for Pittsburgh.

Krejci scored with 1:29 to play, beating Fleury with a wrister from the slot. Chara unloaded the winner from near the middle of the faceoff circles, cutting in from the right point.

Midway into the opening period, Bruins winger Shawn Thornton was given a match penalty for grabbing Orpik from behind, pulling him to the ice and punching him when he was down. Orpik appeared to be dazed by a punch, but may have also hit his head on the ice.

The Penguins said on their Twitter site that he was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where “he is alert and conscious.”

The Penguins led 2-1 after one period on the goals by Kunitz and Neal.

Kunitz made it 1-0 at 6:33 when his centering shot/pass from the bottom of the left circle caromed into the net by Rask off the body of Chara.

Boston had tied it 1-all when Smith unloaded a slap shot over the left shoulder of Fleury before Neal beat Rask with a wrister at 13:13.

Orpik’s injury came after he was in a scrum with a few Penguins players with Boston’s Gregory Campbell in the Pittsburgh defensive end.

Boston’s Brad Marchand was injured in front of the Bruins’ bench near center ice before Thornton came charging down and grabbed Orpik. Players on the ice immediately called for medical help and he was surrounded before being taken off the ice to a polite applause from the crowd.

Neal was assessed a kneeing penalty for his hit on Marchand.

Some of the bad blood between the teams came from the game’s opening minute when Orpik hit Boston’s Loui Eriksson in the head with his shoulder as the winger started to head up ice. Eriksson was dazed as he slowly made his way to the bench and was helped down the runway to the dressing room. He didn’t return.

Early in the third, Smith missed a wide-open side of the net when his shot went over the crossbar. Chara hit the right post with two minutes to play.

Boston swept the Penguins last spring to advance to the Stanley Cup finals, which it lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks.

In the teams’ previous meeting, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby scored with less than a second left in regulation before Torey Krug scored the winner for the Bruins in overtime.

Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg stopped what looked like a certain goal by Pittsburgh’s Jussi Jokinen by sliding across the crease to make a leg save with Rask completely on the other side.

 

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