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Recap: A decent effort doomed by mistakes

The Bruins played a good game against one of the East’s best, but shot themselves in the foot.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Bruins fell to the Penguins last night, 4-3 in overtime, as Bryan Rust’s deflection of a beautiful Evgeni Malkin pass snuck over Tuukka Rask’s shoulder to give the home team the W.

Your goalscorers for the good guys: Brad Marchand, David Krejci and David Pastrnak.

The B’s had two different leads in this game, going up 1-0 and 2-1, before Conor Sheary’s tip-in PPG gave the Pens a 3-2 lead in the third.

The B’s deserve credit for sticking to it, and were the recipients of a gift bounce when Matt Murray misplayed a puck right to Pastrnak.

Some notes/thoughts on tonight’s game:

  • Brad Marchand is an elite talent. A great player. One of the Bruins’ most dynamic offensive threats. Full stop. However, he still has an element of recklessness in his game, and it cost the team tonight. His careless stick to the face of Sidney Crosby led to the goal that tied things at 2-2, while his dumb shove to the back of Trevor Daley led to Sheary’s go-ahead goal. A questionable line change also led to the Penguins’ first goal. You take the good with the bad with Marchand, and he did score a goal as well. However, the Bruins need him to tone down the mistakes a bit.
  • The power play is what gave the Penguins a boost (2 PPG), but it was a thorn in the side of the Bruins. Their first PP saw a ton of good movement and great chances, including a puck that bounced over the stick of Jimmy Hayes (figures, given his luck) in the slot. However, that first good PP was as good as it got. The B’s couldn’t do anything with their other power plays, including an extended 5-on-3. The PK continues to be an asset for the Bruins, but the power play is rapidly approaching “shake up” territory.
  • A quiet night for Phil Kessel, whose name couldn’t have been called more than a dozen times all night. Kessel was officially credited with just under 19 minutes in TOI and one shot on goal. Nice for the Pens to have Malkin and Crosby to fall back on...
  • Weird coincidence, as the Bruins won the game in Montreal on a race to the net in OT, and lost the game on a similar play tonight. C’est la vie, I guess...
  • Kris Letang’s hit on David Pastrnak kind of got lost in the shuffle of the game, but it was pretty cheap. Yes, it was called a penalty, but was a dangerous play. Letang hit Pastrnak, who didn’t have the puck, high and drove upward. Something tells me if a Marchand-type player made that hit, there’d be more conversation.
  • Your possession leaders for the Bruins (5v5): Dominic Moore (72%) and Tim Schaller (60%).
  • Your possession bottom dwellers: Ryan Spooner (30%) and Hayes (38%).
  • Speaking of those last two, the “new” third line may be the former third line by tomorrow night. For a line that was so good on Monday night, the trio of Spooner, Hayes and Austin Czarnik struggled tonight. All three were sub-45% in CF% at even strength. The three combined for four shots on goal, and all had their ice time cut back: Hayes skated 8:35, Czarnik skated 9:58 and Spooner skated 11:35. Expect that line to get a shake-up tonight, possibly with Danton Heinen taking Hayes’ spot.
  • A decent debut for Matt Grzelcyk. He played a team-low (for defense) 14:34, including around two minutes on the power play. A couple of misplays, a couple of good plays...all in all, a good showing for a kid making his first regular season NHL appearance.
  • Kevan Miller left the game and didn’t return, playing just 10 minutes. With Joe Morrow and Colin Miller waiting in the wings, the Bruins will be covered should Miller need to miss any time.
  • Please, NBCSN: move your crowd microphone. We don’t need to hear a Pens fan screaming into the mic all night.