Boston’s top line came out absolutely dialed in. With a clean advance, Bergeron chased a Pastrnak dump-in behind Matt Murray and proceeded to take up residence in Gretzby’s Office, feeding Marchand at the top of the crease for an attempt before getting two more shots on the rebound off said attempt. A couple shifts in, and the fourth line (along with a failed Chara glove-down on defense) gave Sidney Crosby a golden opportunity, but no puck luck just yet.
On a broken defensive breakout, Jake DeBrusk picked off a poor pass by Kris Letang and entered the zone uncontested, and seemingly harmlessly, until...
Bam Bam go GOAL. DeBrusk scored his second goal in as many games and put the Bruins on the board.
A penalty to David Krejci calmed things down for Boston for a bit, though for a second there, Halak looked like he was going to get left out by the PK coverage. Not to be left out of the game, he did not disappoint, with a real solid save on Sidney Crosby late in the B’s disadvantage.
With just under seven minutes to play, Brad Marchand cleaned up a rebound before it even hit the ground. You know those people who clean up messes before they become messes? Yeah, Marchand is a friggin’ Swiffer on steroids.
Should the Red Sox should sign Brad Marchand?— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) November 5, 2019
My column: pic.twitter.com/LTUr5mIyj7
Lots of back and forth play to start, and a few opportunities for Pittsburgh, only to see this happen:
THE GLORY. THE SAUCE. THE PARMESAN. THE...
dominik kahun beats halak for his fifth point in three games pic.twitter.com/KbONaSmJLp— ego (@notmalkinego) November 5, 2019
damnit. Ah, well, they did come to play hockey, i suppose.
A long stretch of mediocre play, first by the B’s top defensive pair in Chara and McAvoy and then through some defensive gaffes by Connor Clifton and to some extent his partner Matt Grzelcyk, Boston found themselves back in a close hockey game. Nick Bjugstad took full advantage of fatigue and a line change by Boston to put himself all alone against Halak. Your grandmother doesn’t miss that shot.
Things went from bad to worse. A long pass to space saw Evgeni Malkin skate on to the puck, control over his attacking blue line, and feed a streaking Bryan Rust.
Did we say worse? What happens when worse gets worse? A late penalty to John Marino gave Boston’s vaunted power play another opportunity, only to see the penalized player leave the penalty box...
ON A BREAKAWAY.
FOR A GOAL.
YOU GOTTA BE FREAKIN’ KIDDING US. Someone get Halak a beer, he’s gonna smash it over somebody’s head.
Jaroslav Halak is NOT happy. pic.twitter.com/CTG5z77EEp— Crosby's Mustache (@CrosbyMustache) November 5, 2019
To be fair, I’d also be mad if Crosby’s mustache heckled me from the bench. That thing is scrappy at best.
... Didn’t look a whole lot better. A shorter change made things a little easier for the Bruins, as it did the Penguins. Still, Boston iced the puck several times early on and were still getting stick-checked off the puck below the faceoff dots in their own zone. Not a good way to play defense in front of your already-enraged goaltender.
Nearing the midway point, Boston gained new life in the form of a game-tying goal scored by Torey Krug from a very tough angle, below the dots and to Tristan Jarry’s left.
Would it be enough? Boston managed to string together a few more solid rushes in a row before Pittsburgh evened things out again. Charlie McAvoy took a nasty tumble into Halak’s post and left bleeding from the side of his head, but under his own power and straight down the tunnel. Krug also seemed to take a knock to the face as the Pens charged the net.
Then, as you thought teams would go into lockdown mode, the Penguins made a critical mistake at their attacking blue line, failing to keep the puck in the zone. Brad Marchand had plenty of space into which he could skate. He really does like shooting across the grain - and nailed the post, only to see it bounce off Jarry’s back and across the goal line. Crosby almost made it to save the bounce but couldn’t get there.
An empty net goal from Patrice Bergeron sealed the deal, in what was a late recover by the Black and Gold.
Right onto the bus, boys, it’s time to head to Montreal for a Tuesday night tilt against the Canadiens!