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Recap: Bruins battle back, but fall 6-5 to Penguins

Marchand’s two-goals couldn’t lift the Bruins past the Penguins tonight

Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins never gained a lead in a back and forth contest with the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at the TD Garden as they dropped this one, 6-5, and ended their win streak.

The first period would see five combined goals from both sides within just eight minutes of play. While Brad Marchand got the B’s on the board fast, the Penguins ramped up offensive pressure. They sustained it for most of the game, causing the Bruins some defensive breakdowns.

The Bruins couldn’t recover from a three-goal deficit they dug themselves into early, just a few minutes into the second period, despite bouncing back to close that gap after four minute to one score.

Brad Marchand, who opened the scoring just 41 seconds into the game, netted the equalizer in the third period to give the B’s hope on a shorthanded goal.

But the Penguins capitalized on a third-period power play as Sidney Crosby got the go-ahead and eventual game winner, making the final score, 6-5 Pittsburgh.

The Bruins are back at it on Saturday, Jan. 6 when the Tampa Bay Lightning come to town. Puck drops at 7 p.m.

Here are the game’s highlights:

First period:

The Bruins opened the scoring at 41 seconds of the first period.

Brad Marchand picked up the rebound out front from David Pastrnak’s shot to give the B’s an early lead. 1-0 Bruins.

The Penguins tied the game at 5:04 of the first period.

Drew O’Connor picked up the rebound from Kris Letang’s shot to put a shot past Jeremy Swayman. 1-1 game.

The Penguins took the lead at 6:17 of the first period.

Ryan Graves fired a wrist shot from the point which flew past Swayman. 2-1 Penguins.

The Bruins tied the game moments later at 6:39 of the first period.

Hampus Lindholm found David Pastrnak low along the right-wing circle where he carried the puck to the top of the paint, shifted to his backhand and lifted the puck into the net past Alex Nedeljkovic. 2-2 game.

The Penguins took the lead at 7:21 of the first period.

Sidney Crosby fed a pass to Jake Guentzel at the backdoor where he slid a shot past Swayman’s right skate. 3-2 Penguins.

The Penguins extended their lead at 15:58 of the first period.

O’Connor sent a pass to Lars Eller low along the outside right-wing circle where he threw a wrist shot on net and past Swayman’s glove. 4-2 Penguins.

Second period:

The Penguins extended their lead again at 6:38 of the second period.

Letang fired a blast from the point. Jeff Carter found the rebound out front and got one past Swayman. 5-2 Penguins.

The Bruins cut into their deficit at 9:51 of second period.

Pastrnak sent a cross ice pass to find Morgan Geekie inside the right-wing circle for a wrist shot past Nedeljkovic’s blocker. 5-3 game.

The Bruins bounced back again at 19:24 of the second period.

Geekie sent the puck back to Brandon Carlo for a one-timer which Jake DeBrusk tipped in. 5-4 game.

Third period:

The Bruins tied the game at 3:08 of the third period, shorthanded, on Marchand’s second goal of the night.

Skating into the offensive zone, Charlie Coyle hit Marchand with a pass. Marchand stayed strong on the puck, shielding it from Kris Letang to bring the puck to the slot and put a wrist shot over Nedeljkovic’s blocker shoulder. 5-5 tie game.

The Penguins broke through on the power play to regain their lead at 11:19 of the third period.

Six seconds into their man-advantage, Crosby sent a wrist shot through traffic on net and through Swayman’s five-hole. Final score: 6-5 Penguins.

Game notes:

  • Jim Montgomery said postgame he knew this would be a back and forth game. He said he had considered a goalie change in the second period, but the way the game was going, decided to let it play out with all that back and forth.
  • While he liked his team’s effort to battle back and keep working to even the score, he didn’t like their ice management. He felt they need to work on odd-man rushes — especially since it led to a penalty and ultimately the power-play goal from Crosby.
  • Crosby and Letang each had a three-point night and each had three shots on net.
  • On the Bruins’ side, Pastrnak and Geekie each had a three-point night as well.
  • It really wasn’t a great night for even-strength play as the B’s let in five 5v5 goals. On those five goals, Carlo said the B’s need to clean up how they are defending.
  • Carlo added the Penguins made some high danger plays. “We have to limit those,” he said.