BOSTON (AP) – Jordan Staal scored with 16:35 left in the third period to help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat Boston 3-2 Saturday and avoid another collapse against the Bruins.
Five days after giving up four goals in the final 3:23 to hand a victory to Boston, the Penguins blew another two-goal lead before recovering to win without Sidney Crosby for just the second time in five games. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 44 shots for his 20th win of the season.
Tuukka Rask made 33 saves for the Bruins, and Dennis Seidenberg and Michael Ryder scored 13 seconds apart in the second period to erase a 2-0 deficit.
But Staal backhanded a loose puck in front past Rask to make it 3-2. Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis also scored for the Penguins.
The Bruins beat the Penguins in each of their previous games this season, both times in Pittsburgh and both times with late rallies. On Nov. 19, Boston scored five times in the third period to win 7-4; on Monday, the Bruins scored four unanswered goals down the stretch to win 4-2.
This one started out the same way, with the Penguins opening a 2-0 lead and the Bruins tying it with a pair 13 seconds apart from Seidenberg and Ryder.
But this time, Pittsburgh didn’t just roll over.
Staal’s goal gave the Penguins the lead, and Fleury stopped 20 shots in the third period, including about a half-dozen from close-range in the final minute after Boston pulled Rask for an extra skater.
The NHL’s leading scorer, Crosby went out with a concussion after Pittsburgh’s Jan. 5 game against Tampa Bay, and the Penguins lost their first three games without him. But they beat Montreal on Wednesday night, and then got back at the Bruins for Monday night’s comeback.
Kunitz opened the scoring for the Penguins midway through the first and Dupuis added his goal 41 seconds into the middle period.
Seidenberg put a screened shot past Fleury 11:28 into the second period, and the Bruins tied it 13 seconds later when Ryder wristed one around a defender and past the goalie on stick side. It’s the second-fastest the Bruins have scored a pair of goals this season.
Pittsburgh killed a four-minute high-sticking minor in the second period even though it appeared to be Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara’s stick that hit Steven Kampfer in the face. Kampfer departed, leaving a pool of blood on the ice, and did not return. The Bruins did not get a shot off in the penalty until there were
just 4 seconds left.
NOTES: Mark Recchi played in his 1,615th NHL game, tying him with Larry Murphy for seventh on the NHL career list. … Bobby Orr was at the game. … Boston is 2-12 when falling behind by two goals this season, and both of them were against the Penguins. … Boston’s Milan Lucic missed the game with an unspecified injury…. Boston’s Marc Savard went down with 12:50 left in game after taking a two-arm shove to the head into the boards by Deryk Engelland. No penalty was called. … Fleury had his shutout streak in Boston snapped by Seidenberg’s goal. It had lasted 106:56.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)