The Boston Bruins continued their winning ways last night when they took a trip to the brand new Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA to face the Penguins. The Bruins climbed into 5th place in the Eastern Conference last night as they improved their record to 8-3-1 for 17 points through only twelve games, the least in the conference. Tim Thomas improved to 8-0 on the season but looked less than spectacular in giving up four goals. The Penguins seemed to have done their homework on Thomas, three of their four goals came from rebounds and the fourth was just a case of getting the puck to the front of the net. Although Thomas looked frustrated, he came back for the third period which was a little surprising since he got the hook in Washington for only giving up three goals in a better fashion than that.
The first period was back and forth, the Penguins jumped out to an early lead when Arron Asham put home a rebound just 1:05 in. Mark Recchi tied the game when he took a cross-ice feed from Tyler Seguin which Johnson stopped but Recchi made no mistake in firing the rebound just under the crossbar at 8:31. The Bruins took the lead at 16:24 when he sniped Brent Johnson off the far post and in. Marchand made a good play on the backcheck as he blocked a Penguins outlet pass
[caption id="attachment_286" align="alignright" width="215" caption="Brent Johnson may be crashing back down to earth after his hot start"][/caption]
and turned the attack. He fired the shot from about the tops of the circles and Johnson stood no chance at it. The Penguins came right back just 34 seconds later. Evgeni Malkin drove the net and sent a shot that went off Thomas' pads and bounced straight to Brooks Orpik who quickly snapped a shot off before Thomas could get to the other post. Although it's not really Thomas' fault, the best way to score on him is to get rebounds, he has horrible control and usually leaves it up to his defense to clear them out. The Penguins took full advantage in this game.
The second period was dominated by the Penguins and it looked as if they were about to take over the game. They outshot the Bruins 16-6 in the middle frame but didn't score until the 15:44 mark when Chris Kunitz put in yet another rebound past Thomas. Sidney Crosby got the fourth and final goal for the Penguins to give them a 4-2 lead with just 23 seconds remaining in the second period. He threw it in front and it bounced off a Bruins defender and went right through the legs of Thomas, who looked very angry at himself and maybe the team as a whole. Claude Julien wasn't much happier than Thomas and I'm sure one of them let the team have it in the dressing room between periods, if not both.
Whatever was said in the room between periods for the Bruins, worked. They came out storming in the third, hitting the back of the net 5 times in the final twenty minutes. Nathan Horton (3:49) got his seventh of the season just fifteen seconds before Zdeno Chara (4:04) tied the game with his third of the year. Shawn Thornton gave the Bruins the lead 12:40 into the
[caption id="attachment_285" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Nathan Horton helped lead the Bruins 5 goal third period with his 7th of the year."][/caption]
third from which they never looked back. To really ice the game, Blake Wheeler scored with just 3:47 left and Milan Lucic scored an empty netter with 26 seconds left to solidify the 7-4 win for the Bruins. The Penguins fall to just 2-5 at the "house that Sid built" and it seems that if Fleury continues his atrocious play and Johnson, who seems to be cooling down, can't keep up his hot play from the beginning of the season, the '09 champs could be in trouble this season. With last nights loss, they fell to tenth in the Eastern Conference and have played more games than all but two teams (Sabres and Devils), so they may be at risk of dropping even farther in the standings when the other teams catch up. The Bruins were without David Krejci, as he missed his first game after receiving a concussion in the game last Saturday against the Blues.