Boston Bruins Third Period Collapse Gives Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 Victory

Chris BlanchardContributor IIIMarch 12, 2013

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 12:  Anton Khudobin #35 of the Boston Bruins make a save on James Neal #18 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on March 12, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Penguins won 3-2.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins suffered a monumental collapse at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday night. Playing their second game in as many days, the Bruins jumped out to an early two goal lead before enduring an exhausting grind to the finish. In the third, the frustrated Penguins finally found their prize by way of three quick goals off the sticks of Chris Kunitz and Brandon Sutter to win 3-2. 

Goals from Zdeno Chara and Tyler Seguin put the Penguins behind in the first period, despite the fact that Sidney Crosby and Co. were outshooting the Bruins by a wide margin. 

Following a shootout victory over division rival Ottawa on Monday, the Bruins opted to rest star goalie Tuukka Rask in favor of the unproven Anton Khudobin. Khudobin was unbeatable for most of the game, finishing with 31 saves. 

The tired Bruins refused to pose any offensive threat in order to shore up their defense as time ticked away. Their conservative strategy turned out to be their undoing. After inviting pressure for most of the game, the Penguins finally broke through by way of Chris Kunitz with just over six minutes remaining. 

Brandon Sutter then won the game for Pittsburgh with two late goals. The first came from a James Neal one-timer and the second resulted from an ugly Dennis Seidenberg giveaway. 

Now sitting atop the Eastern Conference, the Penguins await a Thursday visit to Toronto. The exhausted Bruins on the other hand will lick their wounds and prepare for a grueling stretch ahead. They will face Florida at home with four games on the slate in the next seven days. 

The Bruins and Penguins will meet again on Saturday in Boston, with Claude Julien's bunch sure to seek revenge.