Behind 42 saves from goaltender Tim Thomas, and points from 15 of the team's 18 skaters, the Boston Bruins scored an impressive 7-4 comeback victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.
Led by Mark Recchi, who scored a power play goal in the first period and added two assists, the Bruins won their eighth game of the season in a game that saw more ups and downs than a roller coaster.
Down 4-2 after two periods, the Penguins simply collapsed in the final period, allowing five unanswered goals in the last 20 minutes of play. It was the most productive third period for the Bruins since another five goal stunner against the New York Islanders on November 28, 2008.
The equalizers came quickly. Nathan Horton scored Boston's third goal at 3:49 of the third period, and Zdeno Chara added another just 15 seconds later to tie the game. It completely undid Pittsburgh's hard work at the end of the second, where Chris Kunitz scored his fourth goal of the season and Sidney Crosby added a power play tally in the period's final seconds.
From the Chara goal, it was all Boston. Shawn Thornton scored the game winner, his third of the year, with just under nine minutes remaining, and Blake Wheeler added another on a Recchi pass from behind the net. Milan Lucic added the seventh on an empty net to seal the victory.
Despite the lopsided third period score, however, the first period was an even match. Arron Asham scored the game's first goal at 1:05, before Recchi tied the game. The teams' instigators, Thornton and Gregory Campbell for Boston and Eric Godard and Maxime Talbot for Pittsburgh, each accrued five-minute fighting majors within two seconds of one another.
A hotly contested deadlock broke when Brad Marchand scored his second of the season at 16:24, putting the Bruins up 2-1. But Boston College alum Brooks Orpik responded a mere 34 seconds later with his first of the season, sending each team to the showers with two goals after one.
To their credit, the Penguins outshot the Bruins considerably in this sniper's buffet, dominating the shot tally 46-33. They outshot the Bruins by a wide margin in the second, putting 16 pucks on net to Boston's six, and held the shooting advantage in the first two periods.
In the third, the Bruins only managed one more shot than the Penguins, but they attacked goaltender Brent Johnson with remarkable efficiency. His defense collapsing in front of him, Johnson could only do so much to keep his team in the game. For his efforts, he still managed 26 saves.