NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Boston
(Thursday, December 20th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 5, Boston 4 (SO)
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Erik Christensen and Kris Letang tallied in the shootout as Pittsburgh wasted a four-goal lead but recovered to top Boston, 5-4, at TD Banknorth Garden.
While both Penguins shooters hit the net on successive tries, Ty Conklin stoned both Phil Kessel and Marco Sturm on Boston's shootout chances to skate away with the victory.
Sidney Crosby netted a goal and two assists, Evgeni Malkin scored twice, and Colby Armstrong picked up three helpers for the Penguins, who have won two of their last three games.
Christensen also scored, and Conklin earned the win by making a career-high 37 saves in regulation.
"It would have been real disappointing, especially when we played so well the first half of the game," Christensen said about the possibility of losing the game after having a four-goal edge. "We didn't think we necessarily played that poorly, we just took the pedal off the gas a little bit. Conks was unbelievable all game. We're happy but we have to learn from this."
Sturm and P.J. Axelsson had a goal and assist each for the Bruins, who have dropped three of four. Dennis Wideman and Petteri Nokelainen also tallied, while Tim Thomas allowed four goals on 29 shots.
Malkin notched his first goal in six games just 55 seconds into the contest. Armstrong picked up a loose puck along the right boards and chipped the puck to Crosby, who fed across to Malkin for the one-timer.
Crosby made it 2-0 when he redirected Armstrong's dish at the right edge of the crease at 8:26, then Malkin's blistering slap per with 8:07 left in the period boosted the Pens' advantage to three goals.
Christensen tipped home Ryan Whitney's right-point drive in a 4-on-4 situation with 8:33 remaining in the second for a 4-0 Penguins lead.
Boston got on the board with 3:56 left in the period while on a 5-on-4 power play, as Andrew Ference's point shot was deflected twice and hopped past Conklin. Sturm was given credit as the last Bruin to touch the puck, but the home team was still behind by three.
Axelsson made it 4-2 on a short-handed goal with 2:22 remaining, drilling a knuckling puck home after Jeremy Reich won a left-circle draw.
Only 6:46 remained in the contest when the Bruins came within 4-3, as Nokelainen just managed to poke the rebound of Ference's right-point drive through Conklin's pads.
The comeback was complete as Wideman took Sturm's feed at bottom of the left circle and cranked home a power-play goal with 2:55 left in regulation. Christensen's hooking call with 3:33 to play gave the Bruins the advantage.
"For whatever reason, we were just lacking and just looking around, watching them move the puck and skate and that's what happens when we don�t play our game," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. "We fell behind 3-0 right away and we were looking for something. Something needed to be done and we started to play more physical."
The Pens played without forward Ryan Malone, who returned to Pittsburgh on Wednesday after a cut on his leg became infected and caused flu-like symptoms...The Bruins have won six of the nine matchups since the beginning of the 2005-2006 season...Pens defenseman Mark Eaton left the game late in the third period after colliding with Boston's Vladimir Sobotka...The Bruins have not lost back-to-back games in regulation this year...Boston finished 2-for-7 on the power play, but Pittsburgh was scoreless in five chances.
12/20 22:50:54 ET