Brad Marchand had a short-handed goal and assisted on Nick Ritchie‘s goal to help the Bruins earn their third straight victory. Boston has gone to overtime or a shootout in four of its first six games, winning three.
”It’s been a good start for us,” Ritchie said, noting that the 2020 Presidents’ Trophy winners were still without David Pastrnak, who led the NHL with 48 goals last season. ”Having someone like Pasta back, your leading scorer, is going to help. People have stepped up in his absence and we’ll take it right now.”
Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots, giving up the first Pittsburgh goal when he injured himself dropping into a spread midway through the third period. Jason Zucker took advantage of the disarmed goalie to make it 2-1, then Kasperi Kapanen tied it with 3:16 to go.
The Penguins had two exceptional chances to win in overtime, but Evgeni Malkin’s breakaway early in the extra period went over Rask’s shoulder and off the crossbar; they had a 3-on-0 with about a minute left but didn’t get a shot off.
Instead, Smith converted on a give-and-go with David Krejci in front of the net.
”Some overtimes go like that,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. ”They’re a wide-open team.”
Tristan Jarry stopped 33 shots for Pittsburgh, which had won four straight since starting the season 0-2.
Rask hurt himself making a save in the third. He struggled to get back up, and left his stick on the ice when he did; Zucker fired one past Rask to make it 2-1.
Cassidy said the players relayed word from Rask that he was OK, so he decided not to call a timeout or change goalies.
Marchand’s short-handed goal was the 28th of his career – the most in Bruins history. Rick Middleton is second, with 25.
Marchand said it’s nothing he can game-plan for.
”You can go all year without getting one chance, or you can get a couple in a couple games,” he said. ”It’s about being opportunistic.”
The Bruins took the lead in the first period when Charlie McAvoy swiped the puck in his own end and shot it ahead to Marchand, who was breaking toward the Pittsburgh blue line. The Boston forward got to the faceoff circle, made a move toward the middle and then wristed the puck under Jarry’s glove to make it 1-0.
Ritchie made it 2-0 on a 5-on-3 advantage in the second period, redirecting a crossing pass from Marchand into the net.
The teams play again on Thursday night.
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