The Boston Bruins were set for an 8 PM tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night, November 1st. Let me just say, if were not tuned in for this game tonight, then boy do I feel sorry for you. Coming into the game, the Bruins were 8-1-0 and on a very hot streak, winning 5 games in a row. The Penguins, who were 4-4-1, were looking to snap a cold streak of 4 losses in a row after a lengthy road trip at home. Ullmark and Jarry started between the pipes in a game that is already a contender for game of the year.
The Penguins struck first quickly in the game, with Sidney Crosby scoring off a deflected pass on an odd man rush just 30 seconds into the game. A slow backcheck from Jake Debrusk left Ullmark out to dry in the middle of the offensive zone. After that, the Bruins dialed in and took control of the rest of the first period. After the Penguins failed to clear the offensive zone after some miscommunication on a pass, Trent Federic pushed the puck to the crease and created havoc in front of the net, with Charlie Coyle sweeping in and putting home a loose puck to tie the game with 14:42 left in the first. After several trips up and down the ice with the Bruins keeping good possession for most of the time, they were finally rewarded when a 3 on 2 rush saw a nice feed from Nick Foligno to Jakub Lauko. The 22-year-old rookie potted it for his first goal in the NHL. The Bruins looked strong heading into the locker room for the first intermission with the lead.
Needless to say, the first 12 minutes of the 2nd period were absolutely treacherous from the Bruins. Much unlike the 1st period, the Bruins showed no energy, did not possess the puck well, and made plenty of mental errors that allowed the Penguins to score 4 goals in a row, 3 of them coming within less than 3 minutes of each other. Down 5-2 halfway through the second period, it seemed that the game was going to slip away from them and earn them their second loss of the season. The only issue with that, is that if there is any team in the NHL that has a history of making a big comeback, it’s the big, bad Bruins. After the Bruins pulled Linus Ullmark in favor of Jeremy Swayman, Patrice Bergeron scored quickly after the Penguins 5th goal which looked like it was going to give the Bruins life. However, the goal was called back for goalie interference. After the goal was wiped off the board, the Bruins had not gotten closer to closing the gap. A few moments later, Jeff Petry of the Penguins took a hooking call, which Brad Marchand ended up capitalizing on with his 3rd goal of the season 15 seconds into the power play. At the end of the 2nd period, the Bruins were down 5-3 and still had a mountain to climb.
You know the saying “a tale of two halves”? Well, this game was a tale of three thirds. If you didn’t find that funny, then someone else said it, not me. The Bruins seemingly molded out of the shell that they were in the 2nd period and came roaring back. Goalie Jeremy Swayman was injured at a crash play at the net that showed he might have hyperextended a part of his leg 5 minutes into the 3rd. Linus Ullmark came back into the game in relief of Swayman with a chip on his shoulder. The Bruins for the rest of the game kept good possession, were getting clean offensive zone entries, and decent looks on net. With just over 8 minutes left in the game, Pavel Zacha got a nice tip in goal after a shot from the point from Hampus Lindholm. Several minutes later, with the goalie pulled and under 2 minutes to play, Taylor Hall grabbed the puck in front of the net and swung 180 degrees to push the puck to the exposed right side of Tristan Jarry. The Bruins scored 3 straight goals of their own to complete the comeback and force overtime.
Overtime had fans at the edge of their seat. Bruins fans wanting to see their team complete the improbable comeback to take home two points on the night, and Penguins fans not wanting to see theirs embarrassed after having the seemingly insurmountable lead. After several different rushes from opposing teams, the Bruins found themselves in a tough spot after Hampus Lindholm earned himself 2 minutes in the box after tripping Evgeni Malkin. Killing off a 4 v 3-man advantage is no easy task, but with the help of Linus Ullmark standing tall, they kept the Penguins at bay. With 1:23 left in overtime, Hampus Lindholm redeemed himself by carrying the puck coast to coast and ripped a shot that went upper 90, and helped the Bruins steal the extra point out of the grasp of Penguins.
The Bruins improve to 9-1-0 on the hottest start to the season that they have seen in a while, sitting a top of the Atlantic conference with 18 points. Due to the injury of goalie Jeremy Swayman, Nick Foligno did the honors of meeting Linus Ullmark at the end of the ice for the patented Bruins goalie hug. The first star of the Night went to Hampus Lindholm, the second went to Taylor Hall, and the third went to Evgeni Malkin.