The Penguins needed every millisecond of the clock to push it into overtime, but B's young-gun Torey Krug played savior in the extra frame, rescuing the B's from certain embarrassment. Krug launched a rocket past Marc-Andre Fluery just 34 seconds into OT to beat the Penguins 4-3, and to secure the other point they played had played so hard to earn.
How open was Krug on the play? Very open. After skating the blueline and passing the puck to BradMarchand, Krug never stopped, creeping through the backdoor where Marchand found him in stride. Krug wound up and blasted the shot past Fluery and sealed the extra point for the B's.
The first period played almost exactly like Game 1 of last year's Eastern Final, where the Pens came out with vapor trails behind their skates. But Tuukka Rask time and again shut the door, coming up with huge saves, most notably one on ChrisKunitz point blank, stoning the shot with his outstretched pad.
After withstanding the barrage from the Penguins, the B's picked their moment and capitalized.
The B's struck twice in the first period, the first coming from Loui Eriksson bagging his fifth of the season at 12:27. As the line broke through the neutral zone, Carl Soderberg tried to get the puck across to Chris Kelly, but it went under his stick and over to Eriksson, who beat the D pairing and Marc-Andre Fleury under the pads.
(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Just three minutes later on the powerplay, Carl Soderberg fed a zipper-pass to Reilly Smith in front who beat Flurey glove-side. Off the face-off win from Patrice Bergeron, the PP unit worked the puck from the blueline back to the corner where Soderberg whipped the tape-to-tape pass on the money to Smith.
The Pens got on the board just 37 seconds into the second courtesy of a James Neal bullet in the slot. The Bruins' D lost track of Neal, and he made no mistake in burying it past Rask at point-blank range.
The Pens continued to keep the pressure on through the rest of the second and into the third, and they eventually tied the game at 11:09, also from the stick of Neal.
Off a Jussi Jokinen rush into the zone, the puck got lost in the skates of Johnny Boychuck. Neal swooped in and in one motion launched the puck right past Rask.
The Bruins thought they had the game wrapped up when Zdeno Chara put them ahead with just under six minutes to go when he launched a shot from the blueline, deflecting off of Sidney Crosby's stick and past Fluery.
Yet the Pens weren't done, and they needed every second (literally) to tie the game again. With the goalie pulled, the Pens kept the puck in the defensive zone, where Neal (no surprise) wheeled around and shot the puck on net. With just .03 seconds to go, the puck found its way to the unmarked Crosby who made no mistake of batting it past Rask.
A deflating turn of events left many to fear that the B's where going to drop a crucial point at home to their conference rival in the most painful way possible. But Torey Krug had other ideas, saving them and the fans from an excruciating loss.
The B's played the Penguins tough, and they both stood toe-to-toe as they battered away at each other and traded scoring chances up and down the ice.
After being 'thisclose' to winning the game in regulation, the prospect of playing 4-on-4 OT with the Penguins was not a pleasing thought. But Krug came up big in the extra frame and delivered with the goods.