The rough stretch in the Boston Bruins schedule is almost at its conclusion. They just have to get through this week of games before they can enjoy a slight breather.
They seemed to have handled themselves with great professionalism over the last month since they have gone 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. The real test is upon them because the last week in November could push them over the top as the premier team in the Eastern Conference.
They were in action on Monday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins to conclude their three-game homestand. The Penguins got the better of the B's in their first meeting, but that was a hard-fought game that could have gone either way. Regardless, we are always in for a thrilling match-up when these two teams take the ice.
Tuukka Rask opposed Marc-Andre Fleury in net while Dennis Seidenberg missed another game due to injury for Boston. Kevan Miller made his third-straight start on the blue line in his place. Adam McQuaid also did not play in this game.
In the first period, the Penguins pitched a fort in the Bruins defensive zone. They were absolutely dominant, but Rask blocked every shot he faced in the opening 20 minutes. At the other end of the ice, Boston jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith (power play). Eriksson and Carl Soderberg recorded multi-point games on this night.
The second period started with a bang as Pittsburgh pulled within one on a goal by James Neal. The two teams battled each other hard the rest of the way. The third period featured the exchange of goals, including a goal in the last second of regulation by Sidney Crosby to send the game into overtime.
It did not take long for the B's to send the TD Garden fans home happy. Torey Krug blasted home the game-winner to give the B's the 4-3 victory and secure the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Bruins will be back in action on Wednesday night when they travel to Detroit to take on the Red Wings.
Gold Star: Loui Eriksson (1 goal, 2 assists, plus-1 rating, 5 shots on goal)...This was the night that he had the breakout performance we have been waiting for him to have. He has earned the sweater.
Black Star: Jarome Iginla....There will be an Inside Hockey piece to follow.