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Bruins Blow Third Period Lead, Lose 3-2 to Penguins

Zdeno Chara scored a power play goal to put the Bruins up early, but Boston couldn't hang on, losing 3-2 to the Penguins. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Brandon Sutter scored two goals in the final seven minutes of the third period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins stunned the Boston Bruins, 3-2. The Bruins jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period until Penguins’ leading goal scorer Chris Kunitz scored his 18th goal of the season to spark the rally. Sutter scored his seventh and eight goals of the year under four minutes apart, with the latter coming with 2:03 left in the game. Anton Khudobin made 31 saves and was stellar in net until the Bruins ran out of gas in front of him. The game was Boston’s third in four nights.

The Bruins jumped out to the early lead in the first period after the Penguins were penalized for too many men on the ice. Zdeno Chara let go of a bomb from the point that tipped off the stick of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 14 saves. The goal, Chara’s fifth of the season, helped improve Boston’s third best road power play. Later in the first, Patrice Bergeron fed Tyler Seguin in front of the net for a one-timer to give the Bruins a two goal advantage. Brad Marchand made a tremendous play dekeing defenders to maintain puck possession and passed it behind the net to Bergeron. The goal, Seguin’s ninth of the year, is his fourth goal in his last five games. The Bergeron line continues to be the Bruins’ best line night in and night out. Dennis Seidenberg also made a great stick save on a sure goal, robbing James Neal moments after Seguin’s goal.

After the first intermission, the Bruins sat back and played defense and let Pittsburgh come to them. The plan was working until midway through the third period, when it appeared the toll of playing on back-to-back nights was taking effect. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang sent a cross-ice pass to Chris Kunitz for a one-timer goal with just over six minutes to play. Khudobin got a piece of the puck but it found the back of the net anyway. The goal, Kunitz’s 18th, ranks him second in the league in goal scoring. Sutter beat Khudobin glove side on a 3-on-2 breakaway 51 seconds later to tie the game. Three and a half minutes later, a terrible turnover by Seidenberg in the Bruins zone resulted in Sutter beating Khudobin glove side again on a breakaway to give the Penguins the lead. Khudobin probably should have made the glove save and was visibly upset after allowing the go-ahead goal.

Tuukka Rask was scratched from the start after experiencing flu-like symptoms before the game. Chris Kelly also did not play for Boston, but did travel with the team to Pittsburgh after his knee injury in Ottawa. The B’s ended Sidney Crosby‘s eight-game point streak, but the Penguins found other ways to win even without reigning MVP Evgeni Malkin.

NOTES: The Bruins fall to 11-1-1 when scoring first this year…The loss is the Bruins fourth loss of the season when leading heading into the third period, which totals the number combined for the last two seasons

The Bruins will look to bounce back against the last place Florida Panthers Thursday night at the TD Garden. Puck drops at 7 PM.

About Jeff Miller - @JeMillz11

Graduate of Suffolk University with a BS in Broadcast Journalism. I love all the four major sports and have been a diehard Boston sports fan my whole life.

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