Sutter keys rally, Penguins top Bruins 3-2
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Brandon Sutter tapped the puck with his stick and saw the NHL's leading scorer streaking to the net more than ready to play the hero.
Instead, the typically deferential Pittsburgh Penguins center decided to fire it himself. The result provided the biggest moment of the season for Sutter and his red-hot team.
Sutter's wrist shot slipped past Boston's Anton Khudobin with 2:03 remaining to cap a furious third-period rally as Pittsburgh slipped by the Bruins 3-2 on Tuesday night for its sixth straight win. Sutter had already tied the game at 2 a few minutes earlier and found himself in nearly the exact same spot on the ice following a Boston turnover that allowed Sutter and superstar teammate Sidney Crosby to break in two-on-one.
Crosby had his stick in the air ready to fire but the pass never came. Instead the puck zipped past Khudobin and into the net for Sutter's eighth goal of the year.
"It's read and react, it happens pretty quick," Sutter said. "But I think Sid will be all right for a day. I don't think he's too worried about it."
After the Bruins put the clamps on the NHL's top offense for most of the game's first 50 minutes, clogging shooting lanes and preventing the Penguins from turning things into an end-to-end sprint, Crosby was simply happy for to survive.
"I think we just believed if we kept going we were eventually going to get it in," Crosby said. "It seemed like it took forever ... but that's a big win for us."
Chris Kunitz started Pittsburgh's third-period surge with his 18th goal of the season and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 14 shots for the Penguins, who broke loose late in a showdown of two of the Eastern Conference's best teams.
Zdeno Chara and Tyler Seguin scored first-period goals for the Bruins. Khudobin made 31 saves and the Bruins kept Pittsburgh's high-powered offense in check for long stretches, even keeping the Penguins off the board during a 5-on-3 power play midway through the period that appeared to be Pittsburgh's last stand.
Only it wasn't. Kunitz's shot from the right circle with 6:18 to play revived the Penguins and Sutter — acquired in a draft-day trade for popular center Jordan Staal last spring — pounced as Boston collapsed.
"You hope that you can with a 2-0 lead going into the third, you hope you can get the job done," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "We need to learn from this, giving up leads going into the third if we want to be an elite team."
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 10886Oklahoma tornadoes: Cost, custom keep basements scarce
- 10691Oklahoma tornadoes: Plaza Towers Elementary School teacher shoved students into bathroom as wall collapsed
- 9835Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 9009Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 5206Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill to join Blake Shelton at "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma tornado benefit
- 4290Downtown wish list includes Super Target
- 3855OU softball: Sooners inspired by Casey Angle, run-rule Texas A&M