Joakim Nordstrom scored the game-winning goal in overtime Friday night at TD Garden almost two minutes into the extra period on a slap-pass turned redirection for the 2-1 Boston Bruins victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jaroslav Halak (8-2-2, .939 save percentage, 1.98 goals against average in 14 games played) made 36 saves on 37 shots against for a .973 SV% in 61:57 time on ice for the win for Boston, while Tristan Jarry (0-0-1, 1.94 GAA in one GP) made his season debut and stopped 35 out of 37 shots faced for a .946 SV% in the loss.
Boston improved to 14-7-1-3 all-time in 26 games on Black Friday since the club played their first game on Black Friday in 1990.
The B’s improved to a 12-6-4 record (28 points) on the season and remained 4th in the Atlantic Division with the win, while the Pens fell to 8-8-5 on the season (21 points) and remain in 8th place in the Metropolitan Division with starting goaltender, Matt Murray, back on the injured reserve.
Pittsburgh is tied with the New Jersey Devils in points for 7th in their division, but trails in the tiebreaker of regulation-plus-overtime wins by one (New Jersey has nine, Pittsburgh has eight), heading back home to play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.
John Moore returned to the lineup on the blue line for the Bruins on Friday after missing the last three games with a lower body injury, while Bruce Cassidy inserted Colby Cave into the lineup centering the third line alongside Nordstrom and Noel Acciari.
In addition to Brandon Carlo (upper body), Zdeno Chara (lower body, left MCL), Patrice Bergeron (upper body), Urho Vaakanainen (concussion) and Charlie McAvoy (concussion), Anders Bjork and Steven Kampfer joined were out of the lineup as healthy scratches.
Cassidy indicated before Friday night’s matchup that it is unlikely McAvoy, Vaakanainen or Carlo may rejoin the lineup on the upcoming two-game road trip starting Saturday night in Montreal against the Canadiens.
With Halak getting the start (and win) against the Penguins on Friday, Tuukka Rask will tend the net on Saturday against the Habs.
Cassidy adjusted his top-two lines with Cave in the lineup at center on the third line, by promoting Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson to the first line between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.
David Krejci started the night at center on the second line between Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk.
With Moore back on defense, Matt Grzelcyk remained on the first pair with Kevan Miller and Torey Krug suited up alongside Moore. Jeremy Lauzon and Connor Clifton rounded out the remaining defensive pair.
A back and forth goaltender battle resulted in no goals allowed by either club in the first period. Both teams played aggressively, but neither went over the line as no penalties were called in the opening frame, as well.
After one period, the game was still tied, 0-0, with the Bruins outshooting the Penguins, 12-9. Pittsburgh had the advantage in blocked shots (6-3), takeaways (9-3), giveaways (6-2) and face-off win percentage (63-38) entering the first intermission, while Boston led in hits (10-7).
Coming out of the dressing room for the second period, the Pens upped the ante with some tilted action in their attacking zone, leaving the Bruins trailing behind the play.
Krejci tripped up Juuso Riikola at 5:05 of the middle frame and gave Pittsburgh their first power play of the night.
A little over a minute later, while working the puck around the offensive zone on the skater advantage, Evgeni Malkin (9) blasted a one-timed slap shot past Halak to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
Malkin’s power play goal was assisted by Kris Letang (11) and Phil Kessel (16) at 6:09.
Moments later, the B’s responded with a give-and-go of their own as DeBrusk (9) carried the puck into the offensive zone, sent it to Krejci and received the drop pass back for the connection on a one-timer slap shot of his own to tie the game, 1-1.
Krejci (15) and Miller (2) had the assists on DeBrusk’s goal at 13:40 of the second period.
With the goal, DeBrusk now has eight points (six goals, two assists) in his last nine games and with an assist on the goal, Krejci tied Peter McNab for 11th overall on the franchise’s all-time points list with 587 career points in a Bruins sweater.
Bergeron ranks 7th (760 points with Boston), Ken Hodge is 8th (674 points), Terry O’Reilly is 9th (606 points) and Cam Neely is 10th on the list with 590 points in Boston.
David Backes thought he had the go-ahead-goal in the second period, but referee Wes McCauley deemed it otherwise as the puck appeared trapped between Jarry’s leg pad and the inside of the net hidden from the naked eye.
Upon video review, the call on the ice was confirmed– no goal.
Through 40 minutes of play, the Bruins and Penguins were tied, 1-1, on the scoreboard and, 25-25, in shots on goal (with Pittsburgh outshooting Boston, 16-13, in the second period alone).
Boston held an advantage in blocked shots (11-10), hits (20-17) and face-off win% (53-48) heading into the second intermission, while the Pens led in takeaways (15-6) and giveaways (10-4). Pittsburgh was 1/1 on the power play and the B’s had yet to see the skater advantage on the night.
Miller sent the puck clear over the glass midway through the third period and gave the Penguins their second power play opportunity of the night with an automatic delay of game infraction at 10:41.
The Penguins did not convert on the ensuing power play and the Bruins managed to kill off Miller’s minor penalty.
After regulation, Pittsburgh was leading in shots on goal, 36-35, having outshot Boston, 11-10, in the third period alone. The game was still tied, 1-1, and the Bruins led in blocked shots (15-14), as well as hits (27-24). Meanwhile, the Penguins held onto the advantage in takeaways (19-9), giveaways (15-6) and face-off win% (56-44).
Pittsburgh was 1/2 on the power play after 60 minutes and the Bruins did not get a chance on the skater advantage in Friday night’s matchup.
After surviving an onslaught by the Penguins in overtime, the Bruins managed just enough puck control in the attacking zone for Pastrnak to send a cross-ice pass over to Krug for the slap-pass intentionally wide of the goal where Nordstrom (4) was standing for the redirection pass Jarry.
Nordstrom’s goal at 1:57 of the overtime period, secured the 2-1 victory for Boston and was assisted by Krug (7) and Pastrnak (9).
Boston improved to 2-4 in overtime on the season with the win and finished the night tied in shots on goal with Pittsburgh, 37-37, despite leading in shots on goal in overtime, 2-1.
The Bruins also led in blocked shots (16-14), and hits (28-25) after the final horn, while the Pens held onto the lead in giveaways (16-6) and face-off win% (56-44). Pittsburgh finished the night 1/2 on the power play.
Boston begins a two-game road trip after Friday night’s home game against the Penguins, swinging through Montreal on Saturday and Toronto on Monday, Nov. 26th before returning home for a Thursday night matchup with the N.Y. Islanders on Nov. 29th in which the Bruins will retire Rick Middleton’s No. 16 sweater before the game.