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Bruins come back but lose to Penguins in overtime

The Bruins fell to the Penguins [1], 3-2, in overtime Saturday night, stopping their winning streak at seven games.

The Penguins, who have been without star forwards Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby [2], picked up just their second victory in their last eight games, largely on the strength of two tallies from Dustin Jeffreys, the last of which decided the game at 1:52 of overtime.

Of course, in some ways, the Bruins were fortunate to get a single point. With the Bruins trailing, 2-1, and Tim Thomas [3] pulled, Tomas Kaberle [4] blocked a shot from Boston nemesis Matt Cooke [5] the B’s moved the puck up the ice and attacked the Pittsburgh goal, with David Krejci [6] scoring with 32.5 seconds left to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Zdeno Chara [7] opened the game’s scoring, taking a pass from Krejci and firing a wrist shot past Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury [8] for his 11th goal of the season. Chara’s goal came at 7:26 of the second period, though a Penguins 2-on-1 less than three minutes later would result in a Jordan Staal goal to tie it up at 10:09. The Penguins would take the lead at 11:19 on Jeffreys’ sixth goal of the season.

Thomas took the loss for the Bruins, falling to 29-8-7 on the season. The Bruins will next play on Tuesday, when they travel to Montreal to face the Canadiens for the fifth time this season.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– There may not be a more frustrating penalty for a team to take than too-many-men on the ice, and the Bruins did just that in the first minute of the second period. Milan Lucic [9] served the bench minor at 0:53, though the Penguins did not capitalize on the power play.

That wasn’t the extent of the frustrating penalties for the Bruins, as Lucic would go off for hooking at 14:49 of the third with the B’s trailing by a goal. Like the too-many-men penalty, it didn’t end up proving costly on the scoreboard, though it chopped two minutes off a comeback bid.

– The infusion of Kaberle into the power play still hasn’t led to the results the Bruins need. The B’s found themselves with a man advantage just once on the night, and in failing to convert have now gone 1-for-17 on the power play since acquiring Kaberle. Again, it isn’t a case of the power play looking necessarily bad, as Kaberle’s passes have made him appear as advertised. The lack of finishing touch, however, remains a big problem for the unit.

– The winning streak wasn’t going to last forever, but the Bruins had a chance to come within a point of the Flyers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers lost to the Sabres, 5-3, on Saturday and have dropped their last three game. They’ve gone 2-4-1 in their last seven, so the Bruins have been able to gain on them significantly of late.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– In begin credited with the assists on Chara’s goal and contributing the equalizer, Krejci and Lucic each have 11 points over their last eight games. Krejci, who hit Chara with a nice pass at the blue line, has two goals and nine assists over the span, while Lucic has scored five and gotten six helpers.

– Remember Chara’s fun Peter Bondra-inspired celebration when he picked up a hat trick against the Hurricanes on Jan. 17? That was the last time he had scored until Saturday. Chara broke a 19-game goal-less streak with his wrister from the high slot.

– The Bruins, who have battled back in the third period many a time this season, did so again. After the Penguins outshot Boston by a 29-10 count through two periods, the Bruins put more pucks on the net than Pittsburgh in the third. Matt Cooke had the opportunity to bury the game with an empty-netter, but his bid was blocked.