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Bruins come from behind to beat Penguins, but dangerous first period overshadows win

12.07.13 at 9:42 pm ET

Saturday night featured a thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind victory, but they lost two players against the Penguins Saturday night: one to an injury and another to one to a match penalty following an on-ice attack.

After Loui Eriksson left the game as the result of a hit from Brooks Orpik that left the B’s forward clearly woozy, Shawn Thornton twice went after Orpik as the first period went on. The first attempt resulted in a roughing minor when Orpik didn’t accept Thornton’s invitation, while the second was an ugly scene in which Thornton grabbed an unsuspecting Orpik from behind, threw him to the ice and punched him in the head twice, knocking him out and forcing Orpik from the game in a stretcher. Thornton, who has never been suspended before, faces a suspension for the play after receiving a match penalty.

It wasn’t the only dirty play that happened, as the whole fiasco occurred on the whistle that came when James Neal stuck out his leg to knee Brad Marchand in the head. Marchand stayed in the game, while Neal received just a minor penalty.

As for the rest of the game, the B’s came back to score two goals in the final 1:29 to win the game. David Krejci beat Marc-Andre Fleury with Tuukka Rask pulled to tie it, with Zdeno Chara scoring on a wrist shot from the high slot with 13 seconds remaining.

The Bruins and Penguins swapped goals early on, as the B’s followed up a Chris Kunitz power play goal that went in off the skate of Zdeno Chara with Reilly Smith’s sixth goal of the season. Then, following the expiration of his penalty for kneeing Marchand, Neal beat Rask to make it 2-1.


Shawn Thornton. Click here for more on that.

– That would be really bad for the B’s if Eriksson is concussed again, as he already missed five games earlier in the season after suffering a concussion on Oct. 23 against the Sabres. He had been finding on Bergeron’s line with Brad Marchand over the last month, so another disruption from a head injury would be brutal.

Reilly Smith moved up to Bergeron’s line to play in Eriksson’s place.

– How Neal only got two minutes for what would have been the most despicable play of any other game is anyone’s guess. Marchand was down on the ice and Neal stuck out his leg to hit him in the head. Thornton won’t be the only receiving a suspension as a result of this game, as Neal (and maybe Orpik) also figure to hear from the league.

– Smith’s goal was nice and all (it actually came from the same spot where Torey Krug beat Fluery in overtime in the teams’ last meeting), he missed a wide open net right in front on a third-period power play.


– Lucic’s goal is further proof of the impact Zdeno Chara has in front of the net. There was no way Fleury could see Krejci’s shot with the 6-foot-9 obstacle in front of him.

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