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Bruins beat Penguins in overtime

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- Rookie defenseman Torey Krug said the message on the Bruins' bench after Sidney Crosby forced overtime in the final second of regulation was clear.

Shake it off and let's go.

"It's tough, (but) we have the guys and we have the leadership to make sure we're not hanging our heads. It's kind of a shocking moment at first and then all of a sudden you're hearing guys yelling down the bench, 'Let's go. We're going to win this game. We're not going to wait until the shootout,'" Krug said after scoring just 34 seconds into overtime to give Boston a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night.

After Pittsburgh forced OT with the goal with three-tenths of a second left in regulation, the Bruins, playing their fourth straight overtime home game, went with three forwards and Krug -- and it paid off. Right wing Loui Eriksson, who had a goal and an assist in the first period, got the puck to left wing Brad Marchand, who in turn found Krug alone in the middle.

Krug waited for Marc-Andre Fleury to commit and blasted one in and out of the top corner of the net and the Bruins, who swept the Penguins in last spring's Eastern Conference final, moved to 8-1-2 in their last 11 games by winning their second straight overtime game.

The Bruins (16-6-2), leading the East, are 1-1 against Pittsburgh (15-9-1) this season.

The goal was Krug's seventh of the season, tying him with Ottawa's Erik Karlsson for the lead among defensemen. It came in front of Penguins coach Dan Bylsma and general manager Ray Shero, the coach and associate general manager, respectively, of Team USA with the Olympics coming.

The winner also allowed the Bruins to escape on a night they blew leads of 2-0 and 3-2, a night goalie Tuukka Rask called, "A case of the Mondays."

Not for Rask, who was outstanding in the Boston goal -- while Fleury did little to help his team at the other end.

"That's the closest that I've ever seen, with .3 seconds," Rask said of the tying goal. "We found a way after, so that's a good sign."

Last Saturday, the Bruins gave up the tying goal in the third period but center David Krejci won it in overtime. On Monday, in a battle of the top two teams in the conference, left winger James Neal tied it 2-2 with his second goal of the game.

Defenseman Zdeno Chara put the Bruins back in front and Crosby, who actually tipped Chara's goal past Fleury, re-tied it; the play was reviewed to see if was off in time and it was -- the 13th goal of the season for the NHL scoring leader.

"I liked the way, against this tough team, we stayed with the game plan and did come out with a tie after regulation," Bylsma said.

Left wing Carl Soderberg set up both Eriksson and Reilly Smith (fifth goal for both) after the Bruins were outshot 10-1 in the early going. Smith's second goal in as many games came as all five Bruins touched the puck on a power play that lasted just nine seconds.

The Penguins went the final 11:33 of the first period without a shot but Neal then scored 37 seconds into the second. He has four goals in the last two games, six on the year.

"It's a good point, but at the same time I think we've got to keep getting better," Neal said. "We thought we deserved a little better, but we can't keep saying that. We've got to do it."

It was the first regular-season defeat suffered by the Penguins in Boston in seven games and was their first regular-season loss to the Bruins in the last eight overall.

NOTES: The Bruins were still missing injured defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid, with McQuaid (eighth game out) practicing and getting closer to a return. ... Penguins RW Beau Bennett underwent wrist/hand surgery and will miss 8-10 weeks. LW Tanner Glass was also injured this past weekend and could be out awhile. ... The Penguins, expecting their 300th straight home sellout, host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night, while the Bruins play the Red Wings in Detroit on Wednesday. ... Bruins D Matt Bartkowski, a Pittsburgh-area product, played in his NHL season-high 12th game Monday night. ... Penguins C Evgeni Malkin was named the NHL's No. 1 star for last week, when he had a goal and seven assists in four games. He had another assist Monday, but his streak of multi-point games ended at four. ... New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman, who scored two touchdowns Sunday night, was at the game.
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