“Everybody’s got to pick up their game even more without Mario, because he’s such a significant part of our team,” said Rico Fata, who scored goals 4:48 apart in the third period to tie the game.
“When we lost him, we knew we had to fill the void, and the guys did it.”
Lemieux, who missed 54 games two seasons ago with hip problems, left the game after playing 7:19 in the first period. It is unclear whether Lemieux, who had an eight-game scoring streak snapped, would be available when the Penguins play in Toronto Tuesday.
In overtime, Bruins defenseman Dan McGillis blocked Drake Berehowsky’s shot from the right point with his right skate, but Malone cruised into the high slot for the rebound, firing a shot that got past goaltender Andrew Raycroft.
“I had some earlier opportunities and didn’t cash in on them, so it feels good to help the team out,” Malone said. “I was lucky the puck was just sitting there.”
Fata scored his fourth goal of the season at 7:15 of the third period when he redirected Mike Eastwood’s pass behind Raycroft.
“The offensive guys can’t play their style. But what can you do? You’re not in charge of the officials,” said Thornton, who finished third in scoring last season but has just one goal in 11 games. “At the start of last year at least they were calling some things. Now it’s just, ‘Give me a rope.’
“It’s unfortunate hockey is going this way now. You’d think somebody at the league office would kind of wonder what’s going on with the officiating, but nobody’s throwing any questions up. I’ve seen enough, that’s for sure. As far as I’m concerned, I should be able to get away with anything. I don’t think all year I should be called for a penalty.”
Boston coach Mike Sullivan understood Thornton’s frustration but couldn’t condone his actions.
“He is a big guy and because he does not fall down, they do not seem to call the penalties,” Sullivan said. “At the end of the day he has to be more disciplined because that is what is going to help us win.”
The Bruins took the lead on Knuble’s sixth goal in eight games at 2:53 of the first period, and Axelsson made it 2-0 at 9:34 of the second.
“I told our guys I couldn’t be happier for them or more proud of them,” Pittsburgh coach Ed Olczyk said. “They stuck with it, and when it lookedreally dark and bleak, we seemed to find another gear.”
The Bruins, who have yet to win a home game this season, begin a three-game homestand Thursday against San Jose. … The Penguins’ game in Toronto begins a five-game road trip. … Boston scratched Michal Grosek for the second consecutive game. … Pittsburgh scratched Milan Kraft and Steve Webb. … Penguins’ defenseman Nolan Baumgartner was claimed on waivers by Vancouver Saturday. … Lemieux has one goal in his last 19 games dating to last season and has failed to score a goal in his last 12 games at home. …Rolston’s assist was his first point in five games.