Bruins 3, Penguins 2

Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins pulled off a major comeback on Saturday night.
Trailing Pittsburgh 2-1, the Bruins got a tying goal from center David Krejci with 1:29 left before defenseman Zdeno Chara fired one home with 13 seconds remaining, giving the Bruins a dramatic 3-2 victory and ending the Pittsburgh Penguins' five-game winning streak.
The game was marred by a first-period incident that left Pittsburgh defenseman Brad Orpik unconscious and then carried off the ice on a stretcher after he was punched twice with his head already on the ice by Shawn Thornton, Boston's tough right winger.
According to the Penguins, Orpik "was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where he is alert and conscious."
Left wingers Chris Kunitz (his 17th) and James Neal (No. 10) scored the power-play goals that had the Penguins, the Eastern Conference leader, ahead heading down the stretch.
Right winger Reilly Smith (No. 6) assisted on Chara's winner. Smith scored on his team's first shot, 10:13 into the game. Krejci scored his fifth goal.
Smith missed a wide-open net in the third period and Chara clanged one off the crossbar with two minutes left.
NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby picked up an assist, the star center's 11th point in the last six games. Defenseman Matt Niskanen assisted on both Pittsburgh goals as the Bruins captured the rubber game of the three-game season series.
Many expect the teams to meet again in the playoffs. The Bruins swept the Penguins in the Eastern finals last season.
Tuukka Rask made 28 saves in the win while Marc-Andre Fleury had 18 stops in the loss.
Orpik knocked Boston right winger Loui Eriksson out of the game just 21 seconds in with a high hit that appeared to seriously daze Eriksson, who missed five games earlier this season with a head injury.
Eriksson left the game and Thornton went after Orpik later in the period, picking up a silly penalty that led to the game's first goal. Then, Crosby knocked down Boston left winger Brad Marchand down, and Neal, skating past Marchand, who was down on all fours, kneed the Bruin in the head for a penalty.
At the other end, Thornton charged into a get-together and flipped Orpik to the ice before knocking him out with two gloved right hands. Some 10 minutes later, Orpik, a former Boston College star, was wheeled off, in front of a stunned crowd.
Both Thornton and Neal seem headed for disciplinary action from the league.
It wasn't the first ugly incident between the conference rivals -- Boston center Marc Savard suffering a serious concussion that eventually seems to have ended his career when nailed by a Matt Cooke elbow.
Thornton, known as a tough fighter but never for doing something like this, recently told ESPN he's a strong believer in "the code" among fighters -- that you don't hit a player when he's down.
With Thornton gone via match penalty and Eriksson hurt, the Bruins played more than 2 1/2 periods with only 10 forwards, while the visitors were down to five defensemen.
NOTES: Pittsburgh C Evgeni Malkin missed his second straight game because of a lower body injury, while RW Pascal Dupuis, on injured Thursday night, played. ... The Penguins recalled LW Harry Zolnierczyk to replace LW Andrew Ebbett, who sustained a broken ankle Thursday, but Zolnierczyk was a scratch. ... The Bruins were down two defensemen. Johnny Boychuk (back sprain) is slated miss only 3-to-7 days after his spill into the boards in Montreal on Thursday night, when he left the ice on a stretcher, while Adam McQuaid missed his second straight and eighth in the last 10 games because of a lower body injury. McQuaid was to accompany the team to Toronto for Sunday night's game against the Maple Leafs but won't play. ... Sunday's game starts a four-game trip for the Bruins, who recalled D Kevan Miller earlier in the week and dressed him for his fourth NHL game Saturday. ... The Penguins host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.

What to Read Next