PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins faced off in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night in what many feel may have been a preview of the Eastern Conference Final. The Penguins came in riding a five-game winning streak and sitting atop the Atlantic Division, while the Bruins skated in with a modest three-game winning streak and sitting in second place in the Northeast Division, one point behind the idle Montreal Canadiens.
The saying goes that a 2-0 lead is the worst lead to have. That saying proved to be quite accurate on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh as the Penguins rallied from two-goal deficit and scored three third-period goals, posting a 3-2 victory at CONSOL Energy Center.
The win extended the Penguins winning streak to the league-best six.
The Penguins beat Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin three times in the third period At 13:42 of the third, red-hot Chris Kunitz one-timed a Kris Letang pass from the point while positioned in the right faceoff circle. The goal was Kunitz's 18th of gave him points in 17 of his last 20 games.
Then, less than a minute later, the Penguins broke into the Bruins zone on an odd-man rush and Brandon Sutter backhanded a James Neal pass from in tight.
The Penguins completed their comeback by taking advantage of a Bruins turnover. Sutter picked off the errant pass and broke in on Khudobin, sending a wrist shot past Khudobin with 2:03 to play.
The Bruins opened the scoring while on the power play just 4:45 when Zdeno Chara blasted a slap shot from the point over the shoulder of Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury and just under the cross bar. Patrice Bergeron provided the screen in front, obstructing Fleury's view.
The goal continued the Penguins' woes on the penalty kill. Going into Tuesday's action the Pittsburgh penalty kill ranked 22nd, killing opponents' power plays at a less-than-impressive 78.8 percent rate. Compare that with the Bruins' league-best 92.3 percent penalty-kill rate.
The Bruins scored again with 4:30 left in the first. Bergeron corralled the puck behind the net and passed the puck out diagonally from below the goal line to Tyler Seguin in the slot who was able to wrist the bouncing puck just underneath the cross bar as he was falling to the ice for his ninth of the season.
NOTES: Entering play Tuesday, Pittsburgh was the only team in the NHL that boasted four double-digit scorers this season: James Neal (17 goals), Kunitz (17), Sidney Crosby (12) and Pascal Dupuis (11). ... The Bruins have just one break of consecutive days remaining this season (March 28-29). ... Pittsburgh goaltender Tomas Vokoun is one shutout shy from becoming the 26th goaltender in NHL history to record 50. ... Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg played in his 200th game. ... Scratches for Pittsburgh were center Evgeni Malkin (upper body), defenseman Simon Despres, and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo. Scratched for Boston were center Chris Kelly (lower body), left wing Lane MacDermid and defenseman Aaron Johnson. ... The Penguins next play on Thursday at Toronto. The Bruins will also be in action on Thursday when they host the Florida Panthers.