PITTSBURGH (Ticker) — Sergei Gonchar and Chris Kunitz scored 18
seconds apart early in the third period, Petr Sykora got the
game-winner later in the period and the Pittsburgh Penguins
gained a valuable victory in the Eastern Conference race,
beating Boston 6-4 on Sunday.
The Penguins rallied from deficits of 3-2 and 2-1 to beat the
conference-leading Bruins for only the second time in six games
and moved ahead of idle Montreal into fifth place in the crowded
standings. The Penguins picked up at least one point for the
10th consecutive game, going 8-0-2 during a run that began with
a seven-game winning streak.
Kunitz was originally credited with a power-play goal 43 seconds
into the third that tied it at 3, but Gonchar was given the goal
during a postgame review. Kunitz, who lost what would have been
his second career hat trick because of the scoring change, said
he never touched the puck.
He certainly did seconds later. Kunitz got loose on a short
breakaway off Bill Guerin’s pass and beat Tim Thomas by shifting
from his forehand to his backhand before slipping the puck
between the goalie’s pads. Kunitz’s 21st goal was his fifth in
nine games since being dealt by Anaheim at the trading deadline,
although he didn’t have a goal in his previous five games.
Michael Ryder tied it less than two minutes later with his 24th
for Boston, which was trying to become the first NHL team to
reach the 100-point mark this season. The Bruins had won two in
a row after dropping five of six.
Sykora put Pittsburgh back into the lead again with his 24th
midway through the period, only 13 seconds after Boston killed
off a power play that included 17 seconds with a two-man
Jordan Staal shed a defender with a spin move in the corner and
threw the puck to Sykora for a quick wrist shot from the left
circle. Sykora was playing his second game after missing three
games with an injured shoulder. Staal added an empty-net goal in
the final minute.
Phil Kessel scored his 31st goal and fourth in three games for
Boston, and former Penguins player Mark Recchi and Blake Wheeler
also scored for the Bruins. Wheeler’s short-handed goal in the
second briefly put them up 3-2.
However, Wheeler’s holding penalty 28 seconds into the third
created the power play that led to the first of two Kunitz’s
goals in the opening 1:01 of the period.
Before that, Guerin scored 50 seconds into the game, his second
goal since being dealt to Pittsburgh. Recchi answered 16 seconds
later by beating Mathieu Garon with a one-timer from just inside
the blue line as the Bruins scored on their first shot for the
second day in a row. They scored on their first two shots during
a 2-1 victory over the Islanders on Saturday.
Garon made 21 saves in only his second start since being traded
to Pittsburgh on Jan. 17. Marc-Andre Fleury started the previous
Sidney Crosby had three assists to reach the 90-point mark and
has at least one point in 10 consecutive games. He has four
goals and 17 assists in 13 games against Boston