BOSTON (AP) — Sidney Crosby scored his 499th career regular-season goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied from a two-goal deficit and beat the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Danton Heinen scored twice in a span of 28 seconds in the second period and Crosby added another score with 7:07 left in the frame, moving him within one goal of joining Washington’s Alex Ovechkin as the only active players to score 500 goals in the regular season.
Tristan Jarry stopped 43 shots for the Penguins, and Bryan Rust scored into an empty net with 1:29 left in the third as Pittsburgh snapped a four-game winless streak.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game by any stretch, but we’ve got a resilient group. We find ways to score goals and I think we’re just a scrappy group,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said.
David Pastrnak scored twice for the Bruins, who outshot the Penguins 45-25 but couldn’t get anything past Jarry after the first period. Jeremy Swayman finished with 21 saves.
Jarry kept the Penguins close with six of his 15 saves in the final two minutes of the period, including a stop on Brad Marchand from just outside the crease during a flurry of shots coming from the Bruins as they tried to take a 3-0 lead.
“He was terrific. He made some big saves all night long. I thought he was locked in all night,” Sullivan said. "He’s a terrific goalie when he’s playing the game and he’s seeing the puck and he’s locked in the way he is.
Pittsburgh quickly erased the 2-0 deficit on a pair of goals by Heinen. Heinen got a backhand around Swayman 4:18 into the second, then scored again from the right circle on a wrist shot that Swayman got a piece of but couldn’t control. The puck bounced up and behind Swayman’s head, then he knocked it in with his glove hand.
Crosby put Pittsburgh up 3-2 at 12:53 of the second after Rust hit the side of the goal with a shot, then took the puck behind the net for a quick pass to Crosby for a one-timer and a power-play goal for Pittsburgh.
After dominating the first period, the Bruins spent much of the next two chasing the Penguins.
“I think we kind of shot ourselves in the foot,” Pastrnak said. “I think we were the better team but we made a lot of mistakes. Pittsburgh is a great team and a lot of skills and they were able to capitalize on our every mistake."
Pastrnak scored his 23rd of the season 2:01 into the game. Patrice Bergeron, who had just been denied on a blocker save by Jarry, saved the puck from going out at the blue line and got it back to Hall, who dropped it down to Pastrnak for a one-timer.
Pastrnak scored again with 4:26 left in the first when he batted a rebound out of the air for his 24th after a hard wrist shot from Taylor Hall handcuffed Jarry.
MORE TO COME
Boston winger Brad Marchand is likely looking at his eighth career suspension and second this season.
Marchand received a match penalty with 25 seconds to play after throwing a punch at Jarry’s head, then poking the goaltender’s mask with his stick as a linesman was escorting him away from the fray. Marchand sat for three games for slew-footing a Vancouver player in late November.
“Obviously lack of discipline on Brad’s part in that situation,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Brad’s a leader on our team and he needs to control his emotions."
Swayman got the start after being recalled from Providence of the AHL on Monday and Rask sidelined for the week with a lower-body injury. Cassidy said on Monday that Rask wouldn’t practice and would be re-evaluated this weekend or early next week. Cassidy didn't have much more to say when asked after Tuesday's game about a report that Rask could be retiring, ending the comeback from offseason hip surgery that he just started last month.
“I think that’s for Tuukka to comment on his stature,” Cassidy said. “So, if he has something to say I think I’ll leave it to him.”
NOTES: Crosby needs one more goal to become the 46th player in NHL history to score 500 regular-season goals. …… The Penguins were without center Evgeni Malkin, who was placed on the COVID-19 protocol list Monday and will also miss Thursday night’s game at Ottawa. Malkin just made his season debut Jan.11 and carried a nine-game point streak into the All-Star break. … Bergeron skated gingerly toward the bench after getting tangled up with Crosby and slamming hard into the boards midway through the third period. Cassidy said he hadn't heard any updates on Bergeron after the game.
Penguins: Visit Ottawa on Thursday night.
Bruins: Host Carolina on Thursday night.
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