Chara scores winner as Bruins rally late to beat Penguins, 3-2
Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara (33) celebrates after scoring the go-ahead goal in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Boston, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. The Bruins won 3-2. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Pittsburgh Penguins' Brooks Orpik is taken off the ice after being injured in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in Boston, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) blocks a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins' Chris Conner (23) in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara (33) drops to the ice to block a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Pittsburgh Penguins' Joe Vitale, center, battles Boston Bruins' David Krejci, left, and Matt Bartkowski (43) for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Boston Bruins' Matt Bartkowski (43) and Pittsburgh Penguins' Chris Kunitz (14) battle for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Pittsburgh Penguins' Craig Adams (27) handles the puck in front of Boston Bruins' Dennis Seidenberg (44) in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
BOSTON – Zdeno Chara scored with 13 seconds left in regulation after David Krejci tied it late, lifting the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh last night in a game that saw Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik taken from the ice on a stretcher.
Reilly Smith also scored for the Bruins, who haven’t lost in regulation at home since late October (10-0-2).
Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots for Boston.
Chris Kunitz and James Neal scored power-play goals for the Penguins, who had their season-high, five-game winning streak halted.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 18 shots for Pittsburgh.
Krejci scored with 1:29 to play, beating Fleury with a wrister from the slot. Chara unloaded the winner from near the middle of the faceoff circles, cutting in from the right point.
Midway into the opening period, Bruins winger Shawn Thronton was given a match penalty for grabbing Orpik from behind, pulling him to the ice and punching him when he was down. Orpik appeared to be dazed by a punch, but may have also hit his head on the ice.
The Penguins said on their Twitter site that he was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where “he is alert and conscious.”
The Penguins led, 2-1, after one period on the goals by Kunitz and Neal.
Kunitz made it 1-0 at 6:33 when his centering shot/pass from the bottom of the left circle caromed into the net by Rask off the body of Chara, who was at the edge of the crease.
Boston had tied it 1-all when Smith unloaded a slap shot over the left shoulder of Fleury before Neal beat Rask with a wrister between the pads at 13:13.
Orpik’s injury came after he was in a scrum along with a few Penguins players with Boston’s Gregory Campbell in the Pittsburgh defensive end of the ice.
Boston’s Brad Marchand was injured in front of the Bruins’ bench near center ice before Thornton came charging down and grabbed Orpik. Players on the ice immediately called for medical help and he was surrounded before being taken off the ice to polite applause from the crowd.
Neal was assessed a kneeing penalty for his hit on Marchand.
Some of the bad blood between the teams came from the game’s opening minute when Orpik hit Boston’s Loui Eriksson in the head with his shoulder as the winger started to head up ice. Eriksson was dazed as he slowly made his way to the bench and was helped down the runway to the dressing room. He didn’t return.
Early in the third, Smith missed a wide-open side of the net when his shot went over the crossbar. Chara hit the right post with 2 ½ minutes to play.
Boston swept the Penguins last spring to advance to the Stanley Cup finals, which it lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks.
In the teams’ previous meeting, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby scored with less than a second left in regulation before Torey Krug scored the winner for the Bruins in overtime.
Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg stopped what looked like a certain goal by Pittsburgh’s Jussi Jokinen by sliding across the crease to make a leg save with Rask completely on the other side.
∎ Bruins Coach Claude Julien said earlier in the day that defenseman Johnny Boychuk would miss “three to seven days” and the club is planning on bringing him on a four-game road trip that begins tonight at Toronto. Boychuk was taken off the ice on a stretcher Thursday in Boston’s loss in Montreal, but Julien said “we feared the worst and I think we got as good of news as we could get.” Boychuk had an MRI Friday that found no fractures.
∎ Penguins C Evgeni Malkin missed his second straight game with an undisclosed lower body injury. Malkin was the NHL’s leading scorer in November.
∎ Kunitz headed to the locker room for a while in the second after taking a stick in the chin from Marchand, who was given a double minor.
∎ It was the third and final regular season meeting of the season.