The Associated Press
November 25, 2014
SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) skates between Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (44) and Tuukka Rask as teammate Evgeni Malkin’s game-winning goal eludes the goalie in overtime last night at the Garden. (Matt West/Boston Herald)
BOSTON (AP) -- Marc-Andre Fleury's biggest challenge after regulation was cleaning up the shaving cream shower his Pittsburgh teammates gave him in celebration of the goalie's 300th career victory.
Toweling off the mess took longer than the Penguins needed in overtime to beat the Boson Bruins 3-2 Monday night on Evgeni Malkin's goal 32 seconds into the extra session.
The Penguins exulted on the ice as a mystery teammate prepared to greet Fleury at the bench with the foamy surprise.
''I don't know, but when I find out, though, there's going to be some payback,'' Fleury said. ''It was on the bench. That's why I never saw it coming.''
Fleury faltered during one stretch early in the second period when the Bruins scored goals 28 seconds apart. He recovered, shut down Boston on several scoring chances late in regulation and faced only one shot in overtime.
Fleury stopped it easily and the Penguins quickly got going the other way for a 3-on-2 led by Sidney Crosby up the left wing. Crosby made a perfect crossing pass for Malkin's one-timer past Boston goalie Tuukka Rask.
''Malkin was really wide. It was a really good play,'' said Rask, who finished with 30 saves. Crosby ''makes a saucer pass and he one-times it. It was one of those that I just try and get something in there and hope it hits me because it's tough to get across.''
Crosby had a goal and two assists, and Kris Letang assisted on all three goals for the Penguins.
Fleury finished with 27 saves for victory No. 300 in his 547th NHL game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only Jacques Plante (521), Andy Moog (543) and Martin Brodeur (548) reached 300 wins in fewer games.
''It was great for him. What an accomplishment,'' Pittsburgh coach Mike Johnston said. ''For a guy, third-youngest to get to 300 and to earn it in overtime and to have to play against the Bruins in here, it's an exciting night for him.''
Joe Morrow had his first career goal and Milan Lucicalso scored as the Bruins quickly went from down 1-0 to a 2-1 lead.
Lucic ended his five-game scoreless slump when Loui Eriksson set him up with a pass into the slot 1:43 into the second period. There wasn't a Pittsburgh player near Lucic, who had time to corral the puck and set up an easy tap-in as Fleury tried to get back in position.
Boston took a 2-1 lead 28 seconds later when Morrow scored on a long wrist shot from above the circle that Fleury couldn't follow through a screen.
The Bruins had an apparent goal waved off in the first period after Patrice Bergeron batted the puck out of the air into the net. One referee called it a goal, but the other three officials said Bergeron's stick was above the crossbar. The review was inconclusive, and the no-goal call stood.
''The closest referee calls it a goal. And then it's no goal because the three furthest ones think it's a high stick, so I guess that's what's frustrating in my mind,'' Boston coach Claude Julien said.
NOTES: Pittsburgh forward Craig Adams assisted on the opening goal, ending an 11-game stretch without a point. ... Bruins captain Zdeno Chara returned to the ice during the morning skate for the first time since injuring his left knee Oct. 23. Julien said it was nice to see Chara back on the ice, but he is a long way from playing again. ... Julien broke up an altercation during the morning skate between Rask and defenseman Carl Soderberg, then downplayed it when he spoke to reporters. ''It wasn't even a tussle,'' Julien said. ''They've already kissed and made up, so it's not an issue.'' ... Boston forward Simon Gagne got his 599th career point with an assist on Lucic's goal.