Justin K. Aller
The Penguins turned a two-goal deficit into a 3-2 lead in less than five minutes, finally breaking through Anton Khudobin late in the third period to pick up a most impressive win over the Boston Bruins Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
When Pittsburgh played the New York Islanders Sunday, the team produced six goals and 17 points in a 6-1 win.
Just five players were responsible for all 17 Pittsburgh points.
While the Penguins' offensive stars have perhaps limited the chances of their bottom-six forwards to make an impact this season, Brandon Sutter, playing in Evgeni Malkin's stead as the second-line center, showed that maybe all they need to impact the game is a little more ice time.
Sutter scored twice in less than four minutes Tuesday, first tying the game at 2-2 before stealing a pass and scoring the eventual game-winning goal for the Penguins, who erased a 54 minute-long deficit in the third period to defeat the Boston Bruins 3-2.
"It was a good finish for us," Sutter said. "I think we, for the most part, played a pretty good game and we just kind of stuck with what we wanted to do.
"To get a couple there late is a good feeling, especially against a team like that that's good defensively."
With the win, Pittsburgh (19-8-0, 38 points) extended its March winning streak to six games and its lead in the Atlantic Division to a mammoth nine points over the New Jersey Devils with just 21 games to go.
Sutter and Chris Kunitz scored in the win.
Dating back to last season, the Penguins have now won four straight against the Bruins.
Pittsburgh, which entered the game having scored 26 goals in five previous wins (5.2 goals per game), were held off the scoresheet entirely until Kunitz broke the ice on Boston backup goaltender Anton Khudobin at the 13:42 mark of the third.
The goal was Kunitz's team-leading 18th of the season, two shy of Steven Stamkos' 20 for the NHL lead.
Despite being beat twice in five shots in the first, Marc-Andre Fleury shut the door for the final two frames, allowing just two goals on 16 total shots to notch the win. It was the Penguins' fifth-straight home win, where they are now 8-4-0 after struggling at Consol to start the season.
Pittsburgh outshot the Bruins 34-16.
Shortly after Kunitz broke the shutout, Sutter provided the clutch. Sutter scored his 8th and 9th goals of season in short order in the third, tying the game at 2-2 off a sweet rush with linemates Beau Bennett and James Neal.
Just 3:24 later, Sutter would pot the unassisted game-winner after picking off an errant defensive-zone pass by Dennis Seidenberg.
Tuesday's win was Sutter's second two-goal game for the Penguins. Sutter started the Penguins' current six-game winning stretch after posting two markers in a 7-6 overtime win over the Montreal Canadiens 10 days ago, including the overtime winner off a sweet end-to-end rush with Simon Despres and James Neal.
The centerpiece of the trade that sent Jordan Staal to Carolina, Sutter has been a clutch performer for the Penguins, both offensively and defensively.
"I think for us to squeeze it out in the last few minutes was huge," Sutter said.
"I think everyone wants to score goals, but we did a lot of things right tonight."
Audio/Quotes Courtesy Jason Seidling & Pittsburgh Penguins