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Talking Points: Boston Bruins Make Classic 3rd Period Comeback

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Boston Bruins

BOSTON – Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Winter Classic on Fenway Park on Monday afternoon.

GOLD STAR: Who else but Jake DeBrusk? The Boston Bruins winger finally brought some life to the Black and Gold in the third period when he scored on a gusty shift where he first took a point blast off the back of his leg and stayed with it. Ultimately Brad Marchand found him down low with a pass and DeBrusk wheeled around from the post and buried one between Casey DeSmith’s leg pads to tie the game and give Boston juice. Then he followed in the final minutes of the third period by burying home the rebound of a Taylor Hall shot for the game-winning goal that gave Boston their first lead of the game. DeBrusk’s two goals made him the clear hero of the 2023 Winter Classic. DeBrusk finished with five shots on net, seven shot attempts and was a plus-2 in 16:58 of ice time.

BLACK EYE: It was a quick day for Tristan Jarry as he took a Tomas Nosek blast from the high point off his leg and had to exit the game shortly afterward for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Casey DeSmith came in as the relief pitcher for Pittsburgh and played well in Jarry’s place, but it certainly was a tough blow for Pittsburgh to lose Kris Letang prior to the game and then watch their No. 1 goaltender exit in the first period as well. DeSmith stopped 19 of 21 shots he faced and couldn’t really be blamed for either one.

TURNING POINT: For the Boston Bruins, it was their game beginning to get better toward the end of the second period as they simplified and began cycling pucks and making simple plays rather than attempting normal high-wire skill plays. That allowed them to gather some momentum as they began to hem in the Penguins, but it really bore fruit in the third period as they fired 10 pucks on net and scored on a pair of Grade-A scoring chances with pucks directed right at the net. Jake DeBrusk did the rest burying a pair of chances that the Bruins worked hard to create after a sleepy couple of periods to start things out.

HONORABLE MENTION: Linus Ullmark has been outstanding all season and that was the case again while stopping 26-of-27 shots including 14 saves in the first period when the Boston Bruins were still getting their bearings on the outdoor rink. He also made stops late in the game as Pittsburgh mounted a last-minute attack that nearly opened the door for an Evgeni Malkin scoring attempt that arrived right after the final buzzer. Ullmark is beginning to show that he can win games and play excellent goalie even on the big stage and that really bodes well for the Stanley Cup playoffs in what’s becoming a special year for the Swedish goaltender.

BY THE NUMBERS: 39, 243 – the number of fans at Fenway Park for Monday’s Winter Classic, a sellout at the America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I think it was Bergy. Once we saw a picture of him in it, we were all on board.” –Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk during a first intermission interview when asked whose idea it was to dress up in 1930’s old time Red Sox uniforms as they entered Fenway Park on Monday.

 

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