Frederic’s third-period goal carries Bruins past Penguins
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Trent Frederic scored the lone goal of the third period and the Boston Bruins beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Frederic gave the Bruins the lead for good at 7:07 of the third. He beat goaltender Casey DeSmith with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle through traffic.
David Pastrnak scored his 13th on the power play for the Bruins, who had lost nine of their previous 13 games. It was the Bruins’ second win in their last seven road games following a 5-0-1 stretch away from home.
“There’s no do-or-die games in the middle of the regular season,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “There’s games where you have to be a little more dialed in and focused. This was one of those games.”
Dan Vladar made 34 saves for his first win in his first NHL start. Bruins’ No. 1 goaltender Tuukka Rask skated on Tuesday but missed his fifth straight game with an undisclosed injury.
Vladar made his debut in last summer’s Stanley Cup playoffs when he relieved Jaroslav Halak during Game 3 of the second round against Tampa Bay. He settled in early with a diving stick save on Colton Sceviour and was nearly perfect the rest of the way.
“I’m just the happiest kid in the world right now,” Vladar said. “It was always my dream to play in the NHL, I got the opportunity and I won. There hasn’t been a better day for me hockey-wise.”
Brandon Tanev scored his seventh goal for Pittsburgh, which ended a six-game winning streak. The Penguins had won 11 of their previous 14 games. Sidney Crosby’s seven-game point streak ended and DeSmith stopped 31 shots.
“I think we competed hard and gave ourselves a chance,” Crosby said. “It was a tight, intense hockey game and usually with an effort like that you’re rewarded, but unfortunately it didn’t go our way.”
Pastrnak opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 3:20 of the first period. Pastrnak took a feed from Brad Marchand and beat DeSmith between the pads with a backhander.
Tanev tied the game at 15:22 of the first period. Evan Rodrigues redirected Kasperi Kapanen’s shot on goal and Tanev converted the rebound from the side of the net.
Frederic’s winner was the Bruins’ third even-strength goal in their last six games. The Bruins have scored 33 goals in their last 14 games.
“People have to pitch in,” Cassidy said. “We need it. It has been discussed.”
MALKIN LEAVES EARLY
Evgeni Malkin left Tuesday’s game midway through the first period following a hit in the corner from Bruins defenseman Jarred Tinordi. He came back for a power play shift later in the period before returning to the locker room for good. Penguins’ coach Mike Sullivan said Malkin was being evaluated for a lower body injury.
Malkin entered Tuesday with points in 12 of his previous 14 games, including an eight-game point streak, in which he scored four goals and 12 points during the run. Malkin became the third Russian-born player to score 1,100 NHL points one night earlier in a win against Boston.
Tanev was assessed a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Tinordi at 12:57 of the second period.
Tanev’s check away from the boards sent Tinordi awkwardly crashing in front of the Bruins’ bench. Tinordi (upper body) remained on the ice for several moments before he was helped to the locker room and did not return.
“I think (Tanev) was trying to finish his check,” Sullivan said. “It’s unfortunate how the circumstances evolved because (Tinordi) was a long way from the boards on initial contact.”
Boston managed just four shots during the 5-minute power play, and Pittsburgh’s Mark Jankowski hit the post on a short-handed breakaway in the waning moments of the kill. Pittsburgh killed the penalty without two of its top penalty killers, Tanev and Teddy Blueger, who was a surprise scratch, and played the final 27 minutes with 10 forwards.
“I hope (Tinordi) is OK,” Crosby said. “He went into the boards pretty awkwardly. You never like to see that, but I don’t think it warranted a 5-minute penalty. I don’t think (Tanev) had any intent.”
BRUINS RARE WIN IN PITTSBURGH
Boston won its first game in Pittsburgh since a 6-2 victory on Dec. 18, 2015. The Bruins were winless in their previous seven games in Pittsburgh, including a 4-1 loss on Monday.
The Penguins had 11 wins and points in 12 of 14 prior home games against Boston dating to March 11, 2012.
Pittsburgh travels to New Jersey on Thursday for two road games before closing the month with a five-game homestand.
Boston continues a four-game road trip Thursday at Buffalo. The Bruins then return home for a franchise-long eight-game homestand in which fans can return beginning March 23 against the New York Islanders.
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By DAN SCIFO