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First-period blitz leads Bruins past Penguins

Field Level Media
March 01. 2018 11:54PM
Boston Bruins left wing Rick Nash scores a goal past Pittsburgh goalie Casey DeSmith during the first period at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

One period of play between the Bruins and Penguins nearly broke both goal lamps.

Boston and Pittsburgh combined for eight first-period goals in a battle of Eastern Conference heavyweights, and the Bruins set a season high for goals in an 8-4 victory Thursday night in Boston.

David Krejci had a hat trick (he now has 14 goals), David Pastrnak (24) scored twice and the Bruins also got goals from Rick Nash (20), David Backes (11) and Torey Krug (11). Tuukka Rask stopped 22 of 26 shots as Boston won its second straight to start a five-game homestand.

Olli Maatta (7) scored twice and former Bruin Phil Kessel (27) and Riley Sheahan (9) each had a goal as the Penguins lost their third straight. Rochester, N.H., native and UNH product Casey DeSmith allowed three goals on five shots before being pulled in favor of Tristan Jarry, who finished with 28 saves.

Boston hadn't scored that many goals since an 8-0 rout against Toronto on Mar. 19, 2012. The Bruins have earned a point in eight straight meetings (7-0-1) with the Penguins. Pittsburgh hasn’t won a regulation game in Boston since April 20, 2013.

Boston played without alternate captain Patrice Bergeron, who missed his second straight game with a fractured right foot. Pittsburgh starting goalie Matt Murray also missed his second consecutive contest with a concussion and is out indefinitely.

Brian Gionta and Nick Holden both made their Bruins debuts in the game after joining the team before Monday's trade deadline. Holden logged an assist and Gionta earned his 300th NHL assist with a helper in the opening period.

Boston led 5-3 after one period. The eight goals were the most in an NHL opening period since Arizona (then Phoenix) and Nashville combined for nine on March 28, 2013.

Krejci completed his hat trick with back-to-back goals within the first six minutes of the second period, and the Bruins were up 8-3 entering the third.

The Penguins fell 4-3 to the Bruins in the team's first meeting Nov. 24 in Boston, but took the second meeting 6-5 in overtime on Jan. 7 in Pittsburgh.

Boston hosts rival Montreal on Saturday at 5 p.m.