With the exception of the Shawn Thornton incident -- he jumped the Penguins' Brooks Orpik, throwing him to the ice and punching him in the head twice before the Pittsburgh defenseman was taken off on a stretcher and transported to a hospital -- it was a good, physical and intense game between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.
Like many times in the past, the Bruins finished with a flurry, erasing a one-goal deficit late in the third period to beat the Penguins 3-2. After Boston pulled goaltender Tuukka Rask for the extra attacker with 1:45 remaining in regulation, David Krejci scored to tie it at 2-2 at 18:31 of the third period. Teammate Zdeno Chara then scored with 13 seconds remaining in regulation en route to victory.
"Yeah, it was very hard for me. Since the start of the game it was very physical," Chara said. "There was a lot of emotions involved and it was up-and-down hockey, a lot of scoring chances, very playoff kind of hockey. We were behind the whole game. We were just fighting for that tying goal and eventually we got it and then we carried that momentum into basically the end of the game and we were able to score a goal with very little time left in the game so it was a good game to win for us."
With the win, Boston extended its home point streak to 12 games (10-0-2) and also snapped Pittsburgh's five-game winning streak.
After the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien said he would rather focus on the team's win than speak about the incidents in the first period involving Thornton and Orpik.
"Well, it was a good win for us. We haven't felt real good about our game because of the ups and downs and tonight it was kind of, like I said, a real weird game," Julien said. "It was a grinding type of game. Didn't seem like a ton of stuff was happening and for us to kind of grind it out and get those two late goals and get the win in regulation, I think we have to build on that.
"The rest we have to park and we have a big game tomorrow again in Toronto and we have to somehow push this aside and focus on tomorrow's game. And that's why we need to move on here and let the people that are in charge deal with this."
Bruins forward Reilly Smith also scored for the Bruins and played one of his best games of the season. He added an assist on Chara's game-winning goal.
"It was great to see it hit the back of the net," Smith said. "We were battling for probably the whole third period. It's hard to get chances and it seemed like until the last minute we finally got one in. To see [Krejci's goal] and then have Chara get that last one is huge."
Smith has three goals and three assists for six points in his last eight games.
In case you're wondering how physical this game was, there were 67 hits total between the teams. Boston had 31 and Pittsburgh had 36.