Third-period attack lifts Bruins over Jets, 5-3


Third-period attack lifts Bruins over Jets, 5-3

BOSTON -- The Bruins came from behind three times on Tuesday night at the TD Garden, and got back on track, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 5-3.

Boston scored three unanswered goals to get the win -- all coming in the third period -- after falling behind 3-2 to end the second period.

Nathan Horton scored his second of two goals, just eight seconds into the third period, tying the game at 3-3, as he went to the net and received a spin-o-rama pass from David Krejci, who took the puck deep down the left corner off the opening draw.

Three minutes after Horton finished the play off, Tyler Seguin gave the Bruins their first lead of the game, as he came streaking down the right wing, cut across the crease with a toe drag, and put a backhander upstairs to make it 4-3 Boston.

Then, nearly seven minutes into the third, Benoit Pouliot added insurance by knocking home a rebound out front, while on the power play to make it 5-3.

Tuukka Rask made 29 saves while picking up his 10th win of the season. Ondrej Pavelec picked up his 14th loss.

The Jets took two of their three leads in the second period, with the first being a quick score to take a 2-1 lead, as former Bruin Blake Wheeler batted down a shot from the left point in the opening minute.

Shawn Thornton tied the game at 2-2, five minutes into the second period, after scoring on a penalty shot. Thornton was coming out of the penalty box, and got the puck swinging up the boards on a Winnipeg shot that went wide left. As Thornton came in all alone, he was hooked at the last minute, and the penalty shot was awarded.

On that penalty shot, Thornton didn't disappoint, faking a shot, then toe-dragging to his backhand, where he then flipped it upstairs.

The Jets took a 3-2 lead, six minutes later, thanks to Eric Fehr's low shot from the left circle that re-directed off Bruins defenseman Joe Corvo's stick and skate. It was Corvo who started the rush, as he turned the puck over in the neutral zone while trying to make a cross-ice pass from his own blue line.

Both teams ended the first period in a 1-1 stalemate. Andrew Ladd put the Jets up 1-0 with 3:07 left in the first, after he batted down a Zach Bogosian slapper from the right point that beat Rask to his right.

The Bruins tied the game at 1-1 with 39.4 seconds left in the opening period, as Nathan Horton put home a Milan Lucic pass out front.

STANLEY CUP FINALS: Guentzel's goal lifts Penguins by Predators 5-3 in Game 1


STANLEY CUP FINALS: Guentzel's goal lifts Penguins by Predators 5-3 in Game 1

PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh rookie Jake Guentzel beat Nashville's Pekka Rinne with 3:17 left in regulation to put the Penguins ahead to stay in a 5-3 victory in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

Guentzel snapped an eight-game goalless drought to help the defending champions escape after blowing a three-goal lead.

Nick Bonino scored twice for the Penguins. Conor Sheary scored his first of the playoffs and Evgeni Malkin scored his eighth. The Penguins won despite putting just 12 shots on goal. Murray finished with 23 saves for the Penguins, who used the first coach's challenge in finals history to wipe out an early Nashville goal and held on despite going an astonishing 37:09 at one point without a shot.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

Ryan Ellis, Colton Sissons and Frederick Gaudreau scored for the Predators. Rinne stopped just seven shots.

The Penguins had all of three days to get ready for the final following a draining slog through the Eastern Conference that included a pair of Game 7 victories, the second a double-overtime thriller against Ottawa last Thursday.

Pittsburgh downplayed the notion it was fatigued, figuring adrenaline and a shot at making history would make up for any lack of jump while playing their 108th game in the last calendar year.

Maybe, but the Penguins looked a step behind at the outset. The Predators, who crashed the NHL's biggest stage for the first time behind Rinne and a group of talented defenseman, were hardly intimidated by the stakes, the crowd or the defending champions.

All the guys from the place dubbed "Smashville" have to show for it is their first deficit of the playoffs on a night a fan threw a catfish onto the ice to try and give the Predators a taste of home.

The Penguins, who led the league in scoring, stressed before Game 1 that the best way to keep the Predators at bay was by taking the puck and spending copious amounts of time around Rinne. It didn't happen, mostly because Nashville's forecheck pinned the Penguins in their own end. Clearing attempts were knocked down or outright swiped, tilting the ice heavily in front of Murray.

Yet Pittsburgh managed to build a quick 3-0 lead anyway thanks to a fortunate bounce and some quick thinking by Penguins video coordinator Andy Saucier. Part of his job title is to alert coach Mike Sullivan when to challenge a call. The moment came 12:47 into the first when P.K. Subban sent a slap shot by Murray that appeared to give the Predators the lead.

Sullivan used his coach's challenge, arguing Nashville forward Filip Forsberg was offside. A lengthy review indicated Forsberg's right skate was in the air as he brought the puck into a zone, a no-no.

It temporarily deflated Nashville and gave the Penguins all the wiggle room they needed to take charge.

Malkin scored on a 5-on-3 15:32 into the first, Sheary made it 2-0 just 65 seconds later and when Nick Bonino's innocent centering pass smacked off Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm's left knee and by Rinne just 17 seconds before the end of the period, Pittsburgh was in full command.

It looked like a repeat of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against Ottawa, when the Penguins poured in four goals in the first period of a 7-0 rout.

Nashville, unlike the Senators, didn't bail. Instead they rallied.

Ellis scored the first goal by a Predator in a Stanley Cup Final 8:21 into the second. Though Nashville didn't get another one by Murray, they also kept Rinne downright bored at the other end. Pittsburgh didn't manage a shot on net in the second period, the first time it's happened in a playoff game in franchise history.

Nashville kept coming. Sissons beat Murray 10:06 into the third and Gaudreau tied it just after a fruitless Pittsburgh power play.

No matter. The Penguins have become chameleons under Sullivan. They can win with both firepower and precision.

Guentzel slipped one by Rinne with 3:17 to go in regulation and Bonino added an empty netter to give Pittsburgh early control of the series.

Harper, Strickland throw punches in Nationals-Giants brawl


Harper, Strickland throw punches in Nationals-Giants brawl

SAN FRANCISCO - An enraged Bryce Harper charged the mound, fired his helmet and traded punches to the head with San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland after getting hit by a fastball, setting off a wild brawl Monday during the Washington Nationals' 3-0 win over the Giants.

Drilled in the right hip by a 98 mph heater on Strickland's first pitch in the eighth inning with two outs, none on and Washington ahead 2-0, Harper didn't hesitate. The slugger pointed his bat at Strickland, yelled at him and took off.

No one got in Harper's way as he rushed the mound. His eyes were wide as he flung his helmet - it sailed way wide of Strickland, it might've slipped - and they started swinging away. The 6-foot-4 Strickland hit Harper in the face, then they broke apart for a moment before squaring off again. Harper punched Strickland in the head as the benches and bullpen emptied.

Giants teammates Michael Morse and Jeff Samardzija collided hard as they tried to get between the two fighters. Three Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the pack all the way into the dugout, while a teammate held back Harper.

Harper and Strickland were both ejected. They have some history between them - in the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland, and the All-Star outfielder glared at the reliever as he rounded the bases after the second shot in Game 4.