The Bruins were 0.3 seconds from winning the game. But, with the fractions of a second ticking down, Sidney Crosby slipped a shot past Tuukka Rask to force overtime as NESN cameras showed Cam Neely slamming his hand down in frustration.
There would be more hockey at the TD Garden – but not much more.
Just 34 seconds into overtime, the Bruins won their second consecutive game in overtime, 4-3, as Torey Krug notched his seventh goal of the season on the same day that Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma mentioned that his name had come up in discussions for Team USA at the Sochi Olympics.
The Bruins had taken the lead with 5:15 left to go in the game on Zdeno Chara’s first even strength goal of the season, after James Neal tied it at 11:09 of the third with his second of the game.
Despite the Penguins’ initial 10-1 lead in shots on goal, the Bruins struck first in the first period. The goal came off the stick of Loui Eriksson, though it started with Brooks Orpik flailing on a shot. The puck went to Carl Soderberg, who took the turned over puck up the ice. Soderberg sent a cross-ice pass to Eriksson, who went around the defense and in alone on Marc-Andre Fleury, burying the backhander at 12:27.
The Bruins converted on another shot at 15:43, this one by Reilly Smith. Soderberg passed across the mouth of the goal and Smith picked up the puck coming down the left side. The secondary assist went to Eriksson, giving both of the resident Swedes two points in the opening period.
But then Pittsburgh came back.
The Penguins got their first goal just 37 seconds into the second period, as Neal sniped a shot past Rask, cutting the Bruins lead in half. And he wasn’t done. With Chara and Dougie Hamilton on the Crosby line, the line of Jussi Jokinen, Evgeni Malkin, and Neal had gotten chances all evening, and Neal converted again, tying the game at 11:09 of the third with his second of the game, beating Rask glove side.