Some grit and spit back in their game, the Bruins rallied from an early 1-0 deficit Thursday night at the Garden and pinned a 4-1 loss on the Penguins with goals by Sean Kuraly, Par Lindholm, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand (empty net).
Bergeron, who popped in the third Boston goal with 3:19 gone in the third, reached the 20-goal plateau for the seventh consecutive season, the 11th time overall.
Karson Kuhlman, called up earlier in the day from AHL Providence, contributed assists on Boston’s first two goals for his first two points of the season.
Jaroslav Halak, the No. 1 starter now with Tuukka Rask sidelined with a concussion, finished with 29 saves. He was particularly sharp at the end of the second period when he snuffed out a 2-on-0 breakaway.
The win improved the Bruins’ record on Causeway Street to 16-2-9. They’re back at work Sunday in a matinee rematch with the Penguins in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins entered the night with a 15-3-1 mark over their previous 19 games. The loss snapped their four-game winning streak and dropped their road mark to 12-8-2.
■ Kuhlman already had a pair of assists before the 13-minute mark of the first period.
The former Minnesota-Duluth Bulldog raced in front to set a screen when Kuraly drilled home the 1-1 equalizer at 10:03. And with 7:44 to go before intermission, Kuhlman snapped off a 45-footer wrister from the slot that Lindholm tipped by Tristan Jarry for the 2-1 lead.
Just the type of spark Bruce Cassidy was hoping for from Kuhlman. He was alert, enthusiastic, and productive.
■ Shaky in his last two outings, Monday and Tuesday, Halak yielded the 1-0 lead on Pittsburgh’s first shot, a left-circle slapper by Sidney Crosby. Big league shot by Crosby, pegged in far side, under Halak’s glove.
■ Halak’s best work came in the final seconds of the second, off a 2-on-0 breakout that began with Charlie McAvoy muffing the puck high in offensive zone. Bryan Rust and Zach Aston-Reese were off to the races.
Halak first stoned Rust on what would have been the 2-2 equalizer at 19:50. The Bruins still scrambling to get in position, Halak then turned back Aston-Reese, the former Huntington Hound, at the left post. Three sparkling saves to keep the Bruins in front.
■ The Bruins had a goal wiped off the board at 18:41 of the second on what would have provided a 3-1 lead. Working low in the slot, Bergeron reached up for a puck with his left hand, the puck darting down, behind Jarry, and over the goal line.
The referees blew it dead and studied the video. Final ruling: no goal. Bergeron, they said, gloved it into the net.
■ After being far too quiet for far too long, the Bruins found some sandpaper in their game, with a number of scrums through the first 40 minutes.
The highlight was a Torey Krug-Patrick Hornqvist dustup at 18:11 of the second, the combatants throwing down seconds after they were dismissed from the penalty box. They were sent to the sin bin at 16:08 after a scrum near the Boston bench. Not sufficiently cooled after two minutes, they went at it again, with Krug getting in the first shot and having the better of the battle.
■ It looked like the Bruins lost Joakim Nordstrom for the night at 3:10 of the second period when he was hobbled badly on the penalty kill, his right leg dinged by a heavy Juuso Riikola slapper. Nordstrom barely made it off the ice under his own power. Just a few minutes later, after a quick visit to the dressing room, he was back in action.
■ The yips continued early for Marchand. He lost the puck on a shorthanded breakaway at 10:19 of the second, the puck rolling away from him low in the slot as he tried to transfer backhand to forehand. Oops. Marchand muffed a shootout attempt in Philly on Monday, overskating the puck at mid-ice, ending the game.