PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — The Penguins, who led 4-2 going into the third period, apparently suffered a meltdown, losing 7-4 to the Boston Bruins Wednesday night.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists as the team dropped to 2-5 at the CONSOL Energy Center.
Aaron Asham scored the first goal of the night – and his first as a Penguin – at 1:05 in the first on a wrist shot with assists from Evgeni Malkin and Matt Cooke.
The Bruins tied it up with a power play goal by Mark Recchi and took a 2-1 lead when Brad Marchand scored at 16:24. Brooks Orpik tied it at 2-2 less than a minute later with assists from Malkin and Crosby at the end of the first.
Kris Kunitz scored late in the second period and Crosby scored on the power play with less than a minute left in the period, giving the Pens a 4-2 lead.
Then the tables turned.
Nathan Horton and Zdeno Chara scored 15 seconds apart over the first 4:04 to tie it, Shawn Thornton was credited with the winner with 7:20 to play, Blake Wheeler scored with 3:47 left and Milan Lucic added an empty-netter.
Tim Thomas made a season-high 42 saves to improve to 8-0-0 for the Bruins, who improved to 6-1 on the road this season. They had lost their previous two after winning seven of eight.
Fifteen of Boston’s 18 skaters had at least a point.
Mark Recchi, 42, who began his career in Pittsburgh 22 years ago, scored his the first goal of the season and 564th of his career.
There were two fights in the first 7 minutes of the game and a third midway through the second period. None, however, involved Matt Cooke. Last March 7, the Penguins’ agitator knocked Bruins gifted center Marc Savard out of the game – and the remainder of his regular season –with a blind-side hit to the head.
Although Savard returned during the playoffs, he has not played yet this season due to post-concussion symptoms. The Bruins vowed a measure of revenge, but other than Thornton fighting Cooke 2 minutes into the only meeting between the two teams since then (11 days after the hit), there has been no visible on-ice retribution.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.