Buffalo Sabres right wing Drew Stafford (21) celebrates his goal with teammates Patrick Kaleta (36) and Tyler Ennis (63) after scoring during a shootout on Saturday.
BOSTON — Hockey returned to Boston after the manhunt following the marathon bombings, and Jarome Iginla scored the tiebreaking goal that gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 win over the Bruins on Saturday and home-ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The game was pushed back by one day by the manhunt for a suspect, who was captured Friday night.
The postponement was the second of the week for the Bruins. Their game against the Ottawa Senators last Monday night, scheduled to start about four hours after the bombings, was rescheduled for April 28. The Bruins returned to their ice to beat Buffalo in a shootout on Thursday.
Before the game, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma wore a black T-shirt with the words “BOSTON STRONG” over his shirt and tie. During warmups, Bruins players wore baseball caps of the state police and Boston and Watertown police departments. The black cap for Watertown, where the suspect was taken into custody, had the Bruins “Spiked B” logo on the front and the word “STRONG” on the back.
A pregame slideshow on the video board above center ice showed pictures of smiling policemen after the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was taken into custody. Also shown were individual photos of Lu Lingzi, Krystle Campbell and Martin Richard, who were killed in Monday’s bombings, and Sean Collier, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer shot to death by the suspects.
During the game, a fan held up an “MIT” pennant.
Veteran Bruins vocalist Rene Rancourt sang the beginning of the national anthem and then, as he did before Wednesday night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, gestured for the fans to join in and they did for the rest of an emotional “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien said before the game, “At least we could all breathe a little easier and sleep a little easier. And now it’s, hopefully, time to work ourselves into trying to get things back to normal again, but it will always leave a scar somewhere.”
The Penguins took a nine-point lead in the Eastern Conference over Montreal, which could get just eight more points in its remaining four games. The Bruins remained in fourth place with 57 points, 11 behind the Penguins, with five games to go.
Pittsburgh won its sixth straight game despite the continued absence of some top offensive players. NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby missed his eighth game with a broken jaw, James Neal sat out his fifth with a concussion and last season’s NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin was sidelined for his third with a shoulder injury.
With the score 1-1 on goals by Boston’s Brad Marchand in the first period and Pittsburgh’s Jussi Jokinen in the second, the Penguins got two power-play goals in four minutes. Tyler Seguin scored the final goal for the Bruins with 2.6 seconds remaining.
Iginla, nearly traded to Boston three weeks ago, played his first game against the Bruins since he was dealt by Calgary to Pittsburgh on March 28.
He was booed every time he touched the puck during a third-period power play. The jeers grew louder after he scored on a 50-foot shot from the center of the blue line as Chris Kunitz screened goalie Tuukka Rask.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli had been upset when his deal for Iginla fell through. The player had a no-trade clause and waived it to go to Pittsburgh instead of Boston.
Iginla’s 12th goal of the season came at 4:43 of the third, and Kris Letang scored on another power play against the NHL’s top penalty-killing team at 8:29.
Marchand’s opening goal at 10:18 of the first period was his team-leading 17th and also came on a power play. Zdeno Chara carried the puck into center ice and passed to Marchand on the left. Marchand then sped between two Penguins in the left circle and beat goalie Tomas Vokoun from 15 feet at 10:18.
The Penguins tied it on Jokinen’s 10th goal at 5:10 of the second period. With the puck loose in front of the net, Rask stretched to his left but Jokinen lifted it above the goalie’s glove.
NOTES: Center Carl Soderberg, signed to a three-year contract after leading the Swedish Elite League in goals this season, played his first game for the Bruins. ... The Penguins won their sixth straight game in Boston ... Bruins LW Milan Lucic was a healthy scratch after scoring two goals in 27 games. ... The Bruins had a sellout crowd of 17,565 for the 150th consecutive game, including the postseason. ... Boston began a season-ending stretch of six games in nine days. ... Bylsma said G Marc-Andre Fleury will play three of the remaining four regular-season games.
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