Bruins steal eighth straight win against Pens

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas liked the
lineup he faced in a shootout -- one that didn't include Pittsburgh
Penguins star Sidney Crosby.

Marco Sturm scored one of three Boston goals during a
second-period flurry, then won it by being the only player to score
in the shootout as the Bruins squandered a two-goal lead before
beating the Penguins 4-3 Wednesday night.

Sturm was Boston's first skater in the shootout and, after
Pittsburgh's Michel Ouellet shot wide, he stuffed a shot under
goalie Marc-Andre Fleury's pads. Evgeni Malkin, who had a goal and
an assist, and Sergei Gonchar each missed for Pittsburgh to end it.
Gonchar's shot deflected off Thomas' glove and a post.

"I find if I lose a shootout, I feel devastated," Thomas said.
"If I win I feel like I did what I'm supposed to do. Shootouts are
a lot like poker -- there's some skill involved, but it's a whole
lot of luck."

Strum, who scored his third goal of the season, didn't get the
puck by Fleury the way he planned it.

"I wanted to go backhand, but he closed it up well so that was
pretty much my second option," Sturm said. "My last resort was to
go five-hole."

The Bruins felt lucky to not have to face Crosby, who missed a
game to injury for only the second time in his two-season career.
The Penguins appeared to badly miss him, going 0-for-8 on the power
play until Mark Recchi scored on a backhander for his sixth of the
season to tie it with 30 seconds remaining in regulation.

Recchi also scored Pittsburgh's first goal, late in the first
period, before Boston scored three times in 4 minutes in the

Crosby, the NHL's fourth-leading scorer, injured his groin
during a 5-3 victory in Philadelphia on Monday and watched from a
private box. His status for games Friday and Saturday is uncertain.

"He's always a big part of team, Sidney, but I still think the
team played well," Fleury said.

Stanislav Chistov's first goal of the season tied it at 1 on a
power play, and Sturm made it 2-1 slightly more than two minutes
later. With Pittsburgh's Jarkko Ruutu off for a double minor for
roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct, Zdeno Chara scored the
Bruins' third goal with a slap shot from the high slot after he and
Patrice Bergeron exchanged passes.

The Bruins won their eighth in a row against Pittsburgh since

"We didn't want to give up two goals in the third, but it
happened," Sturm said. "It was nice to rebound and get the two
points back."

Malkin cut Boston's lead to one by scoring on a short breakaway
midway into the third, stealing the puck from Brad Stuart along the
boards after coming out of the penalty box and skating in alone for
his 10th goal.

Malkin nearly won it in overtime after swiping the puck in the
Bruins' end, but Thomas stopped him by sticking out his right
skate. Thomas made 16 saves after replacing Brian Finley to start
the second period.

"Everybody was confident we could come back, and that the game
wasn't over (at 3-1)," Fleury said. "It's always tough to lose
like that."

Game notes
Crosby missed one game to injury last season. ... The
Penguins have only three wins in regulation against Boston in their
last 23 tries. ... Thomas started all four games during Boston's
winning streak that ended Monday with a 3-2 loss to Florida. Boston
has won five of six. ... The Penguins had won two in a row and
three of four.