Final - OT
  for this game

Sturm's shootout goal leads Bruins over Penguins

Nov 23, 2006 - 3:48 AM PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Marco Sturm scored the only goal of a shootout to lift the Boston Bruins to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sturm scored the clincher when he deked Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury before sliding a backhander between his pads.

The Bruins improved to 5-1-0 in their last six while the Penguins slipped to 3-1-1 in their last five.

"I was looking short side or even five-hole right away, but he closed it up pretty good," Sturm said of his shootout tally. "And that was my second option, to go five-hole on the way past."

"I thought I had it under my pads, but it just slid under," Fleury said. "It's always tough. ... (Shootouts) can go either way really easily. I think we have some very skilled players, but I let one in and that's it. It's always tougher to lose like that."

Boston netminder Tim Thomas, who entered the game at the beginning of the second period after starter Brian Finley suffered a lower body injury, preserved the triumph when he denied Pittsburgh defenseman Sergei Gonchar.

"He got my blocker and then the post," Thomas said. "It's really a crap shoot. It really is. I guess it's like poker. There's some skill involved, but there's a lot of luck involved, too."

Sturm, Stanislav Chistov and defenseman Zdeno Chara scored for the Bruins in regulation while Thomas recorded 16 saves after replacing Finley.

"At this level, you can't really afford not to prepare yourself for anything on any night," said Thomas, who has won five of his last six starts. "The last three times I didn't start, I got into the game one way or another, so you have to be ready. ... I saw Finley got hurt on the breakaway, so I had about eight minutes to prepare myself because I knew I was coming in."

Mark Recchi, who did not get a shootout attempt, scored twice and rookie Evgeni Malkin scored his 10th tally of the season for the Penguins.

The Bruins were 2-for-6 on the power play while the Penguins were 1-for-9 with the extra skater.

"The first and second periods, we had so many power plays and we didn't capitalize on them," Gonchar said. "That was a big difference in the game. Then they got a couple (of) chances to score on the power play and did. We fell behind and it's hard to come back, but we worked hard and we did it. We stayed positive."

Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby missed the game after suffering a groin injury in Monday's 5-3 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers.

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