Bruins beat Penguins in Winter Classic

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Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports

BOSTON — Boston goaltender Linus Ullmark raised his arms in jubilation when the final buzzer sounded and the party was complete for the sellout crowd at Fenway Park.

Jake DeBrusk scored his second goal of the third period with just over two minutes remaining and the NHL-leading Bruins rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Winter Classic at Fenway Park.

“It’s just pure joy and happiness afterwards,” Ullmark said. “It’s something I’ve dreamt about for 14 years, since I saw the first one at home in Sweden. I always dreamt about it. I was always very jealous of the people that have played before me and had the opportunity.”

Ullmark made 26 saves for Boston, which is 8-0-3 in its last 11 games. As the “home” team, the Bruins improved their home record to 19-0-3 this season.

Kasperi Kapanen scored for the Penguins, and Casey DeSmith made 19 saves in relief of Tristan Jarry, who left with an injury late in the first period.

“It’s tough to lose a guy that early in the game,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, who didn’t have an update but said the goalie was being evaluated for a lower-body injury.

“It was obviously a real competitive game, it was a pretty even game, there was a fine line between winning and losing and we ended up on the wrong side of it tonight,” Sullivan said.

Playing on an unseasonably warm day with temperatures in the upper 40s (4 Celsius) early in the game, the Bruins won for the fourth time in the NHL’s 14th annual showcase event that was held at the home of the MLB’s Boston Red Sox in front of a sellout crowd 39,243.

Playing with the stadium lights illuminating the ice, DeBrusk swooped in and banged home the rebound of Taylor Hall‘s backhand shot with 2:24 left.

“This is Fenway Park, Winter Classic, and something you dream of doing,” DeBrusk said. “You dream of scoring in the Winter Classic.”

DeBrusk collected a pass from Brad Marchand at the side of the net seconds after a power play expired, spun in front and slipped it behind DeSmith to tie it at the 7:46 mark of the period.

“The last thing I left them with is: ‘You guys have been the best team in the league and the best third-period team and our first 40 minutes have not been what we’ve wanted. Let’s go turn it around,”‘ Bruins first-year coach Jim Montgomery told his team before the final period.

Kapanen collected a pass in front from Danton Heinen and shoveled it past Ullmark’s glove as he was falling to his knees 8:40 into the second period for the Penguins’ early lead.

In an interesting twist, the Penguins are owned by Fenway Sports Group, which also owns the Red Sox. They were sold to the group that’s headed by principle owner John Henry in December of 2021.

Led by Bruins’ home anthem singer Todd Angilly, the crowd sang “Take me out to the Hockey Game” midway into the third period.

During the second-period intermission, there were performers taking trick shots off Fenway’s fabled 37-foot Green Monster, which was adorned with the logos of the Bruins, Penguins and Winter Classic.

There was a souvenir foul puck in the second when Ullmark made a save and the puck popped into the air, sailing into the first row of seats behind the Penguins’ dugout.

It was the second Classic in Fenway; Boston beat Philadelphia 2-1 in overtime in 2010.

CEREMONIAL FIRST PUCK

Bruins legend and Hall of Famer Bobby Orr participated in the ceremonial puck drop between Penguins’ captain Sydney Crosby and Boston’s Patrice Bergeron. Orr also took a shot, sliding it to former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, who squatted down and made the catch.

MUSICAL PERFORMANCES

On a stage set up just outside the visitors’ bullpen in right field – where Red Sox Hall of Famer David Ortiz sent some of his 541 career homers -The Black Keys played during the first intermission.

During a stoppage in the second, the Boston Pops, wearing Winter Classic hats and scarfs, played Sweet Caroline, a staple in the middle of the eighth inning during Red Sox games. They also played during the second intermission.

NOTES: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang missed the game due to the death of his father in Canada. .. Pittsburgh’s Jarry left with an undisclosed injury late in the opening period after stopping all eight shots. He headed to the dugout en route to the locker room and emergency backup Mike Chiasson got into uniform. . Unlike regular games, when the goaltender leads the team onto the ice, Bergeron was the first one to step out of the dugout when the Bruins made their way from the home dugout. . Pittsburgh played in the first Winter Classic when Crosby scored the winning goal in a shootout with light snow falling against the Sabres in the Buffalo Bills’ home stadium in 2008.

UP NEXT

Penguins: At the Vegas Golden Knights.

Bruins: At the Los Angeles Kings.

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    Sabres agree with Dylan Cozens on 7-year, $49.7M extension

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    BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Sabres agreed to terms with forward Dylan Cozens on a seven-year extension worth $49.7 million.

    The team announced the contract. Cozens will count $7.1 million against the salary cap through the 2029-30 season.

    Cozens, who turns 22, is the latest core player the Sabres have extended over the past six months. Buffalo signed All-Star forward Tage Thompson for $50 million over seven seasons in August and defenseman Mattias Samuelsson to a seven-year, $30 million deal in October.

    Rasmus Dahlin, the top pick in 2020 who’s a Norris Trophy candidate and filled in for Thompson at NHL All-Star weekend, figures to be next for a big contract. He’s signed through next season and can begin talking about an extension this summer.

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    Stanley Cup champion Avalanche steadily returning to health

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    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Had his coach been watching, this might have made for an anxious moment: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar catching an edge and falling in the fastest skater contest.

    Jared Bednar wasn’t tuned in, though, and had no idea what happened in the skills contest over All-Star weekend. Only that Makar emerged from his crash into the boards just fine.

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    In spite of all their bumps and bruises, the Avalanche entered the All-Star break in a playoff spot. To weather the injury storm, Colorado has relied on 39 different skaters this season, a mark that’s tied for the most in a single season since the team relocated to Denver in 1995.

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    Kraken add some size, acquire Jaycob Megna from San Jose

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    SEATTLE — The Seattle Kraken acquired defenseman Jaycob Megna from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2023 fourth-round draft pick.

    Megna is in the midst of his best season with 12 points in 48 games for the Sharks while averaging more than 19 minutes per game.

    “Jaycob has shown with his play this season that he is a responsible defenseman that can be relied on in all situations,” Seattle general manager Ron Francis said. “He provides welcome depth to our defensive group and we are happy to have him join our organization.”

    The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Megna will add some size and bulk to Seattle’s lineup. Megna ranked fifth for San Jose in both blocked shots and hits.

    Megna previously played for Anaheim for parts of three seasons between 2016-19. The 48 games played this season is a career-high for the 30-year-old.

    Seattle is tied for the lead in the Pacific Division and will return from the All-Star break beginning against the New York Islanders.

    Islanders sign Bo Horvat to 8-year deal after trading for him

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    The New York Islanders signed center Bo Horvat to an eight-year contract less than a week after acquiring him in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks.

    The team announced the contract after their first practice following the All-Star break. Horvat’s deal is worth $68 million and carries a $8.5 million salary cap hit through the 2030-31 season.

    General manager Lou Lamoriello joked to reporters at practice on Long Island that Horvat’s contract was “too long and it’s too much money.”

    The Islanders sent forward Anthony Beauvillier, prospect Aatu Raty and a protected first-round pick to the Canucks for Horvat . He was set to be an unrestricted free agent after the season, and the trade was a result of Vancouver and Horvat’s camp being unable to reach a deal last summer.

    Lamoriello and Horvat expressed confidence about getting a deal done after the trade. The 27-year-old has scored more than 30 goals for a second consecutive season.

    Horvat was chosen as an All-Star and played for the Pacific Division despite the trade. He played with longtime Canucks teammate Elias Pettersson and combined on one last goal together before parting ways.

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    “Obviously getting my legs under me is going to be No. 1 and getting systems down and obviously chemistry with the new linemates and stuff like that,” Horvat said.

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