The Bruins had a very big win within their grasp yesterday at the Consol Energy Center. They just couldn’t wrap their fingers around it.

Joe Vitale scored the go-ahead goal with 31.8 seconds left in the first period and, despite the Bruins outshooting the Pens, 32-18, and having good offensive-zone time, that stood up as the game-winner in a 2-1 finish.

The B’s may not have had a ton of great chances, but they had enough of them to come out of this one with at least a point. It didn’t happen.

“I thought we played well but we couldn’t — and should have — found a way to get at least that goal to push it to overtime,” Patrice Bergeron said. “The chances were there. Maybe we could have had a little more traffic in front of (Penguins goalie Tomas) Vokoun. He made some good saves, but we have to make his job a little harder.”

One time that the Bruins did have some traffic, it didn’t work out very well for them. With 5:14 left in the game, David Krejci took defenseman Johnny Boychuk’s slap shot off the right knee and, after being helped off the ice, did not return. Though he walked out of the locker room under his own power, albeit with a limp, there was no update on his condition.

As for the game, this one could have been a reversal of last Tuesday’s game, when the B’s played a good first period only to sit back in the final two periods and watch the Penguins score three unanswered goals in the third to grab the win.