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Penguins rally in the third, beat Lightning 4-3 in OT

The general reaction from the open thread

That was a hard fought two points, but they'll take it.

One can easily argue that the Pittsburgh Penguins should have never been down 3-0 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.  But they were. 

The odds of a comeback win were not in their favor, but they did it. 

Just like any good team on the brink of defeat, the Pittsburgh Penguins regained their composure and pulled themselves together to kick off a rally.  The goals later they forced overtime and avoided a shootout by nearly 15 seconds thanks to late-game heroics by Evgeni Malkin.

It's amazing how the Pens acted like they were running on fumes for the first two periods and then came out in the third like they were on a week's worth of rest.

This was a team effort for once, but even still certain guys deserve a special nod.

Marc-Andre Fleury kept them alive with some spectacular saves.  Matt Cooke made opportunities happen out there by getting under Gary Roberts' skin.  Evgeni Malkin was the clutch player of the night with two goals and an assist. Kris Letang, for once, was a force on the forecheck.

Every guy chipped in where it counted to turn this thing from a disappointing loss into a spectacular win.

Also worth mentioning - after posting only five shots in the first period, the Pens put together a 12-shot second and 13-shot third to outdo the Lightning 35-24.  Yes, they out-shot someone.

I'll admit, I had an entirely different recap in mind by the time the third period started.  They looked like dead weight on the ice for the first two periods.  After Malkin netted the game-winner, Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey hinted that the Steelers' presence at Mellon rubbed off on the Pens.  It may be a bit of an overstatement because, afterall, the Steelers have a trophy to show for it.  But there's no question that the Pens took a page from the Steelers' book, that's for sure.

Ben Roethlisbeger to Santonio Holmes - touchdown.

Jordan Staal to Evgeni Malkin - game winner.

The good: Matt Cooke should not go unnoticed in this one.  Way to draw the penalty.

The better: Marc-Andre Fleury kept the Pens alive and ready to make a comeback.

The best: Evgeni Malkin was just off the hook tonight.  Two goals (including the game-winner) and an assist.  Incredible.

Next game: Friday.  Blue Jackets.  7:30