Worn thin from injuries coming into the game against the Carolina Hurricanes, made even more thin by a first period lower body injury to Chuck Kobasew, the Pittsburgh Penguins had to dig deep and find offense in unusual places to pull out a 3-1 win on Monday night.
Jayson Megna, in just his second career NHL game scored a goal and setup another, rugged defenseman Brooks Orpik had three points on the night and grinder Tanner Glass scored a goal as well. And, of course, captain Sidney Crosby figured into the scoring by creating two primary assists.
The standout was Megna, who showcased his skating and speed and left a good impression on coach Dan Bylsma. "I think [Megna] was effective on the ice on most every shift...He made some plays and really earned the opportunity for more ice-time," Bylsma said of Megna.
Like the previous three games that they lost, the Pens again dominated in shots, attempted shots, faceoffs and controlled the tempo of the game for much of the night. Carolina wasn't even able to get a shot attempt on Marc-Andre Fleury until after 12 minutes of the game had ticked by.
Still, by then it was only 1-0 Pittsburgh, Tanner Glass opened the scoring when he punched home a rebound off of a Megna shot. The Pens, sporting a league-worst road penalty kill, dug themselves a 5 on 3 hole by putting two men in the box later in the first period. Alex Semin, and Elias Lindholm pulled some pretty passes and Lindholm put the puck on the stick of Nathan Gerbe who made no mistakes snapping a quick shot by Fleury to tie the score.
The game would stay that way until Orpik's long pass hit Crosby, who caught Chris Kunitz streaking to the net. Crossby flipped a deflectable pass to Kunitz, who tipped it by Justin Peters for what would become the eventual game-winner.
Megna would get his first career goal when Crosby's shot attempt hit Megna's shin and skittered into the net in the third period. It'd provide all the insurance that Fleury and the defense needed to clamp down on a road win.
It wasn't the prettiest or cleanest of games, but for the Pens they were able to break a losing streak and grind out a victory on the road against a division opponent. Just that alone makes it pretty nice.
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