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Pens / Jets Recap: Letang and crew step up, Pens win

Without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin the Pittsburgh Penguins still win 5-3 on the strength of Kris Letang's 4 assist night and the return of Patric Hornqvist with 2 goals.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Already down Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Pittsburgh Penguins fell behind 3-2 in their game against the Winnipeg Jets just 59 seconds into the third period. It wasn't looking great for them at that point, but the tide would turn, and it would turn for strong play right in front of the net of Ondrej Pavelec .

First it was David Perron , the sensational trade pickup, poking a goal by Pavelec to tie the game. Then, Patric Hornqvist celebrated his return to the lineup with great net-front work on the power play to send the Pens to the lead. Hornqvist would clinch the deal with an empty netter.

Just getting to that point was a great team effort by the Pens. Kris Letang had a great night, 4 assists, and was all over the ice. His decisions with the puck were sublime, be it passes (like the long one to Perron that started the first goal by Nick Spaling ) or Letang's hesitation and shot that ended up as a rebound on Steve Downie 's stick for a goal with just under 5 seconds left in the second period.

Band together and get the win. Solid game. A few more thoughts on the game:

  • Thomas Greiss was pretty good on a low event workload night. And is it just me or do a lot of the goals that beat him end up coming from point shots and not picking the puck up in time?
  • Marcel Goc traded right after the game is completed to St. Louis for Max Lapierre. More to come..
  • 54 hits on the night for the Pens! 58 for the Jets! A physical game, and all one player had to do was look at another seemingly to get credit for an official hit.
  • Both goals in the third period were on the power play. Both were from fairly simple work- get bodies and puck to the front of the net. Both paid off. And is there some cosmic law of late that says only 3 of the 5 players from the first unit can dress for a given game? Has seemed like it for some time.
  • Simon Depres looked better after a long break, authoritative with his skating and puck moving decisions. Nice to see him jump back in better.
  • Can't say enough about how good Perron has been for this team. He's magic with the puck with the creativity and skill to generate chances off the rush. Perfect skill winger to add to this team.

Well that's it for tonight, we're off to cover the Pens trade.