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Penguins vs. Panthers game recap; Malkin and Crosby score like old times

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Sidney Crosby scores his first game of the season and the Pittsburgh Penguins win 3-2 in overtime versus the Florida Panthers. Watch the goals and see some analysis of Evgeni Malkin's game winning goal

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After 5 games of being held off the score-sheet, Sidney Crosby reverted to his old ways Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers. 1 goal, 2 assists, a game-high 9 shots on goal (with 13 total shot attempts) and a winner on 16 of 28 faceoffs (57%). Not bad for a slumping star, who seemed to really be able to break out after exchanging words with Jaromir Jagr in the first period with both stars chirping from the bench.

The Goals

Crosby scored his first goal of the year. His first point of the year. The Pens first power play goal of the year. In the 6th game of the year.

The Panthers strike back early in the 3rd period.

Or maybe not, goal over-turned because Reilly Smith high-sticks a puck that's 7 feet tall. And you can't. do. that.

Pittsburgh would take advantage of the no-goal and quickly strike back, with Phil Kessel finding the trash of a Rob Scuderi (!!) long-shot and putting the puck past Roberto Luongo . From watching Kessel a lot on Youtube videos, this is a very common goal from him - right in front, off a rebound, he gets to the puck quicker than the goalie or defense can pick him and/or the puck up and before you know it, boom it's in the net. 2-0 Pens.

So it's the 3rd period, Pittsburgh's up 2-0, all is well, easy win right?

Wrong.

Quinton Howden collects a loose puck after Kris Letang is a little too over-eager to slash him and deposits it past Marc-Andre Fleury for Florida's first goal.

Florida would tie the game after Chris Kunitz got a Penguins goal disallowed for approximately the 4592nd time.

Then Jonathan Huberdeau took a boarding penalty which carried over into overtime for a Pittsburgh 4v3 powerplay. Crosby. Malkin.Kessel. Letang. Yeah, that's just unfair. Not even Rick Tocchet could screw that up. Letang passes to Malkin who slapshots a goal home.

Winner, winner, Pens are back to .500 dinner.

Some thoughts

  • The game winning PP (71-87-81-58) carries a $33.45 million total salary cap hit (including what TO is paying Phil). That's an almost unfair collection of talent that's damn near half a team.
  • Florida coach Gerard Gallant must be on high blood pressure medication. He lost his mind so many times tonight getting upset at all the questionable calls.
  • Being in a slump is a funny thing. A lot of people were wondering what is wrong with Sid, then he goes and does something like this
  • A lot of folks (rightly so) will lay blame at Perron for the game-tying goal against in the 3rd period. But watch the replay again and what of the other 4 guys standing around?
  • It's not a cool thing for a card-carrying Penguins fan to praise Ben Lovejoy but he's actually been pretty decent so far this season. 21:04 played tonight (second most among Pens d-men behind Letang) 4 shot attempts, 4 hits. He was pretty good.
  • Also, I've been critical of Brian Dumoulin in these recaps before, so it's only fair I point out that he was good tonight too, playing 19:14 minutes, all at even strength and not being on ice for a goal against. Another little step forward for him.
  • Nice to see Malkin rewarded with the game-winner. He deserved it for the way he played in that game.
  • Another disappointing-to-invisible game for the "top wingers not named Kessel" club of Perron (turnover leading to GA), Chris Kunitz (obvious goal disallowed and not much else) and Patric Hornqvist (-1 and only 1 SOG). That has to change sooner than later, those guys are all well-paid and have expectations to help the stars and right now none are doing so.
  • The story about Marc-Andre Fleury is that he isn't even the story. A steady as she goes 31 save on 33 shot night, with neither goal being much you could pin on him. Fleury's been by far the best and most consistent player Pittsburgh's had in the first 6 games, and the only reason they are 3-3 right now.

The Pens are back in action on Thursday to conclude a 5 game home-stand (which they are 3-1-0 on so far) with a rematch of opening night against the Dallas Stars.

And be sure to check out our brother blog Litter Box Cats for the flip side of the action from the Florida perspective. They have a great blog with smart writers, so give them a click!