Many hockey fans probably circled tonight's game when the schedule came out, as it was going to be Connor McDavid's first visit to Pittsburgh against Sidney Crosby. McDavid is out long-term with a fractured collarbone so we will have to wait until next season to see this matchup.
The Oilers and Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring after two minutes of play. Taylor Hall shot a wrister, got the rebound, shot again and the second rebound bounced to Draisaitl, who put it in the open net. During that whole sequence Adam Clendening is slowly revolving in space and Ian Cole can't figure out who to cover. 1-0 Oil.
Next up, Rob Scuderi was sent off for tripping Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and five seconds into the ensuing power play Andrej Sekera beat Zatkoff from the slot. The puck bounced off of Lauri Korpikoski, who ended up getting the credit for the goal.
The first period looked about even on the stat sheet, except for the two goals by Edmonton.
The second period was as special a period as you'll ever see a guy play, and Geno was just unreal. First he picked Oskar Klefbom's pocket and headed toward Nilsson, executed a perfect spin-o-rama and fired. That was the best goal in a long, long time.
Takeaway. Spin-o-rama. Backhand. Bar Down. https://t.co/zFTl5N6f8i— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 29, 2015
Geno was only half done. Sergei Plotnikov drew a penalty, Geno got the puck, waited a bit and then fired a laser through traffic. Tie game. Crosby and Letang got the assists.
Wait for it... Wait for it... Go! pic.twitter.com/Tmc9w9PXYE— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 29, 2015
The Pens would get some more chances on the power play late in the period, but Malkin's shot on 5-on-3 hit the frame.
The game opened up considerably in the third period, and although it featured no goals it was a pretty entertaining back-and-forth segment. At one point Benoit Pouliot was on a breakaway, Letang fell down to stop him but took him down too, so they called a penalty shot, stopped by Zatkoff's big toe.
You know what they say about big feet? Big saves. pic.twitter.com/zMyIdcBN1F— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 29, 2015
In the end, the game headed to 3-on-3 OT, which was at first entertaining, as the Pens had many golden chances to put it away, and then things took a turn for the worse, as Crosby was messing with the puck along the boards, lost it to Klefbom and had to hold him as he was chugging toward Zatkoff. Somehow the Pens killed it off, but in the ensuing shootout the Oilers put two past Zatkoff and Perron and Crosby did nothing, and there you have it.
The Pens ended up salvaging a point against the team in 30th place and needed every bit of Geno magic to hang on to it. Adam Clendening had a rough outing, capped by an embarrassing turnover behind Zatkoff. Ian Cole wasn't far behind. Kunitz hit everything that moved and had some good looks but no dice. Nilsson was very good and certainly earned his W, but the Pens play was particularly bad in the neutral zone, muddled and discombobulated.
Typically Mike Johnston emphasizes shot volume. Today they had the shot volume, except they missed them all for the most part. This team is playing inconsistent hockey right now, and were it not for Fleury and Malkin, Johnston would be in huge trouble. As it is, the Pens head out west sitting at 13-8-2.