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Penguins vs. Kings recap, score; valiant effort comes up short in shootout

The Pittsburgh Penguins fight all night but drop a 3-2 game in a shootout to the Los Angeles Kings.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins finally got back home to play the Los Angeles Kings

but came out on the short end of the stick in a 3-2 shootout loss.


LA opened the scoring when Tanner Pearson danced by Ian Cole . Cole then switched up, thinking David Warsofsky (a partner he's never played with) would cover Pearson. Warsofsky stayed true to his initial assignment. So Pearson had all day to coast in and rip a shot on Marc-Andre Fleury. Pretty brutal.

After coming as close to possible to scoring but not, the Pens finally got on the board when Matt Cullen centered to Eric Fehr who buried the puck past Jonathan Quick.

Early in the 3rd period LA would go back in front, courtesy of a Jake Muzzin point-shot that eluded Fleury somehow underneath his left leg pad. Softy to give up, made whole by Fleury stopping a ton of better quality chances that the Kings threw his way.

With time ticking down and Fleury pulled, after Olli Maatta and Sidney Crosby passed among the perimeter, they found Phil Kessel . Kessel shoots it in, a mad scramble for Chris Kunitz and David Perron ensues with multiple Kings, and the puck eventually pops free. Malkin and Crosby lunge for it, Geno gets there first.

And you know with Malkin you get a celebration. He look like a monster about to eat the camera.

After a thrilling 3v3 OT with several chances exchanged, we'd go to a shootout. Perron scored for the Pens, but he'd be the only one. Kings take the extra point.

Some thoughts:

  • Kessel missed literally a totally empty net, and then a little later Crosby tried to one-time a hard Beau Bennett pass and it missed the net. Tough chance, but given the skill of the shooters it remains dumbfounding how Pittsburgh remains unable to put the puck in the net. It's not simply the coach and the system.
  • 10 shots on goal for Malkin, 42 in total for the Pens. 40 for the Kings. Frantic, back and forth game. Not many goals, but that's a lot thanks to some quality netminding. Some low scoring games aren't entertaining, but I don't think you can say this tilt fell into that category.
  • Kunitz with more than 1/3 of the official hits recorded by Pittsburgh (10 of 29).
  • Noticing some cracks in Warsofky. The opening goal is much more on Cole than Warsofky, but he didn't read the play and react at all to help cover the more dangerous option. He also had 3 giveaways and looked a little shaky at times defending in his own end. He played 24:57 and a ton of time on the 1st PP unit and on the 3v3, but long-term? Ehh have my doubts if he's a full-time NHL guy.
  • Rob Scuderi only played 14:39, and interestingly Cole and Ben Lovejoy were being utilized as the first defensemen out to kill penalties, usually a Scuderi staple. Scuds did get some PK time but if the coach just needed 14 minutes, why not use Adam Clendening?
  • The more you see of Matt Cullen, the more you want to see more. Wish the Pens could have gotten him 10 years ago.
  • Jordan Nolan pushed a linesman, nothing happened. Weird. Brayden McNabb boarded Bennett big-time. Jeff Carter was being a baby all night. You know the Kings are an aggro, douchebag team when Milan Lucic doesn't even stand out.
  • One point on the night, but considering the Pens were playing from behind on the scoreboard all night, coming off a long road trip, and without the services of Kris Letang and playing a very solid Kings team, not the worst result in the world.

On to the next one Monday night against the Caps.