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Recap: Back-to-back Blues. Pens lose 5-2 to St. Louis

The Pittsburgh Penguins drop a road game 5-2 to the St. Louis Blues, see the goals and analysis here!

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Goals

Jeff Zatkoff left his crease to try and play a puck in an ill-advised move and would pay for it. This is bad.

The Penguins would get it back before the first intermission with Kris Letang tossing a beauty of a pass up the ice past several Blues, which Chris Kunitz smartly corralled as he raced down the ice. Kunitz did great to shield the puck and fire a 5-hole shot by Brian Elliott

The Pens would take the lead late in the 2nd period when Carl Hagelin got his first point as a Penguin punching a puck up to Evgeni Malkin . Malkin walked right around Jay Bouwmeester and went right to his forehand for a nice goal.

The lead wouldn't last long. Exciting youngster Vladimir Tarasenko must have been inspired by the Malkin highlight goal because he pulled off one of his own, driving right by Ben Lovejoy and snapping a shot before Brian Dumoulin could get over to neutralize him.

The Blues would take the lead back early in the 3rd period when Troy Brouwer found a bouncing puck quicker than Ian Cole did after Zatkoff failed to help clear the puck.

Paul Stastny scores next. Not sure what Zatkoff is thinking here.

Alex Steen finishes it off with the empty netter.

Some Thoughts:

  • Missed opportunity: an extended 4v3 power play for the Pens in the middle of the second period, followed by a 5v4 PP. A lot of space for the top guns to get it done, but they really didn't even get that good of a scoring chance.
  • Shots were 17-8 in the second period, some nice play and domination by the Pens, but not too many extremely dangerous chances, other than the Malkin goal. Shame it only took one flash of brilliance by Tarasenko to cancel out what was a great period by the Pens.
  • Ian Cole's season of horrors continues. With Derrick Pouliot called up but healthy scratched tonight, how much longer will the coaches ride with Cole?
  • Zatkoff wasn't very good. He's now up to 3 wins in 10 starts this season, and often looks awful flopping around and some poor rebound control even when the puck hits him. Just looks out of his element against NHL competition. With games so meaningful, it's unknown why the Pens won't go more with Matt Murray for some spot starts in the NHL and then demote him back to the AHL for playing time when Fleury's going to play.
  • Phil Kessel hits the post in the 3rd period. Microcosm of the season, the Pens dominate shots in the 2nd period, give up 2 goals (one late in 2nd, one early in 3rd) and then do nothing but hit a post.
  • By stopping 36 of 38 shots, Brian Elliott is the latest average goalie for Pittsburgh to make look like a world-beater.
  • Kunitz at least has looked really good in the past few weeks.
  • Nice to see coach Mike Sullivan be really aggressive and pull Zatkoff for the extra skater with 3:34 left to go in the game. Down by two, they needed it. Doesn't hurt to lose bigger when you're already in a hole.
  • With 2 assists tonight after being a game-time decision, Kris Letang is up to 14 points in his last 8 games played. As so often, didn't look like he missed a beat tonight.
  • Pens are now 2-8 on the second day of back-to-back games. They seemed to have good jump and energy early but the wind got taken out of the sails in the 3rd after going down by 2 goals.
  • Disappointing to have a 2-1 lead late in the second disappear with all the pressure that the Pens were able to put on early.