Another beast video from the Pens before the game.
Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 20, 2016
Not a ton going on, puck jumping around everywhere, neither team looking all that sharp.
The Sharks strike first, with Tomas Hertl picking up the rebound of Joe Pavelski 's shot and tucking it home.
Hertl goal pic.twitter.com/arJoD9f5Ap— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 21, 2016
The Penguins appear to tie the game on the power play, but unfortunately Patric Hornqvist uses his glove to knock the puck into the net, so it's rightfully disallowed and still 1-0.
Soon after, SJ pounces again with Patrick Marleau swooping in and past Fleury. 2-0
Marleau goal pic.twitter.com/OUVhUdpTfe— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 21, 2016
Things are looking really bleak at this point
Maatta's last shift:12:53 remaining in 2nd. Pouliot's last shift:4:27 left. Hornqvist's last shift: 2:51 left. *Pets heads falling off .gif* pic.twitter.com/4dgbAVx56M— Bill West (@BWest_Trib) October 21, 2016
The Pens put Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin together and it pays off, puck falls right to Geno and he buries it for his second goal of the season to make it 2-1. And as Pete points out below, just a great skill play by Malkin here.
Watch how Evgeni Malkin traps this puck on the ice and whips it in on the turnaround. Unreal. pic.twitter.com/khacfCb2aU— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) October 21, 2016
Pittsburgh ties it up, Patric Hornqvist buries the defensemen into the boards and the puck squirts free and Scott Wilson tosses a rebound backhand for his first goal of the season.
Hornqvist with the big hit and Wilson making it look easy. We like what we see! pic.twitter.com/79Dfsj8njS— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 21, 2016
The rally continues on the power play with a Hornqvist goal that counts this time, just going to the front of the net, getting taken down, not caring, batting like crazy and the puck goes in.
Patric Hornqvist in his natural habitat... Right in front of the opposing team net. pic.twitter.com/oNFjC1rq94— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 21, 2016
That would stand as the winner.
- Brian Dumoulin (who was on ice for all 4 goals against last game) was on ice for the first 2 GA today. Dumoulin had a "maintenance day" during the game-day skate and low time on ice early this game. Doesn't take a huge jump to conclusions to realize he's not well and not playing well at the moment.
- Also not feeling well was Olli Maatta who left the game in the second period and would not return. It only took 5 games for the Pens blueline to turn into a total MASH unit.
- Pouliot also went to the room early in the second period, leaving the Pens with just 4 defensemen on the bench for the rest of the game. Not ideal.
- Which leads to Justin Schultz. Just 4 months ago the Pens were pulling Schultz off the ice instantly when SJ put their top-6 against him. Tonight he plays 23:48 (only Trevor Daley played more among teammates) and played really well in that span too. Granted, an October reg season out-of-conference game worlds away from a Stanley Cup Final, but my how far Schultz has come in just a short period of time.
- Matt Cullen with 3 missed shots in the first period, a couple of them glorious chances. It happens sometimes and Cullen's been so good he's hit more than he's missed, but still gotta point it out.
- Nice to see the Pens change forward lines up and get Kessel and Malkin together. In this Game 5 of the season, HBK had 0 goals together and Malkin was skating with 38-year old Chris Kunitz (who for his part, is doing his part) and Bryan Rust (1 game into his season). Can't have a talent like Geno flanked by that, especially with Sid out.
- Malkin looked possessed in the 3rd period. He seemed to will the team to getting goals there late.
- And it all comes back to Hornqvist on this one. Just a pure demon around the net and in the corners. Unstoppable motor and drive for #72 who never gets dismayed (even after a goal is taken away) and just keeps plugging until he gets it right.
- Marc-Andre Fleury was almost an after-thought compared to all the other craziness out there, but he settled in and was good as well. The Pens were outshot 34-20 (though total shot attempts were closer) and Fleury held them close enough early when they looked dead, in order to have them in position to get a win because they came to life.
Huge win for the Pens, no Letang, no Crosby, 4 defensemen for the last 20 minutes plus? No problem. And all against a very quality team like the Sharks who made the SCF last year and were 3-1-0 coming into the night.
Big time win, now hopefully they can get some good news for once on injuries