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RECAP: Déjà Phil. Pens Ground Jets 2-1 in Overtime.

Kessel scores second overtime winner in as many games to give Pens 2-1 win over the Jets. Murray strong once again between the pipes in goalie duel with Hellebuyck.

Winnipeg Jets v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Playing their final game at home before heading on their annual Western Canada road swing, the Penguins welcomed the Winnipeg Jets to PPG Paints Arena on Thursday night. Here’s how it all went down...


Perhaps some foreboding of what was to come? (SPOILER: It wasn’t)

Pens lineup:

Forward lines remain the same from Tuesday night but on defense Justin Schultz heads to the IR with a concussion and is replaced in the lineup by Zach Trotman making his Penguins debut and with it, some history in the process.

With a day off between games, Matt Murray gets the nod in goal with Casey DeSmith waiting in the wings.

Full lineups for both teams:

1st Period

Puck drops and festivities are underway between the Penguins and Jets at PPG Paints Arena.

Just 17 seconds into the game Mark Scheifele is stoned by Matt Murray on a quick shot in front. On the ensuing face-off Jets’ defenseman Jacob Trouba hits the post on a shot from the point.

Pens strike first after the Jets came close in the first half minute of play. Conor Sheary redirects a feed from Jake Guentzel through the five hole of Connor Hellebuyck for a 1-0 Penguins lead at 1:25 of the opening period. Sidney Crosby gets credit for the secondary assist on the Sheary goal.

Very next shift following the goal and Crosby almost makes it a two goal lead but Hellebuyck scrambles over to make the save.

Outside of the two Jets chances in the opening seconds, the first five minutes of play belonged to the Pens. On top of the Sheary tally the Pens were buzzing in offensive zone and came close to building on their advantage.

Blake Wheeler takes a pass and gets a semi-breakaway but Murray uses the pad to turn his shot aside.

Hellebuyck returns the favor on the other end of ice, turning aside a one timer off the stick of Crosby to keep the score at 1-0 in the first period.

Off a face-off from an icing call the Jets tie the game at 1-1 just before the halfway point of the period. Josh Morrissey releases a shot and it deflects off the blade of Kris Letang past Murray to even the score.

Shot looked to be going wide but the deflection off Letang’s stick sent it over the shoulder of Murray and into the back of the net.

A bad pass from the Jets finds Phil Kessel behind the defense and he rips a shot booked for the top corner but Hellebuyck gloves it to keep the score tied at one a piece.

First power play of the game goes to the Penguins. Bryan Rust takes a pass from Evgeni Malkin, dances around a few Jets’ defenders and is hooked down by Toby Enstrom before he can get a shot off.

Pens top power play unit controls the puck in the offensive zone but have no luck getting one behind Hellebuyck. Second unit comes out but the best opportunity is a shorthanded chance for Scheifele but Murray comes up with the save.

Horn sounds and the period comes to an end with the Pens and Jets tied at 1-1 after 20 minutes of play. Sheary and Morrissey with the goals respectively.

2nd Period

Puck drops and the second period is underway tied at 1-1.

Right off the face-off Guentzel gets the puck behind the Jets’ defense but his shot sails over the cross bar.

Less than 90 seconds into the second frame and the Jets get their first shot with the man advantage as Patric Hornqvist sits for hooking.

A solid job by the Penguins’ penalty killers kept the score leveled and the teams returned to even strength.

After the kill the Pens found themselves back on the power play when Josh Morrissey negated a Carl Hagelin goal by pushing the goal cage off its moorings and went to the box for delay of game.

A flurry of chances with man advantage were denied by Hellebuyck and Morrissey was released from the penalty box.

Shortly after killing off the Morrissey penalty the Jets had to kill off another penalty when Dustin Byfuglien was called for slashing Crosby. Once again the Jets penalty kill held the high powered Penguins’ powerplay off the board and the teams returned to five a side.

Both Ryan Reaves and Dustin Byfuglien were sent to the box after the two became tangled below the goal line and the teams were set to play 4-on-4 for two minutes while the two big men served their minors.

Gaining momentum from their two penalty kills the Jets began to take the game to the Penguins as the second period ticked down. A pair of big stops by Murray on Tyler Myers then Nikolaj Ehlers kept the score knotted at 1-1 late in the period.

Horn sounds to conclude the second period of play with the score still tied 1-1 but not without a lack of chances for both teams.

3rd Period

Puck drops and the final chance for these two teams to decide a winner in regulation is underway.

Right off the bat the Jets get a ten bell chance in front but Murray says no. Jets keep the pressure up and draw a penalty for their second power play opportunity of the game. Guentzel heads to the box for a cross check.

Little going for the Jets on the power play and the Pens kill off the minor and Guentzel returns to ice.

Seconds after the Penguins kill off the penalty they head to the man advantage. Jets’ captain Blake Wheeler pulls down Tom Kuhnhackl with a hook and sits for two minutes.

A few decent chances for the top unit on the power play but nothing gets past Hellebuyck and the Jets kill off the Wheelers minor to keep the game tied a 1-1 five minutes into the third period.

Past the halfway mark of the final period and neither side could find a go ahead goal in a tight knitted affair.

Under five minutes to go and the pace begins to pick up. The Jets get a 3-on-2 chance but waste it without a serious scoring chance. Going the other way Sidney Crosby takes over in the offensive zone and nearly beats Hellebuyck on the short side but the goaltender closes it down just in time to prevent a goal.

Neither side could find a winner as time ticked down and the clock eventually ran out with the game still tied at 1-1 and for the second consecutive game the Pens went to overtime.


Puck drops and the most exciting five minutes in hockey was underway.

Pens start the 3-on-3 overtime period with Crosby, Guentzel, and Letang who control the puck in the offensive but nothing came of the early pressure.

Able to survive the early pressure, the Jets got the puck out of their zone and go on the offensive but a turnover sprung Phil Kessel on a breakaway going the other way.

Kessel was able to out skate Patrik Laine and bury a shot past Hellebuyck for his second overtime winner in as many games and his 300th career goal in the process.

The victory pushes the Pens to 7-3-1 on the season and leaves a good taste in their mouths as they head out on a grueling Western Canada road trip.

Postgame Thoughts

—Pens powerplay was held without a goal on four chances but they looked dangerous every time they had the man advantage.

—Matt Murray was once again stellar in net and for a second straight game his counterpart on the other end was just as strong.

—With the overtime goal, Kessel becomes just the 18th American ever to record 300 career goals in the NHL.

—No Justin Schultz for the Pens and the defense didn’t miss a beat.

—Kris Letang racked up over 30 minutes of ice time. I think he’s going to be just fine after the injury last year.

3 Stars

Pens read my mind on tonight’s “3 Star” selections.