Welcome back to the NHL. Josh Archibald! The Penguins play their 4th game in 6 nights (all on the road) with a fairly depleted looking lineup. That's about two 4th lines there, but at least they're full lines.
Let's Go Pens! pic.twitter.com/fLwFDe4hnO— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 14, 2017
The Flames Brian Elliott came into the game as hot as ever, 2 straight shutouts and playing really well. It took the Conor Sheary - Sidney Crosby - Jake Guentzel line two shifts to score on him. Unreal puck movement on this line, looks great to see Sid playing with two wingers who both have hands and puck skills.
These kids don't mess around. pic.twitter.com/r8wsox6Q27— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 14, 2017
Since they usually only highlight goals, here's a nice example of some subtle defense by Hainsey. He's very Paul Martin-esque while defending on the rush.
Look at Hainsey's gap control. Never more than a sick length away, good angle the entire way. All game every game. So much fun to watch. pic.twitter.com/05LC8Nn4SD— Jesse Marshall (@jmarshfof) March 14, 2017
Tom Kuhnhackl high-sticks Dennis Wideman but there's no penalty call despite a bloody lip. Never piss off the officials. A little later Ron Hainsey barely grazes Matt Tkachuk (nothing close to blood) and a penalty is immediately called. You could probably pull out a shank and use it on Wideman and the refs would "miss" that one.
The Flames do get on the board, old Pen Deryk Engelland makes a nice move in the defensive zone and centers a puck for Matt Stajan to re-direct home but it goes off Streit and in. This isn't the first time Mark Streit's been all alone having to defend 2 guys in front of the net. 1-1.
Beast mode Geno continues with his 7th goal in the last 5 games, completing a give-and-go with Chris Kunitz on the power play to make it 2-1 Pens.
Whatcha gonna do when Malkamania runs wild on you? pic.twitter.com/Wn11jNs1gB— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 14, 2017
Shots 12-10 Pens at the end of the period.
Some bad luck early, Nick Bonino tries to block a Wideman point-shot with his hand, but the puck takes an odd bounce off him and flutters right past everyone in front of the net and Marc-Andre Fleury cant track it in time after taking a weird and unexpected deflection. 2-2 early.
Wideman goal pic.twitter.com/KKWnLZL6b1— steph (@myregularface) March 14, 2017
Streit doesn't join the team for the 2nd period, after leaving late in the first with an apparent and dreaded middle-body issue.
Shots 12-7 in the period for the Penguins. Scoring chances for the game are 16-13 Pittsburgh through 2 periods.
Phil Kessel takes a rare penalty and on the ensuing power play Johnny Gaudreau zooms past Kuhnhackl, totally undresses Hainsey with a move, pulls Fleury completely out of the net and wraps the puck in before Brian Dumoulin can deflect the puck away. That gives the Flames their first lead of the night while making virtually every member of the Penguins who were on the ice look bad.
Gaudreau goal pic.twitter.com/O9mTL9fe6O— steph (@myregularface) March 14, 2017
Pittsburgh finds an equalizer late. Crosby scores his 35th of the season, getting to the net and tipping a puck by Elliott from right in front, capping off a great shift from the top line. Calgary challenges for goalie interference but it's tough to tell and hard to over-rule the call on the ice, so they don't. 3-3 game.
Yep, that's a goal alright.
Crosby: "That's a goal." pic.twitter.com/voWUyjYjtq— Blinn Manuel Miranda (@NHLBlinn) March 14, 2017
Calgary was up 11-5 in shots for the period and drew the total down to 29-28 Pens on the night.
By virtue of making it to OT, the Pens tie Washington for 1st place in the division and league tonight.
Pittsburgh gets a power play and goes to work. Crosby with a nice rebound chance off a Malkin shot but Elliott makes a great stop. Nothing more comes of it and we're off to the shootout.
Geno goes first, Elliott uses the leg to stop him....Kris Versteeg skates in on Fleury, makes a backhand move and scores.
Crosby gets his chance and shoots wide....Sean Monahan with the game on his stick but a big save by Fleury.
Kessel needs to score to extend, can't. Game over, 5-game winning streak over.
- Sheary's goal in the 1st period was his 20th of the season, a terrific accomplishment. Per the research of Jonathan Bombulie, he's the first player the Penguins have developed themselves into a 20 goal scorer since Tyler Kennedy back in 2010-11. (That's no real slight, as the Pens have used trades to add NHL level talent but still a nice feather in the cap)
- Jake Guentzel hit the cross-bar 2 times in the first period, both setup from Crosby passes. Some quality chance generation there.
- Through 2 periods, the top line were 75% CF and winning the scoring chance battle 9-1. It's too late to look it up through the end of the game so use your imagination or look it up yourself. Either way Sid and the Kids are CRUSHING it.
- Malkin has 16 goals in the last 20 games, this is just silly. He's now just 1 goal behind Sid for most in the league.
- Streit's injury appeared to be taking a puck in a sensitive middle-of-the-body area. The Sportsnet TV broadcast said during the 2nd intermission that Streit was taken to the hospital for "precautionary reasons". The Penguins didn't offer anything official on social media at press time. We'll see how it goes but it sure doesn't sound too good.
Pens really slowed down in the 2nd and 3rd periods. 4th game in 6 days, down to 5 dmen again for the majority of the game, maybe it was bound to happen. So they'll have to settle for a 3-0-1 trip out West, gotta take that every time. The long road-trip wraps up Wednesday with a game in Philly.