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The Penguins forecheck and awareness helped win them the game last night against the Sharks

A mainstay of the Penguins success over the past two seasons reared its head again last night — a forecheck that can create offense

San Jose Sharks v Pittsburgh Penguins

Last night, going into the end of the 2nd period and trailing the San Jose Sharks by a score of 2-1, the Penguins forecheck struck gold yet again.

Let’s take a look at that again.

With 11 seconds left on the clock and the period about to end, the Penguins send the puck deep on what seems like a meaningless dump-in that could eat up the rest of the time.

As Brent Burns goes back to retrieve the puck, Patric Hornqvist being Patric Hornqvist and all — he is quick on Burns’ heels to force a play, even though there are only 8 seconds left.

Burns takes the puck behind the net and makes a simple drop-pass to avoid danger, but the irony of it is that his drop-pass ultimately created more danger for the Sharks, as Phil Kessel was lurking.

As Kessel sneaks in behind Burns to take the puck that I believe he truly thought he was leaving for no one, Evgeni Malkin starts driving towards the front of the net, where there isn’t a soul around at all.

Kessel makes an inch-perfect pass to Malkin, who makes his way to the front of the net completely unguarded. I can only imagine what was going through Martin Jones’ head at this point.

And just like that, we’ve got a tied game at 2-2.

The old saying strikes again — that goals scored in the first minute and goals scored in the last minute can be backbreakers, and this goal certainly fits the bill. If you’re the Sharks here, you’re going to enter the 3rd period up by a goal on the road and you can try and manage your way through the final frame and go back home with the win. Instead, it’s tied 2-2 and the Penguins end up logging 3 more goals en route to a hat trick for Malkin and a 5-2 victory.