Penguins are rolling these lines in Letang’s absence tonight:— PensBurgh (@Pensburgh) December 15, 2018
Kris Letang is thankfully considered ‘day-to-day,’ per Mike Sullivan. Bryan Rust and Zach Aston-Reese get line promotions for their hard play. Oh, and Matt Murray is back in net for Pittsburgh. Swell times.
Derek Grant was cited for slashing Sean Walker with only two minutes gone in the game. After this kill, Olli Maatta was called for interference.
SHORTY ALERT! For the second time in as many games, the Penguins have scored a short-handed goal. This time, Matt Cullen was the goalscorer to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
Shorthanded goals for the Penguins in two straight games!— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 16, 2018
Were you one of the 299 fans who correctly predicted Matt Cullen would score first? pic.twitter.com/EQDBXi6xSP
The Penguins would finally be the beneficiary of a power-play, with the Kings being called for having too many players on the ice. The Kings would kill off the penalty two minutes later.
Just after the power-play expired, Bryan Rust did the thing he’s been doing a lot of recently: kicking butt and scoring goals. 2-0 Pittsburgh.
That's four goals in three games for @rustyyy_92. pic.twitter.com/KlpYy9W29b— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 16, 2018
Tyler Toffoli thought he would get the Kings on the board with a quick snap to beat Murray. It looked to be 2-1 Pittsburgh, however the Pens challenged the goal call for offsides and after review, the call on the ice was overturned - no goal. The perfect 2-0 lead remained.
With 1:20 left in the first period, Dustin Brown was called for high-sticking, sending Pittsburgh to the power-play again.
The period would come to and end with the Penguins holding onto a 2-0 lead.
Stats through one:
Up where it counts pic.twitter.com/MtwDPKcFlN— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 16, 2018
Here’s some required intermission viewing—Pascal Dupuis is back in the ‘Burgh!
Welcome home, @Duper0009! pic.twitter.com/3TFdw6PT2u— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 16, 2018
Jake Muzzin finally gets the Kings on the board by joining the rush and banging a one-timer home to cut the lead in half. 2-1 Pittsburgh.
Alex Iafallo and Anze Kopitar set it up, and Jake Muzzin isn't going to miss from there #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/pgERzpUpMa— LA Kings (@LAKings) December 16, 2018
The Penguins would regain their two-goal lead with the help of Tanner Pearson with the winger getting the goal against his former club. 3-1 Pittsburgh.
Thanks for @tannerjpearson, Kings. pic.twitter.com/UG3uMG7B4q— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 16, 2018
Soon after, Matt Luff brings the contest back to a one-goal game with a hard shot from the slot. Not great defense on the play. 3-2 Pittsburgh.
We ❤️ Luff#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/6yexQuO1ms— LA Kings (@LAKings) December 16, 2018
With not much action to speak of, the second period would come to an end with Pittsburgh clinging to a 3-2 lead.
Stats through 40 minutes:
The stats are close, but the Penguins have the lead and the momentum. pic.twitter.com/85qtlri7Qp— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 16, 2018
It what was the biggest event of the period to that point, Garrett Wilson would be called for hooking with a little over half the period remaining. Alex Iafallo would tie the game from the one-time goal. Not Murray’s best look there. 3-3 Tie.
Muzzin-Kempe-Iafallo— LA Kings (@LAKings) December 16, 2018
Tic-Tac-Toe #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/W4p4NrWfCj
Regulation time would end with both teams locked in a 3-3 stalemate.
After your normal dose of crazy, back-and-forth OT play, the Penguins would be given a 4-on-3 power-play with Brendan Leipsic being called for slashing.
And Phil Kessel subsequently sends the crowd home happy with the OT winner!
CAN YOU PHIL THE THRILL? pic.twitter.com/rWCswF00Ks— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 16, 2018
- Blowing 3-1 leads in back-to-back games is not good, especially to a team like the Kings. A win is a win, however and the Penguins will take two points every chance they get.
- Bryan Rust is still on fire. Keep calm and carry on.
- Matt Murray stopped 38 out of 41 shots in his return. Not counting the weak third goal given up, it was a pretty damn good return for Muzz.
- Pittsburgh is back in action on Monday night when they play host to another California team - the Anaheim Ducks.