With the second game of a back-to-back on tap, Mike Sullivan confirmed that the newly-extended Casey DeSmith would get the start in net. There is more positive news on the injury front as well, with Sullivan also saying Patric Hornqvist (concussion) has been skating on his own in Pittsburgh.
Kings look like:— Curtis Zupke (@curtiszupke) January 12, 2019
The first notable piece of game action was a penalty called on Evgeni Malkin for slashing the opposition.
SHORTY ALERT! Who else but the combo of Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel? What a nice spinny maneuver by Mr. Jake And Bake! 1-0 Pittsburgh.
A Marcus Pettersson turnover at the opposing blue line led to the equalizer for Jeff Carter and the Kings. What an ugly sequence of events. 1-1 game.
Another Penguins penalty on the ledger with Derek Grant was called for high-sticking with 3:34 left in the first frame. The penalty would be successfully killed by Pittsburgh.
The first period would come to a conclusion with both teams deadlocked at 1.
Some stats through 20 minutes:
Jonathan Quick made a pretty incredible save to keep the game even by taking the puck right off the stick of Riley Sheahan early on in the period.
At the midway point of the period, Alex Iafallo’s and the Kings would take the 2-1 lead after the puck took a crazy bounce in a net-front scrum.
Marcus Pettersson dropped briefly the gloves with Matt Luff, but the bout was quickly extinguished by both parties.
Drew Doughty was called for interference on Sidney Crosby with five minutes left in the period. This run at Crosby was, in large part, due to Crosby’s stick coming up high to Doughty earlier in the game. Nevertheless, Pittsburgh’s power-play took the ice for the first time tonight.
Anze Kopitar would give the Kings their very own shorthanded goal after an AWFUL giveaway by Kris Letang. 3-1 Kings.
The period ends with the Kings out in front.
The Penguins, reluctantly, take back control of the short-handed goals allowed lead. Sad!— PensBurgh (@Pensburgh) January 13, 2019
49 seconds into the period, Brendan Leipsic tallied another goal for the Kings. Even after an offsides review, the goal would stand and the Penguins were then penalized for their incorrect coach challenge. 4-1 Kings.
The delay-of-game penalty would be killed by the Penguins.
Jamie Oleksiak drew a high-sticking call from Brendan Leipsic. The power-play could not generate a goal, however.
Anze Kopitar was called for delay-of-game at 8:58 of the third period, giving the Pens PP another opportunity to try and make a comeback. And Jake Guentzel, again, cut the deficit to 4-2.
With 8:15 left in the game, Brendan Leipsic tripped Bryan Rust. The Penguins power-play comes back again. This penalty would be killed by the Kings.
The Penguins pulled Casey DeSmith for the extra attacker with 2:30 remaining. Kopitar buried the empty-netter with 46 seconds left in the game. 5-2 Kings.
- The Penguins just looked like a team that had played 24 hours before this game. Brutal turnovers throughout the game also did not help the Penguins dig out of the hole they created for themselves.
- On the bright side, can anyone stop Jake Guentzel at the moment? The answer is no. With two more goals tonight, increasing his goal total to 23 on the year, that contract extension looks pretty good at the moment.
- In that same vein, give me more Crosby-Guentzel on the penalty kill. That duo, in that scenario, is so fun to watch.
- Jonathan Quick was a madman tonight making saves like the one below to keep the Penguins from tying or winning the contest.