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RECAP: Penguins Survive in the Desert, Win 3-2 in OT

The Penguins were looking to right the ship on their road trip after dropping the last two games.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Arizona Coyotes Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Mike Sullivan told the media before the game that Patric Hornqvist, who was recently flown from Pittsburgh to join his teammates on this road trip, would not be playing in tonight’s contest against the Arizona Coyotes. Matt Murray was tabbed as the starter.


Interesting to see Evgeni Malkin has been reunited with Phil Kessel in the midst of his slump. And Riley Sheahan gets that bump to the second line as well.

1st Period

The first penalty of the game was called 36 seconds in. Sidney Crosby was called for tripping. The penalty was killed successfully.

Another Penguins penalty. This time, with 11 minutes left in the period, Riley Sheahan was cited for interference.

Penguin penalty-killers were 2-for-2 in the penalty department. Right after the second penalty expired, the Pens were called for ANOTHER infraction. Matt Murray was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Additionally, Brian Dumoulin was called for hooking. Coyotes get the 5-on-3 advantage. Yikes.

During the 5-on-3 advantage, Matt Cullen earned a tripping call. That turned into a 4-on-3 advantage for the Yotes. Clayton Keller would put the Coyotes on the board with a blast of a one-time goal. 1-0 Coyotes.

Jakob Chychrun was penalized for tripping, sending Pittsburgh to the power-play. Not a lot to report with the man advantage. The penalty would be killed by Arizona and the period would come to an end soon after with the Coyotes still leading 1-0.

Some stats after one:

2nd Period

Arizona’s Conor Garland was called for interference three minutes into the period. Juuso Riikola blasted a slap shot home for the equalizing power-play goal.

40 seconds later, Jake Guentzel was working down low and buried the second goal for the Penguins. It was a mad scramble as Darcy Kuemper was sprawled out, trying to stop everything he could, but Mr. Jake And Bake, from an unreal angle, gave the Pens a lead.

Not much action to report on after the Guentzel goal. Both teams traded some chances, but it was a period largely controlled by Pittsburgh. The period would end with the Penguins still up 2-1 on the scoreboard.

Stats after 40 minutes:

3rd Period

Four minutes into the period, the Coyotes thought they scored the tying goal, but after video review from a Mike Sullivan challenge, it was deemed that Matt Murray was interfered with. No goal.

Derek Stepan tied the game up at two after banking home a rebound from a blue line slap shot. The Coyotes had controlled the majority of the period to this point and were rewarded for their hard work.

Regulation time would come to an end with both teams still deadlocked at two. To overtime we went.


Your normal 3-on-3 madness ensued and both teams traded 2-on-1 chances. Goaltending was stellar in both nets.

The Penguins were given a 4-on-3 power-play with two minutes left in the OT session as Dumoulin was tripped. Moments later, a tipped goal from the American Hero Phil Kessel was the final nail in the coffin for the Coyotes. Pens win 3-2.

Final Thoughts

  • This was a game the Penguins needed to win. Straight on. After the two stinkers in Los Angeles and San Jose, coming into this game, with a better, but not great Coyotes team, the Pens were in good position to get two points. It wasn’t easy and it won’t get easier with the second half of this back-to-back ending tomorrow in Vegas against a staunch Golden Knights team right before the bye week. But a win’s a win.
  • Other positives from this game included another goal for the team leader, Jake Guentzel. Keep calm and carry on.
  • Phil Kessel was outstanding in OT. He was flying up and down the ice, even contributing on defense by making two crucial plays in the defensive zone to take the puck away.
  • Darcy Kuemper and Matt Murray were also phenomenal in the overtime period. Goaltending stole the show there.
  • The Penguins conclude this road trip with a 10pm EST puck drop tomorrow night in Vegas.