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Penguins blow lead, lose in shootout to Wild

Kasperi Kapanen gets a hat trick, but the Pens lose a late lead anyways

Minnesota Wild v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images


Welcome back Bryan Rust! The Penguins get a top line forward back and are otherwise the same for tonight.

First period

Just 1:19 in, the Pens get the first power play of the game when Marcus Foligno high-sticks Jake Guentzel, but Pittsburgh can’t score.

The Wild score the first goal, the Pens seem to get a bit distracted when the puck goes low-to-high and they leave Kirill Kaprizov all alone down low. Bad idea as Alex Goligoski’s point shot bounces to space where Kaprizov is able to chip in the easy goal. 1-0 Minnesota lead, 9:44 into the game.

Pittsburgh ties the game as Kasperi Kapanen finally opens his account for the 2021-22 season, and scores a beauty of a goal. Jason Zucker wins the puck off the wall and centers it in, and Kapanen dekes to the forehand right in front of Cam Talbot and buries it. 1-1 game with 3:27 left.

Kapanen doesn’t wait long to get his second goal, giving the Pens the lead before the end of the period. Evan Rodrigues gains the zone and pulls up, finding the trailing Kapanen for a one-time shot that gives Pittsburgh a 2-1 edge with 56 seconds left in the period.

Second period

Teddy Blueger heads to the penalty box for hooking, which is a double blow for the Pittsburgh PK since Blueger is a top PK’er. But the Pens hold.

Jake Guentzel pushes the score to 3-1 by ripping a shot from the middle of the ice. Cam Talbot couldn’t see much thanks to a big #77 in his grill in the form of a Jeff Carter screen. 6:26 left in the period.

Minnesota keeps it somewhat close though, making it 3-2 with 3:03 remaining. Jared Spurgeon makes a nice tip of the puck in the slot from his fellow defenseman Jonas Brodin shooting it in and Tristan Jarry had no chance.

Third period

The Pens get a second power play of the night when a real life person named Connor Dewar goes to the box for tripping Mike Matheson. Pittsburgh scores two seconds after the power play expires with Kapanen getting his third of the game. 4-2 Pens lead.

Minnesota gets aggressive and pulls the goalie with 4+ minutes left and with 3:19 the Wild make it a 4-3 game with Jared Spurgeon shooting from the point going in.

The Wild get a near-buzzer beater when a puck seems to be frantically bouncing around until it ends up on the stick of Ryan Hartman. Jarry’s scramble almost even recovers in time but the shot has enough velocity to jump into the net. 4-4 game.


The Pens get a couple of breakaways, Jason Zucker can’t end it on his old team and


Jake Guentzel goes first, winds in slowly then snaps a forehand shot and it scores!

Freddy Hockey is next, tries the backhand but Jarry says no way.

Letang is up next, Talbot stops him.

Fiala goes for Minnesota, he ties it up.

Rust is next, he scores to give the Pens a lead.

The lead doesn’t last, in a do or die situation Kaprizov cheekily chips a puck over Jarry.

Kapanen tries for the five hole, nope.

Nick Bjugstad comes in and ends it, ripping a short side shot on Jarry.

Here’s the video of Minny’s SO goals:

Some thoughts

  • Up 4-2 when Minnesota started pulling the goalie, it’s disappointing the Pens couldn’t bring the victory home.
  • Then again, down a captain, a head coach, another franchise icon, a top pair defenseman, another top-four defender and another defender....Well, one point is better than no points.
  • Story of the night for the Pens was Kapanen breaking out to score three goals after being held off the board all season to this point.
  • It was a nice night for the whole second line, Zucker was flying around and had two assists. Evan Rodrigues continued his run of good play, and also recorded two assists.
  • Liked the play of the top line too, Jeff Carter always makes his way right to the net, and that makes a big difference. Guentzel is getting back into a groove now too with his shooting and finding the back of the net.
  • It looked like both goalies were pretty good, even though eight goals were scored in regulation. Almost every goal was a result of a tip, a great shot, traffic in front.

Solid 55 minutes, but a tough finish. Pretty exciting game though, minus the finishing result. The Pens will move on and go to Chicago for a game on Tuesday, and they just fired their coach, so hey, that should be fun!