On a night full of blocked shots and saves, the Pittsburgh Penguins finally used their power play to punch through a 0-0 game in the third period courtesy of an Evgeni Malkin goal, but it wouldn’t be enough for a seventh straight win.
After limiting Arizona to just 16 shots on goal last game, the Pens were in suppression mode early. Seattle only had nine SOG after two periods of play, at one point going well over 10 minutes in the second period without getting a shot through.
But Seattle would turn the tables in the third period, especially after the Malkin goal and out-shoot the Pens 18-4 in the final period of regulation.
The Kraken finally tied the game with 3:56 remaining. Vince Dunn’s point shot was deflected by former Penguin Jared McCann, leaving Jarry in an impossible spot.
revenge goal courtesy of canner! pic.twitter.com/BUNbPCPhbV— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) January 28, 2022
In overtime, the Pens missed out on a golden chance when Sidney Crosby missed the net and the play went the other way. Pittsburgh wouldn’t touch the puck again, with Seattle eventually finding Adam Larsson who found space in the 3-on-3 overtime to wire a shot past Jarry and end the game.
It would be a stunning reversal of fortune for the Pens, who through 40 or 50 minutes appeared to be in little-to-no trouble and on the way to another victory at home. But Seattle kept chipping away, and the Pens end the night only getting one point for the standings.
- Both teams were fighting a losing battle getting through the other’s defenses for most of the night. Tons of blocked shots, lanes denied, turnovers, battles, all the defensive things of that nature. One of those where it looks more like a chess match and positional battles where every inch is earned, then usually lost with possession going the other way. Only to rinse and repeat.
- The Pens had long stretches of zone control and time, at one point in the second period pinning the Kraken players for almost three minutes on the ice, one with a broken stick. It was a great pressure-filled sequence, but nothing came of it.
- Ultimately, missed opportunities like that early let the Kraken just hang around in the game, and by the third Seattle earned their place by dominating the period, save the blip that was Malkin’s power play goal.
- Well, at least Pittsburgh won the battle of the unstoppable force (Jordan Eberle seemingly always scoring against them) versus the immovable object (Eberle being on a now 18-game goal-less streak, and eight games without a point). And that is Seattle’s All-Star rep too. Looked like he was fighting the puck at time, can’t have much confidence or mojo going right now.
- Eberle got in alone and was stopped by Jarry from point blank range. Still had his chance at it.
- Will Jarry seeing 45 total shots over the last two games potentially be a reason to play him again tomorrow? The physical strain hasn’t been too much, though the mental focus and grind of playing literally every night isn’t good to keep riding the starter forever.
- Tonight marked a small piece of NHL history: it will forever be remembered (well, maybe) as the first ever OT win in Kraken history.
- Have to give Seattle credit, they only had four road wins on the season coming into tonight, and this was their first game in the Eastern time zone. Didn’t seem to phase them as they really only played a good last period, but it was good enough.
- Crosby attempted six shots: three were blocked, two missed the target, one was on goal. Bryan Rust only had two shot attempts (one on goal, one missed). Jake Guentzel did have seven shot attempts (four on goal) but overall it was a very quiet game for the first line. Don’t say that too many times over the course of a season.
- One aspect that aided Seattle was they got their only two power plays in the third period (minors to Zach Aston-Reese and Dominik Simon). The Kraken didn’t score, but they were able to build on them and keep the pressure high. Not ideal to have fourth line wingers to impact the game like that.
- McCann was dialed in for this game, leading all skater with 10 shot attempts and six shots on goal. He also beat Jeff Carter clean on a faceoff in the sequence before tipping in the point shot that extended the game and was a critical play all-around for the former Penguin.
The Pens’ winning streak is over, on a game they were winning with less than five minutes to go, which is always sub-optimal. But they also were largely unable to solve beleaguered Seattle goalie Philipp Grubauer, who played a strong game in his own right. From that perspective, scoring one goal, none at even, and still getting a point for the standings deep in a stretch of playing eight games in 13 days isn’t the end of the world either.
And, perhaps best of all, the feeling doesn’t have to linger since the Pens get the opportunity to get right back at it tomorrow night at home against the Detroit Red Wings.