Mike Matheson may not be known for his abilities and skills on the defensive side of the puck, but he stepped up, figuratively and literally, when it counted on Thursday night.
Late in overtime against the Blues on the road in St. Louis, and up the ice came Colton Parayko.
Parayko entered the Pens’ defensive zone with essentially a 1-on-1 with Matheson, but Matheson did have some help on the other side of the ice and no other Blues’ players nearby.
It would’ve been a good chance for Parayko to try and make a move and get around Matheson with an opportunity to win the game, but Matheson said ‘no thanks.’
Emily Pfalzer's husband stops an incoming Colton Parayko on the rush in over time. pic.twitter.com/wD6cNFVc9Y— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) March 18, 2022
Matheson, 6’2” and weighing 190 lbs. made it look relatively easier to take down the 6’6” 230 lb. defenseman, all without taking a penalty on what was an immensely clean play.
Matheson has taken a lot of flack for his play in the defensive end of the ice throughout his career, but he deserves plenty of applause for this play.
The Pens went on to win in the shootout thanks to the services of Bryan Rust and Tristan Jarry.