The Pittsburgh Penguins snapped to it in the second period. After a disinterested first period, the Penguins grinders picked up the pace and attacked the Arizona Coyotes defensive posture. The Penguins fired 22 shots at the Arizona shell but still needed a late tying goal by Brandon Tanev and an eighth-round shootout winner by Teddy Blueger to beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 in the shootout on Sunday at the Gila Arena.
Arizona again played with four, sometimes seemingly eight players between the dots and neither team had their best legs until later in the game. Arizona clogged the middle and the Penguins didn’t do enough to break up the logjam until midway through the second period. The teams combined for two goals, but just eight shots in the first period before their alarm clock went off.
“We showed tonight, it wasn’t a pretty game for us but we’ll take two points,” Evgeni Malkin said. “The goalie played unbelievable, Jarry. I like it.”
Welcome to an afternoon game against an opposite conference team and a docile crowd at the end of a road trip; a perfect 3-0 road trip.
“It was obviously a great trip. We were looking at this trip, coming out we knew it was going to be a real tough trip, playing against some real good teams who playing some pretty good hockey,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said. “The fact that we took six points out of it is a credit to the team. Guys are playing hard.”
In the second period, after the teams again traded goals, the Penguins began to crack the pig pile in the middle. It became a matter of effort, a little bit of luck, and one tried and true Mike Sullivan strategy.