Penguins Blow It AGAIN to Philly, Lose in OT 2-1
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Penguins Blow It AGAIN to Philly, Lose in OT 2-1

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PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins squandered a multi-goal lead in the final minutes of the Stadium Series game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 23. The Penguins made the same mistake again. Philadephia forward James Van Riemsdyk buried a rebound with just 18 seconds remaining to force overtime and Sean Couturier scored with just three seconds remaining in overtime. The Penguins again let a valuable point slip against Philadelphia and lost 2-1 in OT.

The Penguins otherwise held the advantage for most of the game but again could not seal the deal.

“I’d say for at least for two periods we were (in control). In the third period, they came hard,” Penguins goalie Matt Murray said. “They had a 4-on-2 in the last couple seconds. They got one…and it stings for sure.”

The good news was the Penguins got injured winger Bryan Rust back in the lineup. The bad news was star center Evgeni Malkin was out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury.

Neither team cracked the scoreboard until Penguins rookie forward Teddy Blueger pounded a Phil Kessel rebound into a yawning cage, just two minutes into the third period. The Penguins backcheck kept the puck in the zone and Philadelphia goalie Carter Hart who was spectacular served a pizza in the slot.

Blueger (4) was too happy to finish it.

The game was worlds different from the Round One playoff series last season which featured high scores and little shot suppression. Neither team registered much that could resemble high danger scoring chances until the Penguins gained some momentum in the middle of the second period.

On the same shift, Penguins center Nick Bjugstad had a 100-foot breakaway followed by a wide-open one-timer by Patric Hornqvist. Philadelphia rookie goalie Carter Hart made those saves and denied several more Grade A chances. At one moment in the second period, the Penguins led the shot tally, 22-9 and later in the period it ballooned to 25-11. The final tally of the second period was 18-7 for the Penguins.

The Penguins took nearly 74 percent of the shots and shot attempts in the second period. However, for the first time all season, the Penguins and their opponent were scoreless after two periods.

RedBeard's Pittsburgh

Philadelphia outshot the Penguins 19-9 in the third period and took early 62 percent of the shots and shot attempts. Philadelphia had 60 percent of the scoring chances.

Kessel also tied Craig Adams as the Penguins all-time leader with 318 consecutive games played.

The Penguins power play cooled considerably. Without Malkin, the Penguins were ineffective and struggled to set up the attack. In four power-play chances, the Penguins managed only three shots, though one of the opportunities was abbreviated by one minute in the third period when Phil Kessel was called for slashing.

With Hart pulled, Van Riemsdyk (25) snapped Travis Konecny’s rebound behind Murray with only 18 seconds remaining.

“Tonight we needed to defend harder. We needed numbers back,” said head coach Mike Sullivan.

Penguins wingers Kessel and Patric Hornqvist led all players with six shots each. Philadephia defenseman Radko Gudas led all players with seven hits. Erik Gudbranson led the Penguins with four hits.

Penguins goalie Matt Murray made 31 saves in regulation. He stopped five more in overtime. Hart stopped 34 before being pulled for the extra attacker, and 41 shots overall.

After the game, Sullivan said Malkin is week-to-week with an upper body injury. Blueger anchored the second line in Malkin’s absence.

It has been 16,000 days since the Flyers last won a Stanley Cup.

 

 

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now owner, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Patrick

    March 17, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    PHN, I really enjoy your balanced reporting on the Pens. However, the “March of the Penguins” read felt premature and looks more so by the day.

    This team has snatched defeat from victory too many times to be comfortable. Kessel makes me nervous every time he has the puck. Overall, the team seems to “wait instead of skate” without the puck. Lots of work to do before April.

  2. Zane Gearhart

    March 17, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    They better burn those jerseys and never wear them again. They’re ugly as sin, and cursed at the same time

    • Matt Luda

      March 17, 2019 at 10:49 pm

      The helmets are worse than the unis.

  3. Matt Luda

    March 17, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    Still cannot close out games. Outplayed and outshot (19-9) in the third period again. Lots of shots before then but the lack of finishers is obvious. Bjugstad, Kessel and Hornqvist were zip for 18.

    Scored two goals against the Blues and Flyers in two games at home. Playoffs are no gimme. Still plenty of time to blow it.

  4. BIG B

    March 17, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    CROSBY SUCKED AT THE END AND PHILBILLY F*%$#$$ KESSEL GAVE THE GAME AWAY AGAIN WITH THE POWERPLAY.THE COACH REFUSES TO ADJUST IN OVERTIME, HE SHOULD HAVE USED HIS TIME OUT AT THE END OF THE GAME AND IF NOT THEN WHEN THEY HAD THE OFFENSIVE ZONE FACE OFF WITH 30 SECONDS TO GO IN O.T SO HE COULD PUT SHULTZ OUT WITH THE CROSBY LINE.IF DOUGHBOY KESSEL STAYS AFTER THIS YEAR THIS TEAM WILL BE IN LOTTERY CONTENTION.

  5. Matt Luda

    March 17, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    Oh, and any time the Pens radio network wants to stop those post-game interviews with visiting players is fine with me. I don’t give a rat’s ass about what they think. Bet I’m not alone.

  6. BIG B

    March 17, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    Malkin is WEEK TO WEEK with an upper body injury–WHAT A SHOCK CALL UP PLAYERS WITH SCORING ABILITY INSTEAD OF BLANDISI AND WILSON.DAN DON’T TELL ME THAT WILSON IS PLAY GOOD THIS TEAM NEED PRODUCTION WHICH THEY ARE NOT GETTIN FRON THE BOTTOM 6.

  7. Skippy

    March 17, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    Littie early Dan with the deep playoff run prediction. This team looks like it might have one series in it. Off season, day good bye to Kessel and Murray.

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