The teams combined for 81 shots in regulation. The Pittsburgh Penguins power play had 20 shots on nine power-play chances in regulation as they rallied from a 2-0 deficit for a 4-2 lead late in the third period.
However, Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad scored two goals in 98 seconds late in the third period to force overtime.
Carter Verhaeghe ripped a shot past Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith in OT for a 5-4 Florida win.
At least Danton Heinen scored his second goal in two games?
It should have been a Penguins regulation win. Should have. The Penguins could have buried Florida with nine power plays but didn’t do that, either. However, the team was on loose pucks, and disruptive. The Penguins are nothing if not tenacious and aggressive.
“I said to the guys after the game that we just love their compete right now,” Sullivan said. “You know we’re competing hard, we’re battle and it’s not perfect by any stretch out there. But I love our attitude. I love our compete.”
Jake Guentzel showed patience, patience…and…patience. With a couple of uncontested chances behind the goal line, Guentzel’s shot hit Mackenzie Weegar and deflected into the net for the Pittsburgh Penguins go-ahead goal in the middle of the third period.
A few seconds later, Evan Rodrigues was surrounded by all five Florida Panthers in the crease but managed to chip the puck beyond the goal line for a two-goal lead. It looked like the game-winner as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied from a 2-0 deficit, but Florida defenseman Aaron Ekblad scored two goals about two minutes apart.
Ekblad got a scrum goal later in the third period after all five Penguins were pig-piled in the crease, and Brian Boyle swept the puck off the goal line.
It’s a good thing everyone was vaccinated, but it was that kind of game. Neither team really played “their” game after the first period. But at least we had most of 20 minutes, eh?
It wasn’t the free-flowing game of hockey that the Penguins engaged in on Tuesday night. No, the Penguins (2-0-0) and Florida Panthers (0-1-0) engaged in a special teams competition. Florida gave the Penguins five one-man advantages and two 5v3 advantages in the first two periods.
The Penguins were generous, too, and gave Florida five power plays.
Yes, the Pittsburgh Penguins without Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin earned three of four points against the best two teams in the Eastern Conference on the road to start the season.
Jeff Carter scored his 400th career goal, and the Penguins killed all five advantages. See Brian Boyle below. Not too shabby.