Connect with us

Penguins

Is This Progress? Penguins Blow 5-2 Lead in 6-5 OT Loss

Published

on

Boston Lindholm overtime goal

This, the Pittsburgh Penguins said, was progress.

Sure, they failed to protect a three-goal lead. At home, no less.

And yeah, they could have capitalized on a power play in overtime, when a goal would have salved their psyches and salvaged an extra point in the standings.

The hard truth is, under most circumstances and by almost any measure, their 6-5 overtime loss to Boston at PPG Paints Arena Tuesday night would have been deemed a colossal failure.

But when a team is coming off four consecutive losses on the road, playing well enough to get even a single point — even if it should have had two — against a quality opponent apparently is a source of hope.

“That was the best game we played in a while,” Jeff Petry said.

It was not, however, good enough to prevent them from sliding to 4-4-2, which translates to seventh place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Penguins won’t have much time to dwell on their latest disappointment, because they will play in Buffalo Wednesday at 7:38 p.m., but they’re keenly aware that they have to upgrade their play — and re-think their approach to playing with a lead — if they are to have a chance to attain the lofty objectives they’ve set for themselves.

“We’re learning the hard way right now,” Mike Sullivan said. “If we’re going to be the team we want to become, we can’t beat ourselves.”

Too bad, because that’s one of the few things the Penguins have been able to do consistently well since starting the season 4-0-1.

There isn’t much margin for error against a team as accomplished as Boston, whose 9-1 start is the best in franchise history, and the Penguins strained those boundaries while playing with a lead in the latter stages of the game.

They were up, 5-2, late in the second period, and still ahead by two going into the third. But rather than focus on sound puck-management to protect the lead against a team with a quick-strike offense, they stuck to a style that gave the Bruins a chance to get back into the game.

“When you have a two-goal lead going into the third, you have a good opportunity to win,” Sullivan said.

Not good enough, it seems, to overcome some of the lapses in judgment the Penguins had.

“We’re obviously a real skilled team,” Josh Archibald said. “Guys are going to make plays. But I think we just have to pick and choose when we’re going to make those plays.”

Even after Pavel Zacha (11:59) and Taylor Hall (18:43) had gotten third-period goals to force the overtime, the Penguins had a chance to pull out a victory when Evgeni Malkin drew a tripping minor from Boston defenseman Hampus Lindholm at 1:04 of the extra period.

The Penguins, though, were unable to take advantage, leaving them 0-for-4 on power plays for the evening.

“We’re trying to get these (power-play) guys on the same page,” Sullivan said. “They’re very capable guys, when they’re at their best.”

Which hasn’t been very often lately. After going 4-for-10 with the extra man in their first two games, the Penguins are 4-for-29 in the past eight.

And just to rub it in a bit, once his penalty was up, Lindholm got the game-winner when he put a shot behind Tristan Jarry at 3:37 of overtime.

The Pittsburgh Penguins played without top-pairing defenseman Kris Letang, who had been listed as a “game-time decision” because of illness. They also were missing centers Jeff Carter, who was injured at Seattle Saturday, and Teddy Blueger.

Drew O’Connor filled in for Carter between Danton Heinen and Kasperi Kapanen on the third line, while Petry worked in Letang’s spot alongside Brian Dumoulin on the No. 1 pairing.

Despite their personnel issues, the Penguins took a 1-0 lead when Sidney Crosby scored 30 seconds into the opening period, and took a chokehold on the game when Malkin, Archibald, Bryan Rust and Rickard Rakell beat Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark in the second.

But Boston made it 5-3 while Petry was serving a hooking minor — “The power-play goal gave them momentum,” Petry said — and pressed throughout the third until it got the goals needed to force overtime.

“We finally got a lead, and we didn’t do a good enough job,” Crosby said.

Nonetheless, he, like most teammates, saw the Pittsburgh Penguins’ performance as an improvement over how they’d been doing recently.

“It was one of our better games, for the most part,” Crosby said.

Perhaps it was.

“We didn’t get the result, but we played a much better game,” Petry said. “I think we can build off this one.”

Maybe, improbably, this defeat will provide a foundation of sorts for them. Or perhaps they will find it to be like trying to build on quicksand.

Subscribe to PHN+
15 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

15 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steve
Steve
1 month ago

Looking. The panic button is around here somewhere.

maybeTROLLn
maybeTROLLn
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Meanwhile, the bruins saw a 3 goal deficit and slapped their own ~That was Easy~ button.

Chase Cranson
Chase Cranson
1 month ago

Oh when will Jarry make the easy save he is way off his game he is why they’re losing tonight

stan jones
1 month ago

Porous defense, need reinforcements from somewhere.

Peter Hoffman
Peter Hoffman
1 month ago

They suck. When they were up 5-3 in the 3rd just knew they would putz it away!

No D !!!

Wasnt
1 month ago

Seems like a lot of teams got the memo on crashing in to Jarry throws him off.
I had to laugh when Sully said we told the refs that’s twice now, so we’ll have to respond. With what?? Dirty looks?? Sid skating close to their goalie?? Pens showed them…LOL

Nathan
Nathan
1 month ago

Jarry was part of he problem in this game.

Clyde
Clyde
1 month ago

They just are too old and not tough enough. And Sullivan won’t alter their style at all when they have a lead. They should have done something sfter the second cup to bring in youth and toughness. P O Joseph aint tough enough.

Vince Gori
Vince Gori
1 month ago

That was tough I endure. As the second period wound down you sensed a shift in momentum. Sully and crew has down great challenging goals lately. They bite the bullet with a call only to have the opponent score quickly afterwards. That isn’t a good MO. Did Ruhwedel get hurt last night? I was looking at merchandise in the Pens Gear store and came across a clearance Brian Boyle jersey and wished his effort and grit were still part of this team.

maybeTROLLn
maybeTROLLn
1 month ago

HAHAAA they’re cooked. turkey is done, and it was only Movember 1.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

No excuse for losing that lead. Can’t be good for their confidence. Doesn’t help that the power play can’t convert to extend the lead. Seems now fans will be waiting for them to tank and lose the game. I know I was waiting last night and it did unfortunately.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Should’ve taken Rust of that power play at some point in overtime and put Rakell out there. Now that would’ve been good coaching.

JICS
1 month ago

The whole world thinks Sully is the “best”. Sorry, folks, but he is against doing the absolute necessary things and keeping the necessary players. His lines are “off”, his PP is “way off”, and he is either too stubborn (because he is not stupid), to change things, or has sent too many of his tough players packing! That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Just take a good look at how many teams have beat us lately (that have several former good &/or tough Pittsburgh players playing for them)

Kris
Kris
1 month ago
Reply to  JICS

OK so please help me understand what it is exactly you want him to do with the roster he as been given by his General Manager. Apparently you don’t understand that the coach doesn’t “send the players packing”. That’s on the GM. Don’t disagree with your assessment but you are assigning blame to the wrong person here. Shake up the lines and sit one or two guys. Other than that, the coach’s hand are pretty much tied up as far as roster decisions. Now philosophy and game planning, yes that’s on him. But I think he has a good game… Read more »

Pepper
Pepper
1 month ago

It’s still early and lots of hockey left to play. But, a few trends seem irreversible at this point. They are old by pro sports standards, which means they are not particularly fast, they will fatigue more quickly, and they are easily injured. They have no physical toughness and no one willing to stand up for their own teammates. Crosby should never have to be the one to try to send a message. They need a physical presence, at least. Just one would help. Jarry is a solid goalie, but not the type of guy who’s going to steal a… Read more »