Penguins Blow ANOTHER Late Lead; Lose Shootout 3-2 to Carolina
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Penguins Blow ANOTHER Late Lead; Lose Shootout 3-2 to Carolina

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By Michael Miller (Own work) @PensRYourDaddy

For the fourth time in the last 12 games, the Pittsburgh Penguins were at the finish line but couldn’t hold a late lead. The Penguins again (again, again, again) gave up a goal when their opponent pulled the goalie in the final minutes as Carolina Hurricanes forward Justin Williams chipped a juicy rebound past Penguins goalie Matt Murray which erased the potential game-winning goal from Penguins defenseman Kris Letang in the waning minutes. Carolina won in a shootout, 3-2.

The Carolina win pulled them within two points of the Penguins for third place in the Metro Division. Carolina has two games in hand. The Penguins loser point kept them six points ahead of Montreal for the final playoff berth.

Williams (22) was the beneficiary of Murray’s flub on the fluttering shot. The Penguins goalie had a chance to catch the original shot cleanly but failed to snare it.

“This one is not lack of execution. It was a bounce in their favor,” said Letang.

The Penguins defensemen couldn’t avoid the penalty box in the final minutes of regulation or overtime. Jack Johnson took a bad roughing penalty which covered the final two minutes and the first 16 seconds of overtime. Then Letang took a slashing penalty which covered the final two minutes of overtime. Letang was also given a 10-minute misconduct for a few words and firing the puck down the ice after the whistle blew.

“I was really surprised,” Letang understated.

Johnson made good by blocking an overtime shot by Carolina forward Sebastian Aho which was headed into a yawning cage.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang missed the last 11 games due to an upper-body injury. Tuesday morning head coach Mike Sullivan called him an impact player, and Letang immediately showed why. In the waning minutes of the third period, the Penguins transitioned past the rushing Carolina attack for a three-on-one. Letang (16) was the last in line and roofed the wrist shot for what appeared to be the-game winner.

RedBeard's Pittsburgh

It took until the third period before either team earned a power play but even a man advantage for the Penguins couldn’t add more offense.

Offense finally visited midway through the second period. Midway through the period, Brock McGinn was the late trailer in the slot and evaded coverage. McGinn (9) snapped it past Penguins goalie Matt Murray from the left wing circle.

But 38 seconds later, the Penguins Batman and Robin tied the game. Sidney Crosby raced the puck along the right wing and threaded a pass through defenders to his Robin, Jake Guentzel (37) who lit the lamp from the high slot.

Much like the first period, the second period statistics were nearly perfectly even, too.

The first period was a case study in the mirror technique. Each team smothered the other, each team played along the wall with occasional slips to the scoring zone. Each team had 11 shots. According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Carolina had four scoring chances and the Penguins three.

The Penguins chances were mostly from Nick Bjugstad’s stick. The big 6-foot-6 center worked well with linemates to push the puck forward along the walls. Bjugstad hit the post with a wrist shot from the circle. And Nino Niederreiter hit a post from Carolina.

Both teams skated with the other and there was precious little advantage.

–More from the Penguins locker room coming up—

 

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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.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Zane Gearhart

    March 19, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    The pens cannot win without 5on5 scoring. Unfortunately our 1st line (sid and jake) are the only ones who can consistently score at 5v5. Kessel is tough to even watch, HQ and the 3rd line at least hustles, but nobody else ever scores at even strength. That along with our powerplay being horrible, means offensive is tough to come by

  2. BIG B

    March 19, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    BONEHEAD LETANG CAME BACK WITH BONE HEAD PLAYS! If this guy is not the dumbest of the leagues best players i do not know who is.Is Kessel washed up? he sure looks like it.Some other line besides Crosby’s has to score and this is why somebody besides Blandisi should be up to help provide some offence.The coach has to change sonething with the goalie pulled and speaking of the goalie he has to stop blowing leads late even if has played a good game the great goalies stop these shots.

    • Zane Gearhart

      March 19, 2019 at 10:24 pm

      Carolina’s 1st goal was off another turnover from kessel.. hes tough to even watch anymore. Hes unable to score unless on a powerplay. Even then he has 10 turnovers to 1 goal. The 3rd line seems very close to breaking through. They’re playing good just not getting it in the net

  3. BIG B

    March 19, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    Zane Kessel honestly looks like a low level minor league player and in my opinion he is sucking on purpose to screw the coach.I BET WE BEAT NASHVILLE NEXT.

  4. BIG B

    March 19, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    Kessel should have hjs streak taken away because right now he is not earning his sweater.I would say i can’t wait til he is traded but man his trade value must be low now.When i wat ch Kessel now all i think about is Seven Mary Three’s song the Waters edge–“No sound of fury, no shot of pain
    There was no real reason, no gain”

  5. BIG B

    March 19, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    It shoud read a sound of fury a shot of pain but with Kessel he has no fury or shot right now.

  6. Matt Luda

    March 19, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    Lost a key face-off in the D zone. Didn’t block out on the rebound. Two dumb penalties late in game. Three pathetic shootout attempts.

    The story of the 2018-19 Penguins, Cliff’s Notes version.

  7. Skippy

    March 20, 2019 at 12:29 am

    Is Blandisi really the best option in WBS? I’d rather dress 7 D. Murray has to make that stop… beach ball to his glove hand. Letang is by far the dumbest player in the league. Pens are a one line team. They will make the plays and be out by 2nd round.

  8. Matt Luda

    March 20, 2019 at 2:45 am

    I’m not worried. When Teddy Blueger heats up, he’ll carry this team. You watch. #Ted-dy!Ted-dy!

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