EDMONTON, Alberta — Goals in the final minutes of a period are especially damaging. The Pittsburgh Penguins (4-1-1) gave up a pair in the second period, and a two-goal lead quickly became a two-goal deficit. Edmonton Oilers (3-3-0) zoomed past the Penguins for a 6-3 win at Rogers Place.
The Penguins claimed a 3-1 lead early in the second period. Then took a short nap. For most of the second period, the Edmonton Oilers shelled the Penguins’ net, and the Penguins’ lead was gone after allowing 26 shots and four goals.
It was a record. Never before had the Edmonton Oilers had as many shots (26) in a period. Ever. That includes the Wayne Gretzky-led 1980s Oilers dynasty.
The Penguins got just four shots in the disastrous second period, including Bryan Rust’s bank-shot goal two minutes into the period.
Rust (3) tried to set up Jason Zucker in the slot, but the pass deflected back to Rust, who chipped the puck off the back of Edmonton goalie Jack Campbell. The Penguins led 3-1, but that was their last good feeling in the middle period.
Edmonton had four goals, including a fluky double-deflected power play goal that hit two Penguins before resting in the back of the net. Tyson Barrie (1) got credit for the goal that hit Penguins penalty killers Ryan Poehling and then Brian Dumoulin.
The Penguins and Jarry managed to hold the fort for most of the second, but everything went wrong in the final five minutes.
Later in the second period, Evander Kane (2) beat Brock McGinn off the wall, and Dumoulin wasn’t able to pick up coverage as Kane slipped a sneaky forehand to the short side.
With about 90 seconds remaining, three Penguins converged towards the defensive net, but no one covered Ryan Nugent-Hopkins just feet away. Nugent-Hopkins (3) quickly banged a pass past Jarry for the first Edmonton lead.
Then in the final 30 seconds of the second, Leon Draisaitl got behind Kris Letang, and Dumoulin whiffed as Draisaitl shoveled it past Jarry.
A 5-3 Edmonton lead.
The Penguins didn’t challenge in the third period, either.
Ryan McLeod was an uncovered trailer late in the third period for the clincher.
After outshooting Edmonton 19-9 in the first period (or close enough. Official scorers made a few changes throughout the game), the Penguins were outshot overall 47-34.
Pittsburgh Penguins Falter
Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid were among the top-five leading scorers in the NHL with 10 points. Surprisingly, McDavid was scoreless, but Crosby’s first-period goal gave him 11 points and third place.
Edmonton scored first for just the second time this season. In a first-period trend, Edmonton zipped behind the Penguins’ top-pairing defensemen. Before the game was five minutes old, Zach Hyman (2) had a clear breakaway and beat Tristan Jarry with a backhand deke.
However, the Penguins rallied with a power play goal and their own odd-man rush.
Midway through the first period, Rickard Rakell beautifully helmed the Penguins’ second power-play unit. Rakell took advantage of the Penguins’ quick puck work, stepped forward to the high slot, and ripped a snapshot past Edmonton goalie Jack Campbell.
Less than two minutes later, Edmonton inexplicably lost coverage on Sidney Crosby, who was the late trailer on a Penguins three-on-two break. Crosby (4) was open near the net and quickly slipped it past Campbell.
The Pittsburgh Penguins had won four of their first five games but suffered their first regulation loss. According to Penguins historian Bob Grove, it was the 18th time in Mike Sullivan’s tenure the Penguins had points in five straight games.
Dumoulin and Letang were each a minus-3 after the second period. No other Penguins player was more than minus-1 (Jeff Carter was given a minus on the sixth goal. He finished at minus-2).