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7 in a Row: Penguins Sloppy, Jarry Last Second Save in 3-2 Win Over New Jersey

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Pittsburgh Penguins game, New Jersey Devils

The Pittsburgh Penguins game wasn’t pretty, but they won their seventh in a row. New Jersey Devils winger Andreas Johnsson had a breakaway with two seconds remaining, but Tristan Jarry made the final of his 17 saves, and the Penguins won, 3-2 at Prudential Center on Sunday night.

The Penguins added a crucial cushion midway through the third period. With an aggressive shift and offensive pressure, the fourth line broke a game-long slumber for both teams. Dominik Simon kept the puck in the zone as the lines changed. Sam Lafferty crashed the net, and Penguins defenseman Mike Matheson (3) slipped a wrist shot through the screen for the game-winner.

“It was a great screen. I think Drew O’Connor was there as well. That’s how you score in this league. I mean, the goalies are too good,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “If they have sightlines more often than not, they’re going to stop the puck.”

The Penguins’ third goal did up the temperature. The teams finally showed some urgency. New Jersey ended the Penguins penalty kill streak with a power-play goal midway through the third. The Penguins PK streak ended at 39 straight, and Nick Bastian deflected a shot past Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry and New Jersey was only one bounce behind.

That was all New Jersey could muster.

The Pittsburgh Penguins had only four shots on goal in the first period. They looked about like my attempt at making sushi and may have smelled worse. Penguins center Teddy Blueger had three of the four shots, and the fourth was a bit of charity scorekeeping for NJ native Drew O’Connor in the final seconds of the period.

However, despite a turnstile of turnovers, the Penguins scored the game’s first goal. The PK, which killed off its 36th consecutive power play earlier in the first period, buried a shorty on No. 37. Former first-overall pick Jack Hughes served up an easy puck for Blueger to steal and barrel through point-man Dougie Hamilton. Midway through the period, Blueger (7) deked New Jersey goalie Jon Gillies and slipped it through the wide-open five-hole.

It was the Penguins’ first shorthanded goal of the season. They were one of three teams without a shortie until Blueger’s goal.

“The shorthanded goal was great. It was a nice play by Teddy. It was a good play by everyone involved to create the turnover,” Sullivan said. “I don’t think our penalty kill tonight was a microcosm of our overall game. The Penalty kill has been so good for this team for a long time now. I just don’t think we were as sharp as we have been.”

Otherwise, the first period was forgettable. New Jersey “won” the shot-clock 6-4. Three of those shots were over two power plays, so the 5v5 shots were 4-2. It was slightly less exciting than the Steelers in the first half. Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry won nine of his previous 11 starts and made a couple of tough saves for the penalty kill.

The Penguins got the first goal of the second period, but the level of play didn’t exactly pick up. The Penguins had just one shot on goal in the first seven minutes of the second period. However, that shot lit the lamp.

Danton Heinen was the fourth stick on the rush and uncovered in the slot one minute into the second. Heinen (9) ripped a far-post wrister past Gillies from just below the right-wing dot.

However, just one minute later, New Jersey halved the Penguins’ two-goal lead. The Penguins third and fourth lines were uncharacteristically scrambled and failed to have good d-zone positioning. Janne Kuokkanen (4) perfectly deflected a shot over Jarry.

Late in the second period, New Jersey defenseman Mason Geertson bowled over Penguins winger Dominik Simon in the slot. Simon was slow to get up, but Simon finished the game.

New Jersey outshot the Penguins through 40 minutes. In a barnburner, or rather a tape-burner, New Jersey outshot the Penguin 13-12.

Head coach Mike Sullivan shuffled the top three lines in the third period. Kasperi Kapanen was dropped to the third line. Brock McGinn was elevated to the second line and Danton Heinen jumped to the top line with Sidney Crosby.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Jack McCrory
Jack McCrory
1 month ago

Fact a day of loudly break away with two seconds left says all you need to know about. the defense I have a trouble closing games out Almost happened again

Uros
Uros
1 month ago

I’m beginning to worry about Matheson. Yes, he scored the goal, but his game this season has deteriorated worse than Petterson last year. Maybe the stats are good, I didn’t bother to check, but what I’m seeing is a far cry from what I was told he is. A solid 2nd pair D with money to prove it. In my eyes Hextall has righted the ship with his low key acquisitions that have proved to be worthy. In an ideal world we could’ve dumped Matheson, kept Ceci and added another lower cost D, but I dont think there were many… Read more »

trackback

[…] With their 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils, the Pittsburgh Penguins picked up their seventh consecutive victory. The Penguins were not at their best Sunday, but thanks to a late save by netminder Tristan Jarry. With two seconds remaining in the third period, Devils forward Andreas Johnsson was denied by Jarry on the breakaway opportunity to cap off the contest. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now) […]

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

Winning covers many sins and right now Zucker and Kapanen are the benefactors. Between the two about $10,000,000 of cap space is being drained. Too much money for the return. Zucker is just not going to fit here. Nearly 3 years . . and nothing. He is playing a eye-pleasing game . . .but a goal every month or so would be nice. Kapanen just needs to be better . . . just somewhere else. Sully is running out of lines to which Kaspari can be moved. Is there a fifth line? He is an under performing first round pick.… Read more »

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[…] — The Penguins are still playing — and have won seven consecutive games after winning in Jersey on Sunday. (PittsburghHockeyNow) […]

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