For the fifth time this season, the Pittsburgh Penguins (4-3-4) needed overtime, and for the second consecutive game, the Penguins needed a shootout.
And for the second game in a row, the Penguins lost in a shootout as the Chicago Blackhawks won their third game of the season (3-9-2). Alex DeBrincat clinched the shootout and Chicago won, 3-2. It was Chicago’s second win in a row since they replaced head coach Jeremy Colliton with Derek King.
The Pittsburgh Penguins needed a 40-minute warmup before they found their game and their legs. After staying to the perimeter for most of the game, the Penguins pressured Chicago for most of the third period. Jeff Carter scored a pair of third period goals to force OT.
Carter (3) scored the tying goal with four minutes remaining when he slipped a wrister through Chicago goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who kicked the net off the moorings while trying to make the save.
After a quick review, the tying goal stood. The goal came immediately after Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry stopped Mike Hardman on a breakaway.
Bryan Rust had a rebound chance but shot just high as the regulation buzzer sounded.
Carter’s early third period goal gave the Penguins life, where little existed before. A grinding shift by Brian Boyle and the Penguins fourth line early in the final period was followed immediately by the first Penguins goal.
Trailing 2-0, Jeff Carter (2) sneaked behind defenseman Seth Jones for a quick deflection. The goal ended the shutout and gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a fighting chance throughout the third period.
Carter had six shots in regulation, and he had a glorious rebound chance in the final two minutes, which trickled wide.
The Penguins power play sank from ineffective to hapless in the first period. Facing the fourth-ranked Chicago Blackhawks penalty kill, the Penguins power play failed to get a shot on goal during their only first-period opportunity.
Conversely, in two opportunities, Chicago was dynamic and ripped seven shots, not including one shot that hit the post. The Chicago power play moved the puck quickly but also aggressively.
Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry kept the Penguins even and the first 20 minutes scoreless. Jarry made 14 saves. His counterpart, Marc-Andre Fleury, made 11 saves, but many were much easier than the power-play shots Jarry faced.
Chicago eventually cracked the Penguins in the second period.
While the Penguins shots remained from the perimeter, Chicago forward Jijhar Khaira took advantage of Juuso Riikola chasing the puck after a faceoff. Just two minutes into the second period, Riikola chased the play to the defensive blueline. Khaira (1) went to the net and was uncovered for an easy tap-in goal.
Later in the second period, Chicago scored when the Penguins players were on the ice for more than two minutes. With constant pressure by Chicago, the Penguins defensemen John Marino and P.O. Joseph were trapped in the defensive zone for approximately 2:07.
The shift ended when Chicago defenseman Seth Jones (1) had plenty of space to command the dot and rip a top-shelf shot through an uncontested screen.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have not won in regulation since Oct. 23. They’re 1-4-1 since
In a statistical anomaly, Jake Guentzel not only earned the primary assist on Carter’s first goal but led the Penguins with six hits in regulation.
Tristan Jarry was stellar. He stopped 29 of 31 shots in regulation. In overtime, Jarry also stuffed a two-on-none with Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat by taking away the net. Kane hit the outside of the post, but Jarry had the shot covered.
Marc-Andre Fleury flipped the script from the season’s third game when the Penguins chased him with four goals in the first period. On Tuesday night, Fleury stopped 39 of 41 shots in regulation and withstood the third period Penguins onslaught.
Fleury and Carter slashed each other in the final minute of overtime for coincidental minors.
The Penguins suffered a couple of injuries in the first 21 minutes. Both Bryan Rust and Kris Letang appeared to suffer injuries, but after initially missing the start of the second period, Rust returned. Letang also stayed in the lineup.
However, defenseman Mark Friedman was felled later in the third period.