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WHEW! Penguins Survive Sloppy 3rd to Beat Senators 6-4

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Pittsburgh Penguins game, beat Ottawa Senators 6-4

The Pittsburgh Penguins (24-10-5) were loose in the first period but still won the period and survived a furious third period comeback by the pesky Ottawa Senators. Mike Matheson scored three points, including a pair of beauties as the Penguins filibustered the Ottawa Senators 6-4 at PPG Paints Arena Thursday. It was the Penguins first game at PPG since a Jan. 5 win over the St. Louis Blues.

And yes, we know, the Canadian houses are different, and there isn’t a filibuster fight in Ottawa, but just go with it.

The Penguins led 5-1 after two periods, but a pair of quick Ottawa goals in the opening minutes of the third brought Ottawa to 5-3. Ottawa winger Alex Formenton earned a penalty shot during a Penguins power play (unsuccessful), but Josh Norris scored midway through the period to chop the Penguins lead to 5-4. All-Star Jake Guentzel (21) ended the fun with an empty-net goal and a 6-4 Pittsburgh Penguins win.

Ottawa did their third period damage on limited shots. They had just 14 in the period. Overall, Tristan Jary stopped 39 of 43 shots in the Penguins win.

“It’s that first game back after a trip out west–for as long as we had–is never an easy one. There are times change challenges and so we knew this was going to be a difficult challenge,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “But every team in the league deals with the same challenge…”

Matheson collected his first point midway through the first period. Evgeni Malkin (3) charged the net off a faceoff play and quickly buried a rebound behind Forsberg. Kasperi Kapanen earned an assist as he deflected Matheson’s point shot after taking the faceoff. It was just the second faceoff this season for Kapanen. The goal gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead.

Matheson’s first goal since Dec. 19 was later in the first period after Malkin’s second goal was waved off due to a successful offsides challenge. The Pittsburgh Penguins again crashed the net. Matheson (4) earned his second point by shoveling a rebound into the net behind Ottawa goalie Anton Filip Gustavsson for a 3-1 lead.

Correction: Gustavsson replaced Forsberg minutes earlier when Evgeni Malkin scored a power-play goal that was overturned by review.

Filip Gustavsson, the other former Penguins goalie in the building, relieved Forsberg. Gustavsson was part of the package the Penguins sent to Ottawa for Derick Brassard in 2018. It was a bit of symmetry on the same night the Penguins played their tribute video to two-time Stanley Cup-winning goalie, Matt Murray. The Penguins traded Murray to Ottawa in the summer of 2020. Murray wasn’t able to play because of non-COVID illness but received a standing ovation from the press box.

Matheson scored again in the second period, too. After a golden chance in which he zipped through the Ottawa defense at full speed for a brief breakaway chance, he converted the next one.

Later in the second period, Matheson followed Jeff Carter into the offensive zone. As Carter cleared space, Matheson (5) ripped a top-shelf shot past Gustavsson from the left-wing circle. 5-1

Penguins Roll…

Per usual script, the Penguins scored first. Early in the first period, Dominik Simon worked a two-on-two rush to the left-wing circle. Simon (2) snapped a pretty top-shelf wrister past Forsberg.

The Penguins allowed 22 shots in the opening 20 minutes but had only 12. According to NaturalStatTrick.com, the high-danger scoring chances were 7-6 in the Senators’ favor. However, Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry had to make a few saves on odd-man rushes and clean looks.

The Penguins tightened up in the second period. Sidney Crosby scored a power-play goal midway through the frame. On a full-speed rush, both Crosby and Guentzel got behind the Ottawa penalty killers. Crosby (7) deked backhand for a short breakaway goal.

Ottawa’s first tally was midway through the first period to tie the game, 1-1. Drake Batherson took advantage of a sloppy Penguins line change for an uncontested shot from the right-wing circle. Batherson (12) finished his own rebound.

Jason Zucker was placed on IR before the game with an undisclosed injury.

With an assist in the second period on Crosby’s goal, Kris Letang extended his scoring streak to a career-long nine games.

Ottawa Senators Comeback

Early in the third period, talented 20-year-old Tim Stutzle (6) slipped Jeff Carter near the Penguins net for an easy rebound putback. 5-2.

Less than two minutes later, Josh Norris (17) also had an unmissable chance near the Penguins net. 5-3.

Tristan Jarry stopped Ottawa winger Alex Formenton on a penalty shot midway through the third period. It would have been a shorthanded goal as the Penguins second power-play unit turned the puck over at the blue line and gave chase.

However, Ottawa arrived at the Pittsburgh Penguins doorstep a few minutes later. Norris (10) was again uncovered near the Penguins net and easily chipped a pass behind a diving Jarry to make it 5-4 with 12 minutes to play.

Brady Tkachuk fed Penguins defenseman John Marino a few right hands as the two squared off in the second fight of the game, with under 10 seconds remaining. Brian Boyle and Austin Watson also dropped the mitts.

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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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Chris R
Chris R
10 months ago

Reporter to Penguins: “As a team, what would you say you’re especially talented at?”
Penguins: “Blowing a huge lead.”

Big B
Big B
10 months ago

Pens before Malkin return 1 game with 40 shot against.Pen’s since Malkin Return 3 games with 40 shots.Yay.

Ethan
Ethan
10 months ago
Reply to  Big B

Geno plays 17 minutes a game–are you saying those 40 shots mostly happen while he is on the ice? Dude might not be a great defender but oh yeah he is not a defender. Aren’t they also 4 out of 5 or something like that since he returned. Enjoy the ride and exhume the stick from your rectum. Or does Big B stand for Big B-hole?

Jay95
Jay95
10 months ago
Reply to  Ethan

I don’t blame it on Malkin in particular. But, it seems like the rest of the team has gotten sloppy around him. As in, they know with the talent that they have they can take more chances and aren’t as disciplined structurally. I don’t know what the answer is, but it’s slightly concerning as a mindset. Or, at least a perceived mindset.

Big B
Big B
10 months ago
Reply to  Jay95

On the 4 win theory- Jarry stole the game last night.Louis D stole his start as they had no right winning that game and without a Vegas collapse and a Robin Lehner choke they lose to Vegas so that could easily have been 1 win.

Big B
Big B
10 months ago
Reply to  Ethan

No i am saying the team plays a more relaxed game when he is in the lineup. You sir are a jacka@# which means your head is permanently up your rectum. I only stated a fact, the same fact Dan pointed out on his POSTGAME.You sir are a moron in a time of morons as you had to result to insults to make your point. Argue facts and don’t hate Ethan and i wish you a good day and life for that matter.

Big B
Big B
10 months ago
Reply to  Ethan

You know, an Ehan with a keyboard is a little like the mule with a spinning wheel, No one knows how he got it, and danged if he knows how to use it!

Big B
Big B
10 months ago
Reply to  Ethan

Ethan what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this site is now dumber for having listened to it. May God have mercy on your soul.

Big B
Big B
10 months ago
Reply to  Ethan

To Alcohol! The Cause of… and Solution to… All of Life’s Problems

Big B
Big B
10 months ago
Reply to  Ethan

“Why do I get the feeling that someday I’ll be describing this to a psychiatrist?”

John Milker
John Milker
10 months ago
Reply to  Big B

Wow ? So i guess they only shoot when Malkins on the Ice? LMAO

Big B
Big B
10 months ago
Reply to  John Milker

Guess so. I am only saying they play a more relaxed game but i am hopeful Malkin and the team get in rhythm.It is not like i am the only one who thinks this.Sullivan and Malkin had to have a summer summit several years ago because Malkin was not playing within the system.So please stop infering something i did not say or write.Malkin is a great player but he has years of bad habits and it stems from trying too hard an not from playing a lazy game.

Jay95
Jay95
10 months ago

Dan, just a small note…Forsberg was lifted after Malkin’s goal that got called back. Gustavsson was in net for Matheson’s 1st goal.

John Milker
John Milker
10 months ago

Its human nature for a team to let up with big lead? Ask the Falcons ? Once momentum shifts its hard to get it back! They are 14-2 and still not good enough? 300 miles to the east they wish they had are problems. Its January hockey with all the injuries and covid i think the Pens are doing great! They have 40 games to work out the details. Nunber 6 is in our near future IMO!!!!! LGPS

Big B
Big B
10 months ago
Reply to  John Milker

I 100% agree with you John.The Pens are fantastic but the last week or so is troubling, i just don’t want it to snowball and if Jarry keeps his composure it won’t.The only reason for the lack of playoff winning in the last 4 years is Murray melting down and a bad Jarry game six.This team should have another cup in the last 4 years.They should have beat the Caps in 2018,They dominated the Habs in 2020 and badly outplayed the Isles in 2021 so yes i think number six is in the cards.I also believe this team does not… Read more »