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Letang Wins It; Penguins Grand Comeback, Crosby’s 500th Beat Flyers 5-4 in OT



Pittsburgh Penguins game, Philadelphia Flyers

It looked like hope was fading. The Pittsburgh Penguins trailed 4-2 with just eight minutes remaining. Passes looked like bricks. Shots went wide. Yet the Pittsburgh Penguins (31-11-8) scored two goals in 18 seconds later in the third period. A historic, milestone 500th goal by Sidney Crosby goal that doubled as a power-play goal, another fourth-line goal, and a game-tying goal by light-scoring defenseman Chad Ruhwedel propelled the Penguins.

Kris Letang (6) finished a two-on-one in the first minute of overtime and the Penguins three-goal comeback was complete. A win for Crosby’s 500th goal.

The forlorn Flyers who have suffered through a sinking season snatched defeat from victory. The Penguins overcame their mistakes and beat the Philadelphia Flyers (15-25-8) 5-4  in OT at PPG Paints Arena.

Jake Guentzel scored a power-play goal from the crease over seven minutes remaining to pull the Penguins within one, 4-3. Then, 18 seconds later, defenseman Chad Ruhwedel was uncovered as he bolted toward the net. Danton Heinen’s pass connected and Ruhwedel (1) buried the chance. Tie game, 4-4.

Penguins backup goalie Casey DeSmith wasn’t sharp. He stopped 23 of 27 shots in regulation and allowed a couple of stoppable tallies.

It took a few games and a few close calls, but Penguins captain Sidney Crosby finally netted his 500th career goal. It was a power-play tally at 16:34 of the first period.

Later in the first period, Flyers defenseman Justin Braun cross-checked Jake Guentzel to the ice. Crosby retaliated, to a lesser timber, and Braun was the only player penalized. The Penguins power play was like old times.

Crosby (14, 500) snapped a shot off Philadelphia Flyers goalie Carter Hart. Fittingly, Evgeni Malkin was the only assist. The Penguins led 2-1, but they squandered the lead in the second period.

Philadelphia scored first, later in the first period. Both Jeff Carter and Chad Ruhwedel pinched at the wrong moments and Claude Giroux (16) buried the two-on-one over DeSmith.

Philadelphia tied the game in the first minute of the second period. Flyers center Scott Laughton (10) slipped Jake Guentzel in the slot and was open to rip a top-shelf wrister over DeSmith.

Midway through the second period, the Philadelphia Flyers claimed another lead. From the top of the zone, Flyers defenseman Nick Seeler (1) unleashed a heavy shot that whizzed past DeSmith, who was deep in the crease.

The Penguins outshot Philadelphia 18-13 in the second period, but Philadelphia scored all three goals. The third was another calamity of errors after Laughton skated past Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson for a quick breakaway. DeSmith made the initial save, but the scrambled Penguins didn’t find the loose puck.

Flyers defenseman Justin Braun (4) missed the net from the point, but it thumped Pettersson in the chest and dropped into the net. The Flyers led 4-2 after two periods on a historic night.

The Penguins fourth line not only accounted for a goal but center Brian Boyle led all players with five shots on goal in regulation.

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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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9 months ago

It might’ve been the sloppiest game of the year but they won. I’m glad 42 was kept on the bench for most of the third.

Michael Hanczar
Michael Hanczar
9 months ago

Any idea why Pompeani was the public address guy tonight?