The Pittsburgh Penguins couldn’t beat Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson and in overtime tried to do so with too many men. In overtime, Evgeni Malkin hopped on the ice a moment too soon and the Penguins were penalized. Ottawa forward Ryan Dzingel roofed a tight angle wrist shot over Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith and the Penguins earned a point, but Ottawa earned a 2-1 OT win at the Canadian Tire Center.
“It’s my mistake,” conceded Malkin.
Bryan Rust typified the Penguins offensive frustration. He looked to the heavens, twice including after what would have been a shorthanded breakaway but the hard pass he tried to intercept knocked the stick out of his hands. Many other Penguins had similar reactions as Anderson was nearly unbeatable. He even stopped Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson with the bottom of his skate blade.
Anderson stopped 35 of 36 shots. The Penguins attemped 53 shots at even strength.
“We played great,” said Malkin. “Like Dumoulin has an empty net. It should be a goal.” Though it was Johnson who had the empty net but Anderson raised his skate to deflect the puck.
Despite heavy pressure by the Penguins in the first period, Ottawa earned the only tally. Four minutes into the game, emerging All-Star defenseman Thomas Chabot (8) beat Penguins netminder Casey DeSmith cleanly from the blue line. The 21-year-old Chabot is the NHL leading scorer among defensemen. The goal raised his total to 32 points.
The Penguins outshot Ottawa 16-6 in the first period. Ottawa was also forced to block 10 more shots.
Anderson also made several good saves early as the Penguins new top line with Jake Guentzel, Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel peppered Ottawa with no less than a handful scoring chances in the first period. Anderson continued to stymie the Penguins throughout the game. Despite the Penguins clear offensive advantage, Anderson was the equalizer.
J.S. Dea, who was recently reclaimed by the Penguins off waivers from New Jersey, tied the game a few minutes into the second period. Dea (4) skated past Ottawa defenseman Ben Harpur on the right wing and roofed a short side wrister for the Penguins only goal in the first 40 minutes. Dea played on the Penguins fourth line and was inserted into the lineup earlier Saturday after injured Patric Hornqvist was unable to play.
Like Anderson, DeSmith was stout including four saves against the Ottawa power play midway through the second period. DeSmith also stoned Colin White who had a breakaway early in overtime. DeSmith stopped 27 of 29.
Officiating also played a role as both clubs likely came away feeling somewhat shortchanged. Ottawa was denied a goal just 11 seconds into the second period when the goal was overturned on a dubious offside. The Penguins Bryan Rust was also not called for a likely slew foot at center ice.
Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby were roughed up without calls, as well. Letang could be seen having frequent conversations with the officials who whistled him for a pair of third period minor penalties.
The teams battled through an even third period which saw heavy hitting and good old-fashioned chippiness, including Letang wrestling with young Ottawa winger Brady Tkatchuk. It was Letang’s second penalty as he and Tkachuk served coincidental minors.