Before the Pittsburgh Penguins game, head coach Mike Sullivan listed Brandon Tanev as a game-time decision, but Tanev did not take warmups and was a scratch. It appeared the Penguins players were jealous as the New Jersey Devils clogged up the ice for much of the afternoon.
Jesper Bratt finished a wrap-around chance in overtime for the New Jersey Devils’ 2-1 win over the Penguins (19-11-2). The Penguins earn a point for the OT loss and are two points in front of Boston and seven ahead of Philadelphia in the East Division.
In the first two minutes, New Jersey appeared they were ready to break the recent trend of low-scoring games. On the first shift of the game, New Jersey winger Yegor Sherangovich snapped a wrister through Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry but hit the post. Jarry had to make a follow-up save, too.
For the first two minutes, New Jersey attacked.
However, the Penguins scored the first goal on a patient, slow, methodical, tape-to-tape six-pass play. Three minutes into the game, Jake Guentzel zipped a pass across the low zone for Sidney Crosby(12), who one-timed it from one knee near the goal-line.
A pretty goal for most but another Sunday cruise for Crosby.
“I think we’re getting a consistent offensive production, obviously, from Crosby’s line,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said. “But it would help if we could get some more the from the bottom line. And so that’s one of our challenges right now.”
According to NaturalStatTrick.com, New Jersey had more scoring chances and twice as many high-danger chances (6-3), but Jarry held the fort.
Jarry cracked a little bit in the second period. After making several sparkling saves, Jarry yielded another long-range shot from the point. Five minutes into the second period, New Jersey defenseman Sami Vatanen (2) beat Jarry from the blue line. 1-1.
“I think it was just through a screen, and he picked one side or the other and I was trying to on the other side and he put it in,” Jarry said.
Through the second period, New Jersey controlled chances. According to NaturalStatTrick.com, New Jersey had 66% of the scoring chances (24-12) and more than twice as many high-danger chances (9-4).
The game opened slightly in the third period, or the pace of exterior play picked up. Neither team was able to score again in regulation despite shot totals in the mid-30s for 60 minutes. The Pittsburgh Penguins even closed the scoring chance gap in the final minutes.
Bu OT was necessary.
Jarry stopped 33 of 35 shots, while MacKenzie Blackwood stopped 35 of 36.
Tristan Jarry and MacKenzie Blackwood:
When teams did break through for scoring chances, the goalies were outstanding. Neither served up sloppy joe rebounds or greasy pizzas in the slot. Both controlled the puck and stopped it well.
Besides Sidney Crosby, Kapanen was probably the best Penguins forward. Kapanen got around the Devils defense three times for quality chances. McCann’s new line in the middle isn’t yet a slick unit, but Kapanen got the job done.
Yep, a Penguins fourth line center earns an honor. Gaudreau showed some puck confidence and aggression in his third game.
New Jersey hit three posts solidly throughout the game. Yegor Sharangovich rang a couple in the first two periods.