The Pittsburgh Penguins had a pretty good idea of what they could expect from Vancouver when the Canucks stopped by PPG Paints Arena Thursday night.
They just couldn’t do much about it.
Not until after the Canucks had scored three times in the first period of what would become a 4-3 Vancouver victory, anyway.
The Penguins rallied from that deficit to earn a point — largely on the strength of two Sidney Crosby goals, including one in the final half-minute of regulation — but Canucks winger Elias Pettersson capped a four-point night by beating Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry on a breakaway at 3:05 of overtime.
The loss dropped the Penguins’ record to 20-15-5 and their mark at home to 10-8-2.
Vancouver entered the game as the NHL’s most prolific offensive team, and the Canucks didn’t need much time to show the Penguins why, as Brock Boeser scored twice in 47 seconds before the game was seven minutes old.
He put Vancouver in front, 1-0, at 5:44, steering a feed by Elias Pettersson past goalie Alex Nedeljkovic. Pettersson threw the puck toward the front of the net from the top of the left circle after stepping around Penguins center Noel Acciari.
Sidney Crosby was assessed a minor for tripping Canucks defenseman Carson Soucy at 6:03, but didn’t have to spend much time in the penalty box because Boeser struck again at 6:31.
This time, he deflected a J.T. Miller wrist shot from well above the left hash mark past Nedeljkovic for his 27th goal of the season and 10th in his past 10 games against the Penguins.
The Pittsburgh Penguins had an opportunity to slice into Vancouver’s lead when Canucks winger Ilya Mikheyev was penalized for interfering with Jake Guentzel at 8:38, but they were unable to score.
They did manage to get on the board at 16:20, however, as Marcus Pettersson scored his first of the season on a slap shot from the left point as Acciari staked out a position in front of Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko. Jansen Harkins and Jeff Carter got the assists.
Vancouver countered almost immediately, though, as Elias Pettersson set up in the slot and deflected a Filip Hronek shot behind Nedeljkovic at 17:31 for his third point of the period. Miller got the second assist, giving him three points in the period, too.
Although Nedeljkovic was more a victim than a culprit on Vancouver’s goals during the opening period, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan replaced him with Tristan Jarry for the start of the second. Jarry validated that decision by rejecting all 12 shots the Canucks threw at him during the period.
Sidney Crosby got the Penguins back within a goal at 6:05, as he beat Demko on the glove side with a wrist shot from inside the left dot. Jake Guentzel and Marcus Pettersson got assists on the goal, Crosby’s 23rd.
The goal was Crosby’s 573rd in the NHL, passing Mike Bossy for 22nd place on the league’s all-time list.
Erik Karlsson nearly tied the game less than a minute later, but his shot slammed off the right post.
Harkins harassed Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes into taking a delay-of-game minor for shooting the puck over the glass at 15:17, but the Penguins failed to manufacture a shot on Demko during that man-advantage.
They also failed to capitalize with the extra man after Miller was sent off for roughing Crosby at 5:24 of the third.
Vancouver got its second power play at 11:57, after Lars Eller cross-checked Canucks winger Connor Garland for what appeared to be a retaliatory penalty. The Penguins made it through those two minutes unscathed.
The Penguins got a final try with the man-advantage when Hronek held Crosby at 14:49, to no avail.
Crosby, though, forced overtime when he steered a Karlsson shot by Demko with 28.2 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are scheduled to practice Friday at noon at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex before traveling to Raleigh, where they will face Carolina Saturday at 7:08 p.m.