Pens Outlast Caps, Snap 9 Game Winning Streak

The Pittsburgh Penguins carried their first 3 game losing streak since Sully took over and lost 4 in a row to start.   The Capitals came in as the hottest team in Hockey, winners of 9 straight.   Last night, the Pens went down 3 goals to start the game and then…. the second period happened.  At the end of the period, 9 goals were scored and the Pens had a 6-5 lead.  Pittsburgh would eventually win the game in overtime, but not without some more dramatics.  The final score Pittsburgh 8 Washington 7.

Pittsburgh looked really bad in the first period last night.  They were Lifeless and with major defensive breakdowns.  Not to mention, goalie play last night was just as bad on both sides of the ice.  Down 3-0 Early in the second period, the game felt out of reach.  Then, a pretty large hit took place and everything changed.

Pittsburgh would rifle off 5 straight goals in 8 minutes of play.  The goals in the period started and ended with Evgeni Malkin as he would tally 3 goals.  Others that scored during that run included Connor Sheary, Nick Bonino, and Bryan Rust.   The third Malkin goal of the period would break a tie at 5 goals a piece to give the Pens a 6-5 lead after two.

Then in the 3rd period, the Pens would extend that lead with a Sidney Crosby goal from a really nice pass by Connor Sheary.  It came from the right circle to the crease, right in front of the goalie Sid would tip it in.  With a 7-5 lead, the game looked like the Pens had finally taken control, but they would once again give up a 2 goal lead.  With the game tied at a touchdown a piece, it only seemed natural that the two teams would determine the winner in overtime.

Just moments into overtime, the Pens would get a goal by Connor Sheary as both Crosby and Sheary crashed the net and the puck would eventually go off of a Capital player’s skate.  That goal would be reviewed and approved and the Pens would snap their 3 game losing streak with an 8-7 win.

As I went back and watched the goals again, 2 of the goals scored against Murray came off of his own players skates.  Those goals though were the result of some very large rebounds.  Rebounds that Murray was giving up all night.  Most of the shots that went through him last night I am sure he would like to have back.

Although, the issues were on both sides of the ice.  Holtby was pulled after 5 straight goals in the second.  The Capitals starter had not given up 3 goals in the last 5 games prior.

With Letang out, the Pens have to figure a way to get some defensive stops.   Something else to consider is the fact that each team blocked 15 shots.  Just imagine.  The defense was not able to clear the rebounds that Murray was giving up.  This is something they have done well in the past, but last night it was a problem.


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