The Pittsburgh Penguins were short not just Evgeni Malkin in this game, but now Connor Sheary is out 4-6 weeks with an Upper Body Injury. So, the Pens were trying out new lines, new line mates…. you name it. After 3 well played periods, Pittsburgh would get the final laugh in overtime as Phil Kessel would score his second of the game to give the Penguins a 4-3 win.
Pittsburgh scored the first two goals of the game as Phil Kessel would rip one behind Columbus Goalie Bobrovski to give the Pens a 1-0 lead. Then, right before the end of the first period, Patric Hornqvist would get the final touch on the puck and collision at the net. The puck would cross the goal crease right before the net would be dislodged to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead after 1 period.
In the second period, Columbus would retaliate and cut the lead in half with a Dubinsky goal. But just when we thought the momentum was changing, Pittsburgh would once again extend that lead to 2 goals as Nick Bonino would finish one around the net late in the period. At the time, it was a huge goal for the Pens going into the second intermission.
The Blue Jackets would flip the script in the third period and would tie the game with goals by Atkinson and Wenneberg to send the game into overtime.
That is where Columbus would finally get called for a penalty, and the Pens would make them pay. Phil Kessel would finish the Jackets off taking a pass from Letang and slipping it beyond the Columbus netminder for the game winner.
Pittsburgh will have to continue playing shorthanded on Saturday as they travel to St Louis. The Win allows the Pens to keep pace with the streaking Capitals and just 2 points behind Columbus as the Metro division continues to flex its NHL leading muscles.
Notes: The referee’s continue to let Brandon Dubinsky take liberties against Sidney Crosby. It’s not just evident, it’s obvious and the fact the NHL does not notice it is not a surprise. Blue Jackets coach has long complained about Sid and Gene getting every call. Well, I would like him to take notice that Sid is not complaining and Dubinsky is playing extremely dirty hockey against Sid. Lastly, If Pittsburgh is going to make a move at the trade deadline, I would suggest another defensman to replace Olli Maatta. He gave up yet another goal in the first period and seems to be on the ice getting turned around, or out of position time and again. Not to mention, he is being pushed around solidly night in and out.