Wednesday, 22 February 2017

NHL - Penguins - Round Up February 03-09, 2017

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Penguins 3-4 OT - Friday, February 03, 2017

Phil Kessel scored 3:15 into overtime to help the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 at PPG Paints Arena. Cam Atkinson hooked Sidney Crosby on a breakaway with 2:46 remaining in overtime, which led to a 4-on-3 power play for Pittsburgh. Kessel took advantage with his second goal of the game. Kessel, who had three points (two goals, one assist), scored his 17th goal to help the Penguins avoid losing after having a 3-1 lead after the second period. The Penguins are 20-0-0 when leading after two periods this season.
Pittsburgh (32-13-5), which has 69 points, is two points behind Columbus (33-12-5) for second place in the Metropolitan Division. Alexander Wennberg scored 29 seconds into the third period and Atkinson tied the game at 3-3 on his 25th goal with 8:40 remaining. Pittsburgh struggled to maintain possession throughout the first half of the first period, but scored twice in the latter half to take a 2-0 lead into the intermission. Kessel, who played his 800th NHL game, gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead after he looped from the far wall to the top of the right circle. He sent a wrist shot through a screen from Nick Bonino and past Sergei Bobrovsky with 6:23 remaining in the first. Patric Hornqvist extended the lead to 2-0 with 1:32 left in the first. He has four goals in his past three games and five in his past five games. Brandon Dubinsky cut Pittsburgh's lead to 2-1 with 4:17 remaining in the second period, when he roofed a shot over goalie Matt Murray. Nick Bonino pushed it to 3-1 on his eighth goal of the season with 1:37 left in the second. Jake Guentzel shot off Seth Jones to Bonino, who collected the puck and placed a shot over Bobrovsky's left pad.
* Defenseman Kris Letang one-timed a slap shot off of Boone Jenner, which slid to Kessel on the inner-edge of the right circle, where his shot went past Bobrovsky for the overtime goal.
"Obviously, within our division, we don't want to give points away like that. We do gain one on them, which is nice. … But come the stretch, we're not going to be able to give points away like that." Nick Bonino
"It's a big win. Obviously, we're up 3-1 and you never want to let them come back in a game, but we kept fighting." Kessel said.
"I think it was a hard-fought game on both sides. There wasn't a lot of room out there and I thought both teams competed extremely hard. Our guys, for the most part, I thought we did a pretty good job. … It had a playoff feel to it." Mike Sullivan said.

Calgary Flames @ Penguins 3-2 SO - Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Kris Versteeg scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Calgary Flames a 3-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena. Versteeg went backhand to forehand to wrap a shot around goalie Matt Murray, who stopped Sean Monahan in the second round. Flames goalie Chad Johnson made saves against Phil Kessel, Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang in the shootout. Calgary (28-25-3), which went 4-1-0 in its last five games before its five-day break, led 2-0 entering the third period despite being outshot 21-14. The Penguins (33-13-6) are 2-1-1 in their past four home games after beginning the season 20-1-2 at PPG Paints Arena. They have 72 points, one behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for second in the Metropolitan Division. Crosby got his 998th NHL point with an assist on Chris Kunitz's goal in the third period. After Trevor Daley was called for holding 1:49 into overtime, Flames forward Sean Monahan seemed to score the game-winner when he beat Murray with a backhand at 1:59, but the goal was waved off because Murray's mask came off before the shot. With the Flames leading 2-0, Crosby set up Kunitz for a shot under Johnson to cut it to 2-1 at 5:51 of the third period. Crosby's 60 points are tied with Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid for the NHL lead. Jake Guentzel tied it 2-2 with 4:54 remaining. After receiving a pass from Ian Cole in the right faceoff circle, Guentzel one-timed a shot past Johnson for his fifth goal in 15 NHL games. After each team failed to score on seven shots in the first period, Calgary scored two goals in 1:44 in the second to take a 2-0 lead. Micheal Ferland scored on a breakaway to give the Flames a 1-0 lead with 3:41 remaining. Michael Frolik made it 2-0 with 1:57 left by shooting a one-timer past Murray's glove. He hadn't scored in his previous seven games. Johnson made 31 saves, and Murray had 28. Johnson started after backing up Brian Elliott the previous four games. He won for the first time since Jan. 17, when he made 20 saves on 22 shots in a 5-2 victory against the Florida Panthers.

* After tipping the puck away from Crosby at the blue line, Ferland beat Crosby and Brian Dumoulin down the ice before shooting under Murray's glove.

"The only thing Jake needs to do is play more games. He needs to continue to play, and through that experience, he's only going to improve and get better." Mike Sullivan said.
"It's just really annoying losing in the shootout like that. Really annoying." Matt Murray

Penguins @ Colorado Avalanche 4-1 - Thursday, February 09, 2017

Sidney Crosby was held off the score sheet, but Patric Hornqvist had two goals to help the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 at Pepsi Center. Crosby, who needs two points for 1,000 in his NHL career, will get his next chance to reach the milestone Saturday against the Coyotes.
Pittsburgh (34-13-6) is 4-0-1 in its past five games and moved into second place in the Metropolitan Division, one point ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon hit three posts, linemate Mikko Rantanen hit one, and John Mitchell missed an open net. Colorado (15-34-2) won its previous two games by a combined 9-2 score. The Avalanche haven't won three in a row since March of last season. Hornqvist scored twice in the second period when the Penguins grabbed a 3-0 lead, and Chris Kunitz scored into an empty net with 36.5 seconds remaining. Hornqvist made it 2-0 on a power play at 3:50 after Crosby drew a holding penalty against Nikita Zadorov. Justin Schultz dumped the puck into the corner and Phil Kessel passed to Hornqvist for a shot past Pickard, who had 26 saves. Hornqvist gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead at 18:38 after Schultz intercepted Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin's clearing attempt. He passed to Hornqvist for his 17th goal. Kessel gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 4:01 of the first period on a 2-on-1 rush for his 18th goal.
* Hornqvist used some fancy stick work to score his second goal, corralling his own rebound in the slot and putting a backhand shot inside the left post.

"The points will take care of themselves. I'd love to get it done. The sooner the better, to be honest with you, just so I don't have to keep answering about it. The quicker, the better. Hopefully [I'll] get it done here shortly." said Crosby
"We didn't play as good as we wanted, but in the end we won 4-1 and that's what matters. We got goals, but we didn't play the right way. We have to get back to playing more consistently."
"The first one bounced off I don't know how many guys and came right on my stick. The other one, [Schultz] did a good job keeping it in and shot it. Some nights you find those loose pucks." Hornqvist said.
"They're a good offensive team. They're a way better team than their record indicates and they can make you pay, they can put the puck in the back of the net pretty easily. They got some chances off the rush and the power play. They threw a good variety of pucks on net." Matt Murray

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan wasn't happy with his team's play, other than goalie Matt Murray, who had 27 saves and lost his bid for a shutout when Gabriel Landeskog scored a power-play goal at 16:44 of the third period.
"Certainly we were happy with the result, but that's probably where it ends," he said. "Matt was good. He made a lot of timely saves for us. We can't play a loose game like that and expect to win consistently in this league."

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