Penguins hand Avalanche 1st loss on Tanev's short-handed goal in OT
The Penguins defeated the Colorado Avalanche, 3-2, in overtime at PPG Paints Arena on Wednesday. It was Colorado's first loss of the season.
The Avalanche struck first 3 minutes, 16 seconds into the first period. Colorado forward Matt Calvert gained the Penguins' zone on the left wing and chipped a puck through a few stick toward the right circle where forward Matt Calvert swatted a one-timer past goaltender Matt Murray's glove on the near side.
Penguins defenseman Juuso Riikola, who was forced to play the left wing because of a spate of injuries to the team's incumbent forwards, was late in defending Calvert on the sequence. Assists went to Nieto and former Penguins defenseman Ian Cole.
Colorado had an opportunity to double its lead with a short-handed score at 9:31 of the first period. After Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang fumbled a pass at the offensive right point, Avalanche forwad J.T. Compher picked it up and was off to the races. He approached Murray with no resistance but whistled a wrister well wide of the cage on the left side.
A brilliant individual effort by Crosby tied the score at 17:22 of the first period. Chipping a puck off the offensive left wall past Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, Crosby dipslayed his forehand against Colorado defenseman Samuel Girard then deked the puck to his backhand, spinning Girard into orbit, Driving to the right of the crease, Crosby was able to tuck a backhanded shot past the left skate of sprawling goaltender Philipp Grubauer for his fourth goal of the season. Defensemen Justin Schultz and Marcus Pettersson recorded assists.
Play was halted 1:59 into the second period when linesman Michel Cormier tripped and slammed his head into the boards in front of the Penguins bench. He laid on his back for several moments as Penguins medical personnel attended to him. He was able to leave the ice and retreated down the Penguins tunnel with assistance from team staffers. Cormier was held out for the remainder of the game for precautionary reasons, said an NHL spokesperson.
The Penguins had a chance to take their first lead at 6:47 of the second when forward Brandon Tanev got loose on a breakaway, but his backhand shot was snuffed out by Grubauer's glove hand.
Forward Jake Guenzel gave the Penguins a 2-1 advantage at the 15:30 mark of the second. After Crosby stole a puck in the neutral zone, he gained the offensive zone on the left wing and fed a pass to Guentzel driving up the right wing. Getting a step on Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves, Guentzel went backhand to forehand and flicked a wrister past Grubauer's blocker on the near side. Assists went to Crosby and forward Dominik Simon.
A turnover allowed the Avalanche to tie the score 2:56 into the third period. Off a faceoff win by Crosby in Colorado's right circle, Brian Dumoulin fumbled the puck at the right point and "passed" it to Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon just inside the blue line. From the neutral zone, MacKinnon dealt the puck to forward Miiko Rantanen surging up the left wing into the Penguins zone. As Letang awkwardly approached Rantanen, he vacated the slot and allowed Rantanen to chip a centering pass to MacKinnon, who walked in alone and toasted Murray's glove hand with a wrist shot. Rantanen had the lone assist.
A one-timer by Guentzel from the slot off another dazzling rush into the offensive zone by Crosby was rejected by Grubauer at 17:36 of the third.
In overtime, a short-handed goal by Tanev at the 3:57 mark gave the Penguins the victory. Pushing the puck into the offensive zone, he veered past Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar then directed a shot off the stick of Colorado forward Gabriel Landeskog and into the cage.
The Penguins host the Dallas Stars at 7:08 p.m. Friday.
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Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Seth by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .
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