It’s amazing what can happen in a matter of seconds or even a minute. Just ask the Boston Bruins about what happened in the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals.
Last night, none other than defender Kris Letang scored for Pittsburgh bringing the Penguins within one with less than 90 seconds to go against the Vancouver Canucks. 16-seconds later, it was the captain Sidney Crosby who tied the game up, 4-4.
No one scored in overtime for either team and the stage was set for a shootout. Vancouver missed twice from Zach Kassian and Mike Santorelli. But once again, it was Sidney Crosby who beat Vancouver goalie Eddie Lack in the shootout to win 5-4.
Pittsburgh’s three game road trip western Canada road trip started with Vancouver on Tuesday, Jan. 7, and will end Saturday, Jan.11, against the Calgary Flames.
Pittsburgh started strong receiving a goal from winger Brian Gibbons. Gibbons capitalized on the 1-on-1 opportunity with Lack midway through the first period.
During the second period, Evgeni Malkin, who is continuing his terrific season, scored off a one-timer from his linemate James Neal.
Then things went south for Pittsburgh.
Vancouver scored off a Jason Garrison wrist shot off an unusual turnover from Sidney Crosby in the Pittsburgh zone.
In the third period, things really started to not go in the favor of Pittsburgh. Christopher Tanev scored from the blue line, the puck went virtually untouched going into the goal while Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury was being screened by Canucks and Penguins players. Tieing the game at 2-2.
Midway through the third period, Vancouver’s Chris Higgins scored on a 1-on-1 fast break opportunity. Then 17-seconds later, Kassian scored a beautiful backhanded goal pulling the Canucks at 4-2.
After the two quick goals from Vancouver, Pittsburgh rebounded the best way they could and answered every single goal and secured the victory in overtime.
Pittsburgh had 35 shots on goal last night against the Canucks. The damage could have been more from Pittsburgh, however, Lack st
ood strong for a few of Pittsburgh’s shots.
Letang, who is coming off an injury, looked to be strong once again. Letang recorded six shots and could easily of had four goals.
Letang looked good who played his first game back Sunday, Jan. 5, against Winnipeg.
Letang could have been trying to make a statement about why he should have been chosen for Team Canada. The Team Canada roster had been announced earlier that day and it was announced that Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz would be playing for Team Canada. Letang has been plagued by injury for the majority of the first half of the season, only playing 25 games.
However, the victory for Pittsburgh was Bylsma’s 233rd behind the Penguins bench. With that win he passed Eddie Johnston for first place in the team history for wins by a coach.
Furthermore, Pittsburgh now has a favorable 17 point lead above rivals Philadelphia, in the under performing Metropolitan division. In addition, Pittsburgh is seven points ahead of Boston for best team in the east. Pittsburgh still remains two points behind Chicago and four points behind the surprisingly hot Anaheim Ducks for best overall record.
Pittsburgh plays in Edmonton on Friday, Jan. 10. For Pittsburgh however, both Edmonton and Calgary sit at the bottom of the Pacific division in the West.