After a disappointing loss in their home opener to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins went back on the road Friday to take on the Winnipeg Jets. The Penguins were disappointed in the way they played against the Maple Leafs. So disappointed that they made a few changes to the lines before the game on Friday. The biggest, Eric Tangradi was demoted to the fourth line and Tyler Kennedy moved up to the second. Also, Simon Despres was a healthy scratch and Ben Lovejoy got his first action of the season.
Right from the opening face off you could tell that the Penguins had more jump to their step than Wednesday. The first period was played at a frenetic pace and it didn’t take long for the scoring to start. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby struck first at 4:26, his second of the season. One wasn’t enough for Crosby as he scored his second of the and third of the season with a backhand shot that beat Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec at 14:58 in the first period.
The second period didn’t start out the way the Penguins wanted it as the Jets cut the lead in half just a minute and ten seconds into the period. The goal came from Evander Kane, his second of the season. The Jets dominated the play in the second period and were rewarded as Evgeni Malkin took an ill advise penalty when the Penguins were on the power play, which the Jets capitalize on to tie the game at two with a goal by Dustin Byfuglien, his second season.
The Jets weren’t satisfied with just tying the game. Four minutes after tying the game the Jets took the lead on a goal by Andrew Ladd, his second of the season. While the Jets dominated the play of the second period, the Penguins did have chances to increase their lead. The best chances coming from the stick of Malkin, but was robbed by Pavelec.
Entering the third period the Penguins knew they had to score the next goal. They were unable to do, not from the lack of trying, as they tried just about everything they could but it was not there night. The third period was played at a great pace with tremendous up and down action, but the Pens fell short losing the game 4-2.
This loss will leave a nasty taste in the Penguins mouth after blowing a 2-0 lead, but they will have to get over it quickly as they play the Ottawa Senators, who lost to the Tampa Bay Lighting tonight, on Sunday.