Things have gone pretty well for the Pittsburgh Penguins so far during the 2013-14.
Saturday afternoon, they showed the ability to respond in a 4-3 shootout win over the visiting Vancouver Canucks.
Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo stopped Jussi Jokinen and Sidney Crosby in the shootout but had no such luck with Evgeni Malkin as Malkin scored the deciding goal. Meanwhile Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stoned all three Canucks shooters as the Pens improved to 7-1-0, including 5-0 at home on the young season.
Malkin skated down the right-wing boards and moved across the ice, curling backhand to forehand to stuff the puck past Luongo.
It was an entertaining game to watch as both teams skilled players were on display, but it was also a game the Pens had to work very hard to win.
Vancouver got on the board first when Alexander Edler scored his second goal of the season on a fluke goal in which he got the puck past Fleury from center ice.
However the Pens answered quickly when Sidney Crosby got his seventh goal of the year less than two minutes later to tie the game at one. Chris Kunitz added a power play marker in the second to give the Pens a 2-1 lead, but Vancouver’s Brad Richardson knotted the game at two with a goal halfway through the second period.
The Canucks regained the lead in the third period when Zack Kassian scored his first goal of the season, but the Pens once again showed the ability to respond. This time it was in the form of 19-year old defenseman Olli Maatta, whose first career NHL goal tied the game at three just 22 seconds later.
Both teams had chances the rest of the way, but both goaltenders were up to the task throughout the rest of regulation and overtime.
The Pens will try and keep the momentum going Monday night when they host the Colorado Avalanche.
Notes: Crosby had three points to give him an NHL high 17 on the year, and extended his point scoring streak to eight games, his longest stretch with at least a point to start a season….Kunitz also had a three-point game… The Penguins were outshot 39-28 on the afternoon…Pittsburgh converted on 1-of-4 power play attempts, while limiting the Canucks to 0-for-1 with the man advantage… The game also featured a penalty shot, but Luongo turned away Brandon Sutter in the third period…Malkin’s assist on the Kunitz goal tied him with Syl Apps for fifth in franchise history.