There are almost too many things to say about the Penguins crazy 6-5 shootout victory Saturday night in Toronto. I’m not sure anything I write will do justice to what transpired against the Leafs, but I’ll give a recap any way.
The Pens, a team struggling mightily to put pucks in the net, managed to score 5 goals in a game for the first time since a win in Montreal Jan. 12. They overcame four one-goal deficits to do so and broke a four-game losing streak in the process. Mark Letestu had a huge game – his first since returning from injury – scoring a second-period PP goal and setting up Mike Rupp’s tying goal midway through the third. The Pens scored goals in the final minute of the first and second periods. Alex Kovalev showed everybody just why Pittsburgh acquired him, scoring a first-period goal and winning the game in the shootout all the while displaying his world-class skill set. Max Talbot’s short-handed tally in the third didn’t tie the game up for long, but I feel it provided the momentum needed to beat the Leafs.
But, the most important thing to come out of last night’s game (by far), was the fact Pittsburgh got the win it desperately needed. It wasn’t exactly pretty, but the Pens kept the losing streak from getting out of hand and perhaps snowballing even further. Here’s what I really liked about the win: The team defense left a lot to be desired and Marc-Andre Fleury was not at his best – the team’s recent recipe for success – but the Pens found a way to get 2 points. They also found a way to overcome the absence of Tyler Kennedy, who was a late scratch (lower-body injury).
The Pens get some time to savor the win before playing in Toronto again (very weird schedule quirk) on Wednesday.