Coming from behind to beat the Washington Capitals 4-3 Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins set a franchise record with their 13th straight win at home.
They have not lost at home since Nov. 13 against the Philadelphia Flyers, and only come away winless three times at the CONSOL Energy Center.
Going down 3-2 midway through the third period after Caps’ forward Alexander Ovechkin roofed his 34th goal of the season, Pens’ forward Jussi Jokinen tied it up at the 11:35-minute mark, and then defenseman Olli Maatta buried the game-winner with 1:94 left to seal the deal.
Quite the Finnish!
With the victory, Pittsburgh has now won five of their last six games, and stands atop the Metropolitan Division with a 18-point lead. The Pens’ lead the entire Eastern Conference as well, and have a 10-point margin between them and the second-place Boston Bruins.
Continuing to win minus some key players, Pittsburgh has remained unstoppable, and are currently the clear favorites in the East.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who collected his league-leading 27th victory last night, is on pace for a total of 46 – according to Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – and the all-time record for goalie wins in a season is owned by New Jersey’ netminder Martin Brodeur (48).
Marc-Andre Fleury is on pace for 46 wins. All-time wins in a season for an NHL goalie is Brodeur (48).
— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) January 16, 2014
Captain Sidney Crosby also picked up his league-leading 68th point (25G, 43A), when he assisted on defenseman Kris Letang’s tally midway through the second period. The 26-year-old now has a 17-game home point streak, appeared on the scoresheet in 39 of 48 contests, and logged 20 multiple-point outings.
Notching two helpers on the night, defenseman Matt Niskanen extended his point-streak to three games, and leads the NHL with a plus-26 rating. For a player who was once considered to be traded, Niskanen is looking as though he will stay with the club for the remainder of the season.
Pittsburgh doesn’t play again till next Monday against the Florida Panthers; however, they will have a chance to extend their home winning streak to 14 when they do.
The rest of the week off should help heal Pittsburgh’s injured players. Defenseman Paul Martin and forward Jayson Megna are close to returning.