Pittsburgh Penguins Avoid Late Collapse, Topple Oilers 6–4


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The Pittsburgh Penguins faced off against the Edmonton Oilers tonight with an eye on two easy points, figuring the Oil (who are ranked second-last in the league) would be no match for the Pens’ elite offense and solid defense.

Pittsburgh did end up coming away with their two point, but it certainly didn’t come as easy as they expected.

The Pens got off to a quick start, opening the scoring four minutes into the game with a flashy shorthanded tally.

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With Nick Spaling in the box for interference, the Oilers worked a cycle in the Pens’ zone but as the puck came up to the point, centre Brandon Sutter poked the puck free at the line and raced in on Oilers netminder Ben Scrivens all alone.

Sutter waited Scrivens out before pulling the puck from right to left and roofing it off his backhand.

The slick centreman added another goal just five minutes later, wiring in a rebound off of a shot from Steve Downie to take the score to 2-0.

Pittsburgh piled on yet another goal a few minutes later. Captain Sidney Crosby took the puck behind Edmonton’s net and slipped it into the slot to David Perron, who fired in a quick shot to tally his 16th goal of the season.

Heading into the first intermission, the game looked to be 100% in Pittsburgh’s favour as the Pens outshot Edmonton 12-5 and carried a three-goal lead into the second stanza.

The second period certainly looked to be more of the same early on as the Pens added to their lead one minute in. Sidney Crosby was the goalscorer this time, slamming in a one-timer from the point on the powerplay to net his 23rd goal of the season.

However, holding a four-goal lead midway through the game, the Pens got too complacent, working plays too casually in the Oilers’ zone, and Edmonton made them pay.

The lowly Oil showed life and piled up four unanswered goals over the course of the latter half of the second period and first half of the third – getting tallies from Anton Lander, Jordan Eberle, Benoit Pouliot, and Derek Roy.

Pittsburgh avoided an embarrassing collapse with a strong late-game push though, as Steve Downie wired in the game-winning goal at 14:38 of the third, giving his team a 5-4 lead.

Patric Hornqvist added an insurance marker a minute later to give the Pens a two-goal cushion for the final minutes of the contest.

Facing a team they were, by all accounts, supposed to beat decisively, the Pens did exactly that. While the Oilers made it close for a few minutes in the third, Pittsburgh came out on top after seeing 11 different players getting on the scoresheet.

Captain Crosby led the way, piling up a goal and two assists alongside 2 hits, 1 block, and a 62% faceoff percentage in only 16 minutes of ice-time.

The win takes Pittsburgh’s record to 39-18-10. They’ll face a much tougher test on Mar. 14th when they’ll suit up against the Boston Bruins.

Next: Top 5 Issues Pens Must Address Before the Playoffs

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