Apparently the return of my internet marked the end of all kind of conventional gameplay for the Penguins. First there was the last second heroics on Monday against the Bruins. Then tonight they came back from a three goal deficit and played over a period without allowing a shot on goal.
Marc-Andre Fleury came into the game in a bit of a slump, having given up seven goals in his past two starts. Tonight was no better. The absence of Paul Martin surely had it’s role but Fleury gave up three goals on 11 shots and was replaced by Jeff Zatkoff a minute into the third period. Zatkoff didn’t fair too much better at first. He gave up two goals in the second period including one to Tyler Bozak with five seconds left in the period to give the Leafs a two goal lead.
That’s when the Penguins decided that they just shouldn’t allow shots anymore. In the third period, the Penguins outshot the Leafs 17-0 and battled their way back in the process to force the overtime.
Despite being in the top ten in the league in scoring, plenty of people have been criticizing Evgeni Malkin for not scoring enough goals. He scored two goals in a game for the first time since March of 2012 including the goal to tie the game at the 7:41 mark of the third period. He also had a goal disallowed on a high stick that was eventually batted into the net by Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier. Malkin also scored the goal to end the game in the shootout.
Chris Conner, Kris Letang, and James Neal were the other goal scorers for the Penguins. Conner scored his first goal of the season after being recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton along with Andrew Ebbett. The moves were made after Beau Bennett and Tanner Glass were placed on injured reserve. Neal scored his sixth goal in the past five games and continued his streak of multiple point games. Sidney Crosby added two assists and was the other goal scorer in the shootout.
James Van Riemsdyk scored twice for the Leafs. Phil Kessel, Nazem Kadri, and Bozak were the other goal scorers. The Leafs jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first minute of the second period after Van Riemsdyk knocked Fleury out of the game and Kessel immediately scored on Zatkoff.
The Leafs just lost their discipline and it came back to haunt them. They took one penalty in the first 28 minutes of the game. They took five penalties the rest of the way and the Pens scored on three of them including a 5-on-3 early in the third period that allowed the Penguins to cut the deficit to one.
The Pens will have Thanksgiving off before they hit the road for a three game trip. It will start on Friday in Tampa Bay against the Lightning. It’s an early start time with a 4:00pm puck drop.