The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Colorado Avalanche last night 2-1 in overtime at PPG Paints Arena. Forward Evgeni Malkin had two assists, and goalie Casey DeSmith made 41 saves for the Penguins, who improved to 25-16-9. They have now won their last two games and the last three out of four. Forward Nathan MacKinnon scored for the Avalanche, and goalie Pavel Francouz made 36 saves. The Avs dropped to 27-18-4 and have lost their last two out of three games. It was each team’s first game since January 28th.
MacKinnon made the game 1-0 at 10:21 of the second period after getting a feed from defenseman Bowen Byram, getting through traffic, and writing a shot past DeSmith. This would extend MacKinnon’s point streak to four games and give him 19 points in his last 12 games. Defenseman Sam Girard would also get an assist in this goal to extend his point streak to four games.
Just over seven minutes into the third period, DeSmith would make a great save on forward J.T. Compher to keep the game at 1-0. At 16:22 of the third period, forward Bryan Rust tied the game up at 1-1 after forward Evgeni Malkin tried to get the puck to the front of the net from behind the net, but the puck ended up going off of several players, including Rust, to end up in the net.
In overtime, defenseman Kris Letang nearly scored just 25 seconds into overtime, but it was reviewed, and it seemed that the puck did not fully cross the goal line. About a minute later, the Penguins were called for a tripping penalty, but the Avalanche couldn’t score on the 4-on-3. However, he gave the Penguins the 2-1 win with just over a minute left in the game. He fired a shot past the glove of goalie Pavel Francouz after getting a feed from forward Sidney Crosby. It is his second overtime goal in the last four games. Malkin, who got an assist, is now two points away from 1,200 points in his career in 1,031 games. It’s also the tenth of his career, and he became the fourth Penguins player to reach that mark, joining Crosby (19), Malkin (13), and former forward Mario Lemieux (11).
Ava forward Valeri Nichushkin had three shots on goal and one hit in 22:03 of ice time after he missed the last two games with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Bowen Byram had an assist, a shot on goal, three hits, and three blocked shots in 21:29 after he missed the last 38 games with a lower-body injury. Pittsburgh forwards Kasperi Kapanen, and Josh Archibald returned from injuries as well. Kapanen had three shots on goal, four hits, and two blocked shots in 13:08 of ice time after missing the past five games, while Archibald had one shot on goal and four hits in almost ten minutes of ice time after missing the last 18 games.