Penguins end Panthers winning streak with 3-2 overtime decision
Cats blow two-goal lead in third, fall on Letang's extra session one-timer
For the first 54:56 of the game, the Florida Panthers seemed well on their way to a six straight victory, but the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied with two late goals before Kris Letang rifled home a one-timer, off a Sidney Crosby saucer pass, 1:27 into overtime to give the Pens a 3-2 win.
After a scoreless first period that saw the Cats outshoot the Pens by a 19-9 margin, Florida finally dented the heroic Jeff Zatkoff 6:03 into the second stanza.
Jussi Jokinen notched his 10th of the season, with Florida on its fourth power play of the night. Jokinen whipped the puck by Zatoff from a sharp angle after taking a pass off the boards from Vincent Trocheck. Brian Campbell started the play to pick up the secondary assist.
The Panthers keep firing away at Zatkoff and were finally rewarded with a second goal at 9:15 of the final frame when Jokinen sent Aleksander Barkov in for a shorthanded breakway goal. Barkov deposited another pretty backhander into to the net to equal his career of 16 goals.
Letang pulled one back for the Penguins with 5:04 left in regulation to ignite the rally. Crosby set the goal up after winning the puck along the boards and making a nice cross-ice feed to the defenseman. The assist was Crosby's 900th NHL point.
With Zatkoff off for an extra attacker, Crosby quickly added to his point total, deflecting home Trevor Daley's shot from the point to tie the tilt with 1:15 left on the clock. Letang picked up his second point with the other assist on Sid The Kid's 22nd goal of the 2015-16 campaign.
Jokinen was sent to the penalty box for hooking Letang eight seconds into overtime to give the Penguins a golden opportunity to pick up the bonus point.
This time Crosby and Daley combined on the assists with Letang gunning in the winner to complete the jarring Pittsburgh comeback.
Zatkoff had a huge game for the Penguins, stopping 42 of the 44 shots he faced. Roberto Luongo had some key movements, despite the game being one-sided for large stretches, finishing with 32 saves.
The Panthers head out for a quick road trip with stops in Detroit and Buffalo on Monday and Tuesday night.
Snares & Gentoos
- The three point-performance gave the red-hot Sidney Crosby 10 goals and 8 assists in his now ten-game point streak.
- The loss snapped Roberto Luongo's nine-game winning streak at the BB&T Center.
- Vincent Trocheck's second period assist extended the young pivot's scoring streak to five games (5G/4A). Trocheck was one of three Panthers, Derek MacKenzie and Jaromir Jagr were the others, with six shots on goal.
- Speaking of scoring streaks, Jussi Jokinen is now a six-game run. Jokinen became the seventh Cat to hit the ten-goal mark this season.
- 26-year-old defenseman Brent Regner made his NHL debut in place of Erik Gudbranson and finished his first game with one shot, one block and two hits in 12:22 TOI. Congrats Brent!
- The game drew a season-high crowd of 20,295 to the BB&T Center. That number was the third-largest in club history. Well done, South Florida.
- war-on-ice has the advanced stats breakdown for you right here.
- March yourself on over to Pensburgh for the winner's side of last night's result.
- NHL.com has a nice highlight package for you to see with your own eyes./