Coyotes beat Penguins 4-3 in overtime
Marc-Andre Fleury got the nod in net for the Pens and kept Edmonton off the board for the first 20 minutes. Both teams recorded 7 shots on net and were 0-1 on the powerplay in the opening period. Right-winger Patric Hornqvist came close to scoring the first goal for the Pens after the first 13 minutes of play on a breakaway, but was denied by a kick save from 34 year-old Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith.
The offensive attacks for both teams started to emerge in the second period as Hornqvist came close again on a one-timer from Crosby during the Penguins’ second powerplay, but was denied once again by Smith. The Pens finally found the back of the net after five minutes into the second when Josh Archibald scored his first goal on the fourth line with the aggressive attack, crashing to the net and delivering a backhander beating Smith’s glove side.
Just 59 seconds later, Tobias Rieder locked up the game at 1-1 with a powerful wristshot, beating Fleury’s glove side. The Coyotes continued to move the puck, setting up their second goal on their second powerplay opportunity, after Radim Vrbata’s shot at net allowed Martin Hanzal to clean up the dirty work and give the Coyotes the 2-1 lead heading into the third period.
The 6’6 Hanzal put a lot of pressure on the Pens and banged home his second of the night four minutes into the third to put the Coyotes up two scores. Just one minute later, with the Coyotes on the powerplay, Archibald stole a bouncing puck as Smith tried to clear it and scored unassisted to pull the visitors within one.
The Coyotes shut down the Penguins’ attack after Archibald’s shorthanded goal, but with Fleury pulled, Phil Kessel scored his 19th of the season with just 14.2 seconds left of play to tie the game at 3 on a deflection from a slapshot by Letang.
Both teams had their fair chances during 4 on 4 play in overtime, but the game-winner was declared after defenseman Connor Murphy ripped a wristshot from the left wing, beating Fleury top shelf short side.
Sidney Crosby—tied for the NHL scoring lead with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid—entered the game two points shy of the 1,000 mark on his career. Crosby had one assist but the Penguins captain will have to wait at least one more game to get to the milestone.
The Pens will look to bounce back as they return to Pittsburgh to host the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, Feb. 14.