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Chicago stuns Pens in 5-3 win, halting win streak at eight

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Chicago erased a two-score deficit, while corralling the final three goals of the game, clipping the Penguins win streak at eight games with a decisive 5-3 victory at PPG Paints Arena Sunday night.

There are things in this world that almost seem absolute.


On the ice, that's the Chicago Blackhawks getting the best of the Penguins.


For the 10th game in a row, Chicago (16-21-7) got the best of Pittsburgh (24-12-6), scoring four of the last five goals Sunday night, and squeezing out another win at the expense of an eight-game win streak, and one of the hotter teams in the league.


“They just came with a good gameplan and they executed better,” said Derick Brassard, who scored the final goal for the Pens—a finish off the feed from Phil Kessel at the 9:49 mark of the second period that pushed the home team to a 3-2 lead.


“They have a lot of younger guys in their lineup, and I feel like their energy is pretty good,” continued the center. “They [also] still have those guys they won cups with, so you have to respect that team. They can beat anyone.”


Losers of three of their last five games, Chicago rallied back from goals by Patric Hornqvist and Jake Guentzel, grabbing a pair of finishes from Alex Debrincat and Chris Kunitz, who scored his first goal of the season, on the night where the 2009 Stanley Cup Champions Penguins were honored.


“You have to give them credit, they played hard,” said Hornqvist, who finished his night with one goal. “They found ways to put the puck in the net.”


Hornqvist and the power play unit came up empty on three separate chances Sunday night, including a five-on-three opportunity late in the first period, where the Pens managed just two shots on goalie Cam Ward, who finished his night stopping 31 shots, including stuffing 21 of the final 22 shots he faced.


“It's five-on-three and they collapsed really hard, and we tried to make a play and I read it a little wrong—if I read it right it's on my stick and it's a great chance,” said Hornqvist of the squandered man-advantage. “Geno (Malkin) had a good chance on the side of the night. It's just, sometimes it doesn't go in for you, and you have to move by it and be better for the next game.”


Duncan Keith found the back of the net for the first time this season late in the second period, which tied the game at three. Just 1:48 into the third period, Dylan Strome—who was set up by a pinpoint pass by Patrick Kane—would beat Casey DeSmith just seconds off of the power play to score the game-winner, mimicking the timing of their third goal.


“They had some success on the power play, for sure,” said DeSmith, who finished stopping 27 of 30 shots, serving as netminder for the first time in January. “We gave them a few chances and they took advantage of it.”


“They did a good job of keeping the puck in dangerous areas,” DeSmith continued. “The way Kane handles it within the faceoff circle, you have to respect. He's really good at getting passes through the seam. They did a good job on the power play, and we just didn't have it on the penalty kill tonight.”


Overall, Chicago went one-of-three on the power play.


“I thought we got lured into a little bit of a track meet,” explained coach Mike Sullivan. “When you look at the difference in the game, it was the special teams. We made some errors on the penalty kill that cost us tonight.”


Sullivan noted that the “stick infractions, when they are 150-feet from the net” were costly, referring to two tripping penalties on Kris Letang and Tanner Pearson.


After the moneyline


The Blackhawks cashed in as staggering +220 pups, with the Penguins losing as the biggest chalk of the night (-250). The Pens are now 4-5 on the year when -200 or higher on the moneyline.


Chicago could have been bet to win live as high as 8-1 odds when down by two goals midway through the first period.


The total of 6.5 goals went well over, marking the fourth time in the last six games the over cashed.


Up next


The Penguins will close out this three-game homestand on Tuesday night when they host Florida. Puck drops at 7 PM.

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