Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Malkin OT winner for Penguins downs Blues 4-3

Fabbri, Pietrangelo score pair of equalizers in third, St. Louis takes 
three of four points on road, finish stretch of nine games in 16 days 

PITTSBURGH -- The Blues finished a stretch of nine games in 16 days in which they played a lot of hockey with little time in between.

They finished collecting three of four points on a two-game swing going into the Thanksgiving break after Evgeni Malkin's backhander 1 minute, 3 seconds into overtime gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 victory against the Blues Wednesday at CONSOL Energy Center.

The Blues (14-6-3) got the tying goal with 5:41 remaining from Alex Pietrangelo and battled back twice but couldn't gain the victory after Malkin hooked up with Phil Kessel on a 2-on-1, and Malkin slipped a backhand past Jake Allen.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) pursues Penguins center Sidney
Crosby during action Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Paul Stastny and Pietrangelo each had a goal and an assist, Alexander Steen had two assists but it wasn't enough. 

They come home with three of four points after a 2-1 victory at Buffalo on Monday.

"Three-on-three is always kind of a toss-up," Stastny said. "It happens. You get one chance one way and if you don't score, they come back and score. It was important that we got that point, battled back in the third. We got a big point."

There was some question, and the Blues asked the officials to go to Toronto to see if there was an offside play but coach Ken Hitchcock said officials deemed the play legal.

"They said it wasn't," Hitchcock said of the officials. "They went upstairs with it. That goes to Toronto and they said it was onsides."

"The last two games, we haven't played near as well as we have on the road. We'll take three of the four points, get home and get some rest." 

He wouldn't admit it, but Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has had the Blues marked on the schedule.

Crosby, one of the more prolific players in the NHL, had 28 teams marked off on his things-to-do list when it comes to scoring a goal. The Blues were the lone remaining team to keep him off the goal-scoring sheet.

Crosby's two goals, the second on the power play and Ben Lovejoy scored for the Penguins (13-8-0).

The Blues came away with a good first period on the road but were tied 1-1.

Stastny's power play goal just seven seconds into it, 9:15 into the first period gave the Blues a 1-0 lead off a smart slap pass from Steen. Kevin Shattenkirk extended his point streak to seven games (two goals, seven assists), but the Penguins tied the game late.

A Carl Gunnarsson turnover led to Crosby alone in front of Jake Allen and the Penguins captain made no mistake with a slap shot high glove side with 3:41 remaining in the first to tie the game 1-1.

"We kind of let them into the game after after I thought that we were dictating for the most part in the beginning," Steen said. "It was back and forth pretty much all game."

Crosby's goal was his first in 11 career games against the Blues. He's scored on the remaining 29 teams in the NHL. Crosby has goals in two of the past three games and a three-game point streak after scoring only twice in 18 games to start the season.

Crosby struck again on the power play in the second period when he redirected Malkin's pass from the right half wall over Allen at 9:57 of the second period for a 2-1 lead.

With Dmitrij Jaskin off for holding, the Penguins won the faceoff, Malkin spotted Crosby in the slot and Jay Bouwmeester a stride off before slotting the pass and Crosby made no mistake.

The Blues, who also trailed going into the third in Buffalo before rallying to win, got the equalizer on Robby Fabbri's second goal in as many games. He took a pass from Pietrangelo and whipped a wrist shot that slightly caught the stick of Rob Scuderi and surprised Marc-Andre Fleury to make it 2-2 at 1:12.

The Penguins regained the lead on Lovejoy's wrist shot from the high slot after Vladimir Tarasenko blocked a shot and broke his stick, the puck came to former Blue David Perron, who dropped it to Lovejoy for a 3-2 Penguins lead at 6:49.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Alex Pietrangelo gets congratulated from the Blues bench after scoring the
tying goal in the third period Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

The Blues fought back again, this time on an intercepted clearing pass from Steen and the puck got to Stastny, who slipped the pass to Pietrangelo. The Blues defenseman beat Fleury short side through the arm to tie the game 3-3.

"Paul was making plays all night," Pietrangelo said. "When I saw he had an opportunity to get it to me, I figured I'd go. Sure enough, he made a good play." 

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