Coach Mike Sullivan was not dissatisfied with his team’s victory over the Ottawa Senators on Friday, but he expected them to play considerably better defense. The Pittsburgh Penguins had only four victories in their previous ten games. The teams entered overtime tied at one apiece, so he got his desire.
Marcus Pettersson, a Penguins defenseman, believed he had scored the game-winning goal in overtime, but officials called Pettersson for entering the ice too quickly.
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I believe the appropriate decision was made, Pettersson stated. “I need to perform better there. In that circumstance, I cannot let the team down. That’s on me, then.
Due to having too many players on the ice, New Jersey was given a 4v3 power play, and defenseman Dougie Hamilton scored the game-winning goal for a 2-1 victory.
The Penguins now trail the New York Rangers by three points in the Metro Division after missing an opportunity to close the gap to two points. In 11 OT games this season, the Penguins have only managed three victories.
The Penguins and New Jersey game was not a high-event contest, despite the fact that it started that way, unlike the Penguins’ helpful victory over Ottawa, in which the clubs combined for a revised-down 89 shots.
Only 46 shots were shared by the Penguins and New Jersey after regulation on Sunday. Odd-man rushes by New Jersey on the opening three shifts resulted in a 1-0 advantage after only 58 seconds of play.
The Penguins gave up a two-on-one on the opening shift, but Mark Friedman of the Penguins stopped a three-on-two on the following shift with a surprising step-forward hit at the defensive blue line.
On the third shift, though, New Jersey center Jack Hughes (30) managed to slip a shot past Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry. Hughes reached 30 goals this season, moving up to seventh place in the NHL.
Midway through the first period, the Penguins’ effort leveled off, and captain Sidney Crosby tied the score. At the top of the zone, Crosby (22) exchanged passes with Jeff Petry, a defenseman, before firing a fast shot from close to the blue line into the crowd.
After the first session, New Jersey led 8–6 on the shot clock (scorers originally had 7-7). Even though the scoreboard didn’t change in the second session, the shot clock did.
In the second period, the Penguins outshot New Jersey 12–2. A total of 15 of New Jersey’s 17 shots in the second were blocked or otherwise made unsuccessful by the Penguins, who outshot them 24-17.
The Penguins and all players were led by Jake Guentzel and Teddy Blueger, who each had three blocks. One peculiarity was that in the opening 40 minutes, only two turnovers were committed by each of the Penguins and New Jersey.
With four shots on goal, Jeff Petry had the most of any player. Ryan Poehling, who had not played since December 10, appeared to have scored the game-winning goal early in the third period.
Players slowed down and raised their arms, but play continued after referees properly determined that the puck had hit the crossbar. Poehling remarked, “(We) made a beautiful play and simply got unlucky on the rebound.
The Pittsburgh Penguins were outshot by New Jersey 12-8 in the third period, and despite having a power play that lasted from the last seconds of the second period to the beginning of the third, the Penguins were unable to capitalize.