With 7:10 left in the game, the Canucks took a 3-2 lead as ZacK Kassian got a piece of a David Booth slapshot and tipped it pass Marc-Andre Fleury. It was a powerful momentum shift in a very fasted-paced spirited hockey game. That was until twenty seconds later, when Olli Maatta joined a Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz rush. Roberto Luongo gave up a rebound and the Finnish rookie knocked it into the back of net.
Maatta said of his first NHL goal, "It was a three-on-two and when you have that you are just trying to rush, that is part of being a defenseman. It was a good play, a good three-on-two by (Crosby) and (Kunitz) and I just tapped it in. I feel like every game I have gotten more confident and comfortable out. Today, I felt good.”
Crosby said of Maatta joining the rush, "It was the right play. It’s always fun to see a guy score their first goal. That never gets old. Seeing the joy and how happy he was, it was pretty cool. And it was a big goal for us, too.”
Overtime and two rounds of a shootout solved nothing, but Geno did. Showing a fancy display of handwork, Malkin got one pass Luongo. Fleury did the rest as he stoned Ryan Kesler's attempt and the Pens claimed their seventh win of the season.
Luongo said, "When Malkin came down, I wasn't sure what he was going to do. Unfortunately, I bit on the fake and he went backhand. So I wish I would've been a bit more patient and got that one."
Malkin on his shootout winner, "I always liked [the shootout], but I didn't score [in previous attempts]. Last year, I scored a couple goals, and the year before I scored lots of goals. Now, I know what's going on and I know the goalies and I just did my move and scored."
Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz each scored a goal and had two assits while Dupuis and Malkin each nabbed assists.
The Pens are absolutely rolling right now. They lead the Metropolitan Division by three points over the Carolina Hurricanes. Crosby, with seventeen points, extended his lead in the scoring race and Fleury's seven wins are tied with San Jose's Antti Niemi. The team remains perfect on home ice.
The next Pens game is against the revitalized Colorado Avalanche 7:00pm Monday night.
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