The Chicago Blackhawks couldn't score with five skaters, but using four worked just fine.
Kris Versteeg scored 2:38 into overtime and the Blackhawks snapped Pittsburgh's five-game home winning streak with a 2-1 victory over the Penguins on Saturday night.
With the teams skating 4-on-4, Versteeg took a pass from Brian Campbell while standing in front of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. His initial shot was stopped, but he got the rebound and knocked it past Fleury for his ninth goal to give Chicago its 10th win in 13 games -- and its first victory in Pittsburgh since Feb. 22, 1997.
"Anytime you go to the net, you're going to have to take a hit," Versteeg said. "I just was fortunate the puck kind of bounced out to me again."
Former Penguin Marian Hossa, booed every time he touched the puck, scored 7:37 into the game with each team playing down a man. It was his third goal in six games with the Blackhawks since returning from a shoulder injury.
That goal nearly stood up as the game-winner, as backup goaltender Antti Niemi stopped the Penguins' first 31 shots. But the Pens got an offensive-zone draw, pulled Fleury, and tied the game when Jordan Staal, the extra skater, hammered home the rebound of Evgeni Malkin's blast from the right point with 1:32 left in regulation.
Versteeg's goal gave Niemi a well-earned victory.
"We just talked about how well he's played and he deserves maybe a little more ice time," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of the Finnish rookie, who came within 92 seconds of his third shutout in six starts. "But it's nice to know that the tandem we have, the one-two punch is strong. He was great. It was a goalie win and he looked big, he looked confident, he found the puck. No rebounds, and he was in control."
The Penguins played without captain Sidney Crosby, who didn't play because of a sore groin. Crosby had 7 goals and 4 assists in his previous three games, all Pittsburgh victories.
Even without him, there was a playoff feeling in a matchup of two clubs with the second-best records in their conferences.
"It was a big game for both teams to prove themselves," Staal said. "Us coming into this game, we wanted to prove we could play with this team. We heard a lot about them and wanted to show them our best."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report
Hossa has been a villain in Pittsburgh since he left the Penguins and signed with the Detroit Red Wings in the summer of 2008, saying Detroit gave him the better chance to win a title -- only to see the Wings lose to the Penguins last June.
Hossa put the Hawks ahead when he banged in a rebound after Campbell took a pass from Patrick Kane and fired from above the left-wing circle. The puck hit Fleury in the chest and fell at the feet of Hossa, who knocked it in.
Staal scored on a designed play off a faceoff that saw him start from near the Chicago bench and race to the front of the net.
"(Assistant coach) Mike Yeo had drawn up the play with a couple different options," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "(Sergei) Gonchar made a great play and got it back to Malkin, and Staal was wide there going to the net and either looking for a pass or a rebound. And that's exactly what he got.
"You don't often get the opportunity to execute on of those faceoff plays, and we got one for a big point."
Pittsburgh, which came in having won three straight, six of seven and eight of 10, fell to 16-2-1 when having at least 30 shots. Without Crosby, the Penguins had won 11 of their previous 14 -- and seven consecutive at home -- but they fell to 21-11-7 when he is out of the lineup.
"We came into this arena with high expectations of wanting to win," Versteeg said. "I think it was an exciting game. There were not too many goals, which is not very characteristic of these two teams. Overall, it was a well-played game on both sides.
"To come in and beat the Stanley Cup champs is special."
|Marian Hossa (3) ASST: Brian Campbell (14), Patrick Kane (18)|
1 - 0 CHI
|Jordan Staal (8) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (21), Sergei Gonchar (11)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Kris Versteeg (9) ASST: Brian Campbell (15)|
2 - 1 CHI
|Matt Cooke Interference against Jordan Hendry|
|Brooks Orpik Holding against Kris Versteeg|
|Duncan Keith Interference against Matt Cooke|
|Ben Eager Roughing against Mike Rupp|
|Mike Rupp Roughing against Brent Sopel|
|Mike Rupp Roughing against Brent Sopel|
|Colin Fraser Roughing against Evgeni Malkin|
|Evgeni Malkin Hi-sticking against Colin Fraser|