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game recap

Flames defeat Penguins in shootout

Kris Versteeg scores deciding goal, Chad Johnson makes 31 saves

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Kris Versteeg scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Calgary Flames a 3-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday.

Versteeg went backhand to forehand to wrap a shot around goalie Matt Murray, who stopped Sean Monahan in the second round. Flames goalie Chad Johnson made saves against Phil Kessel, Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang in the shootout.

"Sometimes you close your eyes and it goes in," Versteeg said. "So, I was lucky there."

 

WATCH: All Flames vs. Penguins highlights

 

Calgary (28-25-3), which went 4-1-0 in its last five games before its five-day break, led 2-0 entering the third period despite being outshot 21-14.

"I thought we were outplayed," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "You want to hear what the coach thinks? I have a little ways to go on some of the things that I'd like to sharpen up our group on. We still have room for improvement in the last push here."

Video: CGY@PIT: Versteeg buries SO winner with nifty deke

The Penguins (33-13-6) are 2-1-1 in their past four home games after beginning the season 20-1-2 at PPG Paints Arena. They have 72 points, one behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for second in the Metropolitan Division.

Crosby got his 998th NHL point with an assist on Chris Kunitz's goal in the third period.

"I thought we did some good things," Crosby said. "We had more than enough chances to win the game. I think we deserve better tonight, to be honest with you."

Video: CGY@PIT: Crosby assists as Kunitz finds twine in 3rd

After Trevor Daley was called for holding 1:49 into overtime, Flames forward Sean Monahan seemed to score the game-winner when he beat Murray with a backhand at 1:59, but the goal was waved off because Murray's mask came off before the shot.

With the Flames leading 2-0, Crosby set up Kunitz for a shot under Johnson to cut it to 2-1 at 5:51 of the third period.

Crosby's 60 points are tied with Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid for the NHL lead.

Jake Guentzel tied it 2-2 with 4:54 remaining. After receiving a pass from Ian Cole in the right faceoff circle, Guentzel one-timed a shot past Johnson for his fifth goal in 15 NHL games.

Video: CGY@PIT: Cole feeds Guentzel for the game-tying goal

"The only thing Jake needs to do is play more games," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "He needs to continue to play, and through that experience, he's only going to improve and get better."

After each team failed to score on seven shots in the first period, Calgary scored two goals in 1:44 in the second to take a 2-0 lead.

Micheal Ferland scored on a breakaway to give the Flames a 1-0 lead with 3:41 remaining.

Michael Frolik made it 2-0 with 1:57 left by shooting a one-timer past Murray's glove. He hadn't scored in his previous seven games.

Johnson made 31 saves, and Murray had 28.

Johnson started after backing up Brian Elliott the previous four games. He won for the first time since Jan. 17, when he made 20 saves on 22 shots in a 5-2 victory against the Florida Panthers.

"I felt good," Johnson said. "I think the guys did a good job battling, and [the Penguins] had chances, but I think they still had some pressure on them. I thought we did a good job defensively, and we knew they were going to come hard."

 

Goal of the game

After tipping the puck away from Crosby at the blue line, Ferland beat Crosby and Brian Dumoulin down the ice before shooting under Murray's glove.

Video: CGY@PIT: Ferland strips Crosby, buries breakaway goal

 

Save of the game

Johnson kept the game 0-0 with a save on Crosby with 5:53 remaining in the second period. After Olli Maatta shot into the crease, the puck slid under Flames defenseman Mark Giordano to Johnson's left, where Crosby collected it and backhanded a shot toward the open net, but Johnson kicked out his left pad to make a toe save.

Video: CGY@PIT: Johnson denies Crosby with his blocker

 

Highlight of the game

Before Kunitz's third-period goal, Crosby nearly scored earlier in the third after Bryan Rust backhanded a pass to him in the left circle. Crosby dropped to one knee and shot off the left post before it ricocheted behind Johnson and off the right post 3:02 into the third.

Video: CGY@PIT: Giordano helps keep Pens off the scoreboard

 

Unsung performance of the game

Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton helped Johnson with four blocked shots. He also had two hits.

 

They said it

"They had a couple of chances. We found a way to get a lead, and that's a tough team. They're a championship team for a reason. We knew there was going to be press-back, and there was, but we responded." -- Flames forward Kris Versteeg

 

"It's just really annoying losing in the shootout like that. Really annoying." -- Penguins goalie Matt Murray

 

Need to know

Flames forward Garnet Hathaway returned after missing eight games with upper-body injury. He played 10:29. … Pittsburgh played without forward Carl Hagelin, who sustained a concussion in the first period against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

 

What's next

Flames: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Monday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV)

Penguins: At the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, ROOT, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Johnson, Versteeg's SO winner propel Flames past Pens

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