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game recap

Blues survive rally by Penguins, win in overtime in opener

Pietrangelo scores second at 1:15 to defeat defending champion

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Alex Pietrangelo thought the Pittsburgh Penguins deserved one last celebration. That doesn't mean he minded crashing the party Wednesday.

After catching the end of the Penguins' Stanley Cup banner-raising ceremony, Pietrangelo scored his second goal 1:15 into overtime to help the St. Louis Blues to a 5-4 win in the season opener at PPG Paints Arena.

"Obviously, a special night for them. We're not going to deny that," Pietrangelo said. "They deserve to have that night. Hopefully, we get that opportunity. … We know what it is. You want to come in here and spoil the party."

 

[WATCH:  Complete Blues vs. Penguins highlights]

 

Pietrangelo scored after St. Louis let a two-goal lead slip away in the third period.

"I'm going to focus a lot more on the positives," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "Obviously, coming into this building and scoring five tonight. Obviously, this is just the beginning. We've said it before. This is just the beginning of the process.

"I thought it was a little bit of a poise issue. That, for me, is normal this time of year. Things get a little hectic, you don't react well to it."

With the Blues leading 4-2, Sidney Crosby scored on a 5-on-3 power play to cut it to 4-3 with 6:14 remaining in the third and Conor Sheary tied it 4-4 with 5:20 left. Crosby was impressed with how the Penguins battled back.

Video: STL@PIT: Crosby hammers home rebound for PPG

"We showed good character there, coming back late," Crosby said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't find a way to get an extra point. … I think we'd rather not put ourselves in that position, but that was the case and I thought we found a way to get a couple big goals and get ourselves back in it."

St. Louis seemed to be in control after Pietrangelo made it 3-2 at 15:37 of the second period and Paul Stastny extended the lead to 4-2 at 3:38 of the third. Pietrangelo scored after Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta tied it 2-2 at 12:37 of the second.

After Schultz put the Penguins ahead 1-0 at 6:37 of the first period, the Blues scored two unanswered goals to take a 2-1 lead.

Brayden Schenn, who made his St. Louis debut after being acquired in a trade from the Philadelphia Flyers on June 23, tied it 1-1 at 8:31. Jaden Schwartz received the puck from Schenn and moved it on to Carl Gunnarsson, whose pass hit Schenn's skate and went into the net.

Video: STL@PIT: Pietrangelo snipes one in from the high slot

The goal was upheld following a review that determined Schenn did not use a distinct kicking motion to score.

Colton Parayko scored on a power play to give the Blues a 2-1 lead with 2:15 remaining in the first. After the puck slipped out of a scrum along the near wall, Parayko sent a snap shot past goalie Matt Murray.

Despite starting two Stanley Cup-clinching games in his first two NHL seasons, Murray started a season opener for the first time Wednesday. The 23-year-old made 29 saves.

"At the end of the day," Murray said, "I think I just have to make another save or two."

Blues goalie Jake Allen also made 29 saves.

Video: Penguins raise 2016-17 Stanley Cup banner

 

Goal of the game

On his game-winning goal, Pietrangelo dragged the puck around Justin Schultz, and shot off Murray's glove and into the net. Pietrangelo had not scored twice in a game since Feb. 12, 2012, against the San Jose Sharks.

Video: STL@PIT: Pietrangelo buries his second for OT winner

 

Save of the game

After surrendering two straight goals to let the Penguins tie it 4-4, Allen preserved the tie by denying a point-blank slap shot from Schultz with 2:22 remaining in the third period.

Video: STL@PIT: Allen stands tall to make save late in 3rd

 

Highlight of the game

Crosby set up Pittsburgh's first goal by winning a battle against Oskar Sundqvist and Pietrangelo along the boards. He then passed to Schultz, who sent a snap shot past rookie forward Tage Thompson and a screen from Jake Guentzel before it sailed past Allen's glove.

Video: STL@PIT: Schultz snaps one in from the point

 

They said it

"You're playing the defending champs on their opening night. There's going to be no quit in their game, but finding a way to get two points and getting that first win under our belt, I think is huge." -- Blues center Paul Stastny

 

Video: STL@PIT: Stastny finishes Sobotka's dish to pad lead

 

"I think we played hard. I didn't think we always played smart. … I do think the effort was there. I thought our guys had energy. I thought we had a great start and good momentum. There was tons of energy in the building." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

 

Need to know

Blues defenseman Vince Dunn and Thompson each made his NHL debut. Dunn had one hit and one takeaway in 15:28 and Thompson had one giveaway in 11:26. … Penguins defenseman Kris Letang played 26:05 to lead all skaters in his first game since sustaining a herniated disk in his neck against the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 21. He had season-ending neck surgery on April 13.

 

What's next

Blues: Host the Dallas Stars on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Penguins: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; SN360, SN1, NBCSCH, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Pietrangelo's two goals lead Blues past Pens in OT

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