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3 Impressions: Pens 4, Blues 3 OT

by Joseph Guzy / Pittsburgh Penguins

Joseph Guzy gives his three impressions from the press box of the Pens' 4-3 overtime win against St. Louis.

Crosby Heating Up
Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to a season-long three games with two goals in the Penguins’ 4-3 overtime victory over the St. Louis Blues tonight at CONSOL Energy Center. The captain was on fire with his first two-goal game of the season, dominating the matchup against shutdown center David Backes – who had helped keep Crosby from finding the back of the net against St. Louis before tonight. He totaled nine shots on goal, tying his career high. It’s worth noting that Crosby has been working on one-timers with Rick Tocchet in practice the past few days, much like the one he buried against St. Louis netminder Jake Allen late in the first period to spark the Pens’ offense. While he did have a slow start to the season, Crosby is quickly heating up while passing the quarter mark of the 2015-16 season with 10 points (4G-6A) in his last 12 games.

Fourth-Line Frenzy
While Matt Cullen, Eric Fehr and Sergei Plotnikov were kept off the score sheet tonight against the St. Louis Blues, they did a great job of keeping the opposition off as well. The trio did a tremendous job of wearing down St. Louis in their own end and maintaining possession in the offensive zone. Sergei Plotnikov in particular had one of his most complete games as a Penguin, totaling four shots and three hits. What didn’t make it to the scoresheet was his amazing work ethic for his entire 14:12 of ice time. Plotnikov could frequently be seen hustling to the net or battling in the corners to keep the play alive. It’s scary to think what Plotnikov will be able to do down the road, as the Pens’ victory over the Blues only marked his 15th NHL game.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all but three of the Blues’ 32 shots, a few of them at point-blank range. Perhaps the save of the game for Fleury came early in the second period when he got a piece of a Paul Stastny shot to rob him of a goal on a wide-open net. Despite the strong finish, ‘Flower’ kept the Penguins in the game after a slow start where they allowed a power-play goal and failed to convert on one of their own. Fleury’s key saves may not stand out in a 4-3 overtime victory, but they are certainly what lead the Penguins to the win after falling behind 1-0 to the Blues in the first period, a team you don’t want to surrender the first goal against with how structured they are defensively.

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