The Penguins came out playing with the energy and passion head coach Dan Bylsma expected from them following a disappointing effort on Wednesday night in Dallas.
Unfortunately for the Penguins, a pair of hit posts in the first period prevented them from jumping out to a lead on the Ducks, who scored three times less than seven minutes apart midway through the second period to open a 3-0 lead.
Despite facing such a tough deficit, the Penguins responded with a valiant comeback effort led by captain Sidney Crosby, who scored late in the second period and early in the third to draw the Penguins within one at 3-2.
Once Crosby gave the Penguins new life with his first goal, the game was all Pittsburgh, which threw everything and the kitchen sink towards Anaheim netminder Jonas Hiller. Pittsburgh fired 27 shots Hiller’s way over the final two frames, but the Swiss goaltender came up huge, stopping 25 of those shots in stealing the win for the Ducks.
The Penguins complete their four-game road swing on Saturday night in Phoenix, as they will be looking to pick up a huge victory to finish the trek with a .500 record at 2-2.
Prior to Friday night, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had gone a season-high five games without scoring a goal. That all changed against the Ducks, as Crosby tallied twice against Jonas Hiller to give himself a team-leading eight goals on the season.
Crosby got the Penguins on the board and sparked his team late in the second period when, standing right outside of Hiller’s crease, he twisted his stick and deflected a Kris Letang slap shot into the twine behind the Ducks netminder. He added a second goal just minutes into the third period when he pounced on a Pascal Dupuis rebound and sneaked a shot between Hiller’s legs.
Crosby, who was named the game’s No. 3 star, finished the night with two goals, two shots and an impressive 14-8 (64 percent) record on draws in 22:34 minutes of ice time.
The Penguins came out flying in the opening period, taking the body at every opportunity and playing with the intensity they all talked in the morning skate about needing. Twice during the first 20 minutes it appeared as though their efforts were going to result in picking up the opening goal, but hit posts by Kris Letang and Brooks Orpik prevented that. Anaheim took advantage of its good fortune to score three times in the second period to open a commanding 3-0 lead before holding on for the victory.
(AP) - Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Saku Koivu scored during a 6:51 span of the second period to break open a scoreless game, and the Anaheim Ducks overcame two goals by Sidney Crosby to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Friday night.
• Before Friday night, there were five NHL teams Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had yet to score against – Anaheim, Chicago, Edmonton, San Jose and St. Louis. That list now sits at just four teams after Crosby deflected Kris Letang’s slap shot behind Jonas Hiller on a power play at 17:27 of the second period.
• A couple of Penguins set games played milestones against the Ducks. Forward Pascal Dupuis, who missed the previous contest at Dallas due to the birth of his daughter, Lola, appeared in his 600th career game. Forward Tyler Kennedy played in his 200th career game.
• Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne also achieved a games played milestone on Friday. Selanne, 40, appeared in his 1,200th career NHL game. The ‘Finish Flash’ has said that this season is going to be his final NHL campaign in what should be a Hall of Fame career.
• Down on the farm Friday night, the Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, matched a club record by recording their ninth-straight victory to open up the season. WBS defeated the Rochester Americans, 5-4, to begin the season 9-0.Tim Wallace and Dustin Jeffrey each recorded a goal and an assist, with Wallace’s tally holding up as the game-winner.
#1. Bobby Ryan Forward - 9
1 goal 1 assist 6 shots on goal
#2. Jonas Hiller Goaltender - 1
30 saves stopped 25 of 27 shots the final two periods