Pittsburgh could not take advantage of an undisciplined opening 20 minutes by Anaheim which saw the Ducks take four minor penalties as the Penguins went 0-for-4 with the man-advantage. The Penguins were able to muster only five shots on Jonas Hiller during those four chances.
The Penguins continue to thrive night after night because of the contributions they receive from their entire lineup. On this night, it came in the form of six points from their defense (2G-4A), a diving save with his pants by Sidney Crosby on Scott Niedermayer with 3:27 left in regulation and Marc-Andre Fleury down and out of his net and a remarkable glove save by Fleury on Saku Koivu’s attempt from less than 10 feet away in the slot with 5:40 left in the third period.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Pascal Dupuis scored the go-ahead goal with 10:47 to play, and the Pittsburgh Penguins tied an NHL record with their seventh straight road victory to open the season, 4-3 over the last-place Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.
Michael Rupp, Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski also scored for the Penguins, who won in California for just the second time since January 1999 with two goals in the third period.
What Worked Well: Long Shots Through Traffic Pittsburgh got back to a formula which worked so well for them the first five games of the season – long shots from the point through traffic. They scored both their third and fourth goals in this fashion, as Alex Goligoski and Pascal Dupuis beat Hiller with slap shots from the point area that the Ducks’ netminder had trouble picking up.
What Could Have Gone Better: Power Play Anaheim gave the Penguins several golden opportunities to get on the board with four first-period power plays. The Penguins were unable to take advantage of the Ducks’ generosity, failing to capitalize with the man-advantage. Anaheim, which came into the contest with the second-worst penalty-killing unit in the league, killed off all six Pittsburgh power plays.
Tyler Kennedy missed the previous three contests with an undisclosed injury, but he returned with a vengeance against Anaheim. His great individual effort to carry the puck into the Ducks’ zone, create a quality shot attempt and follow through on the rebound led to a sequence which saw the puck come back to Kennedy’s stick in the corner, where he quickly found Mike Rupp alone in the slot for a second-period tally.
A great diving effort by Kennedy in the third period to knock the puck out of Teemu Selanne’s range and onto the stick of Alex Goligoski at the point gave the Penguins their third goal. Kennedy had three shots on goal and recorded a team-high (tied) plus-3 rating in 13:18 of ice time.
Anaheim struck first as a shot from the left point by Scott Niedermayer hit traffic on the way to the net and bounced to the stick of Corey Perry in the slot. The Ducks winger threw a turnaround shot from one leg under the stick of Marc-Andre Fleury for the score. Anaheim 1, Pittsburgh 0.
Pittsburgh countered when Jay McKee held an errant shot in at the left point and passed down to Tyler Kennedy in the corner. Kennedy quickly dished to Mike Rupp in the slot and his one-timer eluded Jonas Hiller. Pittsburgh 1, Anaheim 1.
The Penguins took their first lead of the contest during a delayed-penalty call against the Ducks. Kris Letang received the puck at the left point and walked toward the slot before firing a wrist shot over the glove of Hiller through a host of traffic in front. Pittsburgh 2, Anaheim 1.
With 3:59 to play in the second period Anaheim’s Corey Perry tied the game with his second tally of the evening. Ryan Getzlaf’s original shot was stopped by Fleury but Perry continued to jam at the loose puck as he pushed the rubber underneath Fleury. Pittsburgh 2, Anaheim 2.
Jordan Staal’s pass to Tyler Kennedy in the slot misconnected, but Kennedy alertly dove to knock the puck beyond the reach of a defending Teemu Selanne and onto the stick of Alex Goligoski at the point. Goligoski fired a slap shot through traffic in front past the blocker side of Hiller. Pittsburgh 3, Anaheim 2.
Nineteen seconds after Goligoski’s score the Ducks again knotted the score when Saku Koivu checked Brooks Orpik to the ice behind the Penguins’ net and scooped up the resulting loose puck before sliding a shot between the post and the pad of Fleury for the score. Pittsburgh 3, Anaheim 3.
Pascal Dupuis scored the game-winning goal 9:13 into the third period when he took a pass from Orpik at the right point and fired an absolute howitzer through a screen provided in front by Rupp to give himself goals in consecutive games. Pittsburgh 4, Anaheim 3.
Right winger Bill Guerin played in his 1,200th career game against Anaheim, finishing with three shots on goal. Since breaking into the league late in the 1991-92 season, the 38-year-old veteran has laced up the skates for the New Jersey Devils, Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Shark and New York Islanders in addition to spending the past nine months with the Penguins. Included in his first 1,200 games are 411 goals, 820 points and two Stanley Cup championships.
Tuesday marked the first matchup between the Penguins and Ducks since Pittsburgh sent defenseman Ryan Whitney to Anaheim for winger Chris Kunitz and prospect Eric Tangradi. Neither player factored into the scoring summary in their first contest against their former team. Kunitz had three hits and blocked one shot in 20:11 while Whitney had one shot and blocked two others playing a game-high 28:37.
In an effort to get more offense head coach Dan Bylsma reassembled the line of Jordan Staal, Tyler Kennedy and Matt Cooke before the start of the final period. This move paid immediate dividends when the trio set the tone for the entire period with their hustle and forechecking less than two minutes into the final frame. Their work nearly led to a Kennedy goal. Later in the period they were on the ice and created the sequence that ended with Alex Goligoski scoring the team’s third goal.
Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal combined for one assist, by Staal, on the evening. However it was their defensive ability that helped save this game. Bobby Ryan was staring at an open net at 15:10 of the second period when the long reach of Staal allowed the Penguins center to deflect Ryan’s chance out of harms way. With 3:27 left in the third period it required a diving save by the pants of Crosby in the crease to prevent Scott Niedermayer to knot the score as Anaheim threatened.
> Scoring Summary: ANH, C. Perry (9), 3:57 1st period: Ducks 1, Penguins 0 PIT, M. Rupp (4), 2:39 2nd period: Penguins 1, Ducks 1 PIT, K. Letang (1), 10:02 2nd period: Penguins 2, Ducks 1 ANH, C. Perry (10), 16:01 2nd period: Penguins 2, Ducks 2 PIT, A. Goligoski (6), 7:55 3rd period: Penguins 3, Ducks 2 ANH, S. Koivu (2), 8:14 3rd period: Penguins 3, Ducks 3 PIT, P. Dupuis (3), 9:13 3rd period: Penguins 4, Ducks 3
> The Penguins’ 12-3 record through 15 games is the second-best start in team history behind the 12-1-2 start in 1994-95. The only other team in Penguins history to have 24 or more points through the first 15 games was the 1992-93 team (11-2-2).
> The 4-3 victory allowed the Penguins to tie a team record with their seventh consecutive road victory. Pittsburgh previously won seven in a row away from Mellon Arena from March 14-April 9, 1993, during a streak which saw the Penguins establish an NHL record with 17 consecutive victories overall.
> The Penguins are now 30-6-4 in the regular season since head coach Dan Bylsma took over. They have a record of 15-2-3 on the road.
> The 4-3 victory marked the Penguins first win against in Anaheim since a 3-0 defeat of the Ducks on Dec. 10, 1997. Pittsburgh had been 0-4-1 since then. The Penguins also own a three-game winning streak over the Ducks.
> Pittsburgh is now 1-0 on a four-game road trip that will take them to Los Angeles, San Jose and Boston before they return home Nov. 12 to face the New Jersey Devils.
> Alex Goligoski continues to shine for the Penguins as his goal in the third period gives him six on the season, moving into the lead among all NHL defensemen. Goligoski’s 13 points (6G-7A) move him into second place (tied) behind Tomas Kaberle (17).
> Goligoski continues to pace the league with a plus-13 rating after a plus-1 effort against the Ducks.
> Tyler Kennedy tied a career high achieved three previous times with his two assists against the Ducks. Kennedy’s most recent two-assist performance came on March 12, 2008 against the Buffalo Sabres.
> Jordan Staal played in his 235th consecutive game against the Ducks, tying him with former defenseman Ron Stackhouse for fourth place on the team’s all-time list.
> Jay McKee’s assist on Mike Rupp’s goal leaves him two assists shy of 100 career helpers.
> Kris Letang recorded his second multiple-point performance of the season against the Ducks with his goal and an assist. The goal was his first since scoring in the regular-season finale against the Montreal Canadiens on April 11.
> Brooks Orpik tied a career high last achieved on March 5, 2009 against the Florida Panthers with his two assists tonight.
> Pascal Dupuis now has goals in consecutive games and is two goals shy of hitting 100 for his career.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
1. C. Perry 2. K. Letang 3. J. Staal
“We always find a way to bounce back when we have a tough time on the ice or a bad goal.” - Pascal Dupuis