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Hornqvist does it again

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

If this article sounds familiar, that's probably because it is

The Pens scored another goal thanks in part to the physical battering ram known as Patric Hornqvist en route to a 3-2 third-period comeback victory against the San Jose Sharks Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena in a Stanley Cup Final rematch.

The Pens were hurting badly against San Jose. They started the game without two franchise cornerstones in captain and playoff MVP Sidney Crosby due to a concussion and Norris Trophy-caliber and minutes-eating defenseman Kris Letang with an upper-body injury.

Then the game began and they lost two more blueliners to injury in Olli Maatta and Derrick Pouliot. Plus, they entered the third period trialing 2-0 after Hornqvist had a goal waved off. 

Things were looking bleak.

"I think we were all motivated (in the third period)," Hornqvist said. "I was a little upset when they called my goal off, a little bit of emotion. We kept going in the third and got that huge goal by 'Geno' to get us started." 

That goal by Evgeni Malkin came at 6:47 of the third frame to get the Pens on the board. It was two minutes later that Hornqvist would help the Pens tie the game at 2-2.

Sharks defensemen Brenden Dillon had the puck in the corner of the San Jose zone when Hornqvist blew him up with a heavy hit. The check dislodged the puck, which squirted conveniently to the stick of Scott Wilson.

Wilson skated to the net and snapped home the goal for his first of the season and the game equalizer.

"I don't think Dillon saw me there. He was puck watching in the corner," Hornqvist said. "I came in on an angle. He couldn't see me. I tried to get the puck loose. 'Willy' got the puck and made a huge play at the net to tie the game."

Hornqvist, who picked up an assist on the play, would strike again later in the period on the power play to give the Pens a 3-2 lead and eventual victory. But Hornqvist's play on the Wilson goal is another example of not only the space Hornqvist creates with his physicality, but also the scoring opportunities. 

"Look at Wilson's goal. (Hornqvist is) in on the forecheck. He's the first guy," head coach Mike Sullivan said. "He finishes that check hard and creates that loose puck. All those thankless jobs don't end up on the scoresheet, but they help you win."

Video: SJS@PIT: Wilson ties the game with backhanded goal

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