After the Penguins surrendered a 2-0 lead to the Philadelphia Flyers after one period, their power play fueled an eventual 4-3 win over their cross-state rival on Thursday night at CONSOL Energy Center.
Both of the Penguins’ power-play units got in on the action. Trevor Daley netted the first and Phil Kessel got the second as Pittsburgh went 2-for-4 on the man-advantage.
Daley’s power-play tally came from an Olli Maatta pass just inside the blue line a mere 1:40 minutes into the second. Daley carried the puck down to the left hashmark and fired it short-side past Flyers goaltender Steve Mason into the back of the net. Eric Fehr’s net-front presence worked to perfection on the play.
“I got a great look there in the slot,” Daley said. “So I just closed my eyes and shot it. I was just trying to put it to the net. I wish I could tell you I was picking a spot, but it wasn't like that, I was just putting it on goal.”
The second power-play goal was a unit effort. Evgeni Malkin took the puck above the right hash, hit Patric Hornqvist in the center as he checked away from the net, then played it to Sidney Crosby – who slid the puck across the crease for a tap-in from a crashing Kessel.
Pittsburgh had a chance for a third power-play goal, but Hornqvist’s shot slid across the goal line, hit the post and bounced back out. It warranted a review, but was later deemed no goal. While the Pens weren’t happy they gave up three power-play goals of their own on six tries, they did acknowledge the work they did on their man-advantages.
“We still lost that (special-teams) battle tonight, but we got ourselves back in the game with it so that was big,” Crosby said.
Head coach Mike Sullivan said tonight was a prime example of how to stay resilient, even when falling into a quick deficit.
“I thought the big goal came from the second power-play unit,” Sullivan said. “It was a big momentum swing for us to score early in that second period, and I think it was a huge lift for our team.
“Our power play has had opportunities to be the difference in games, and tonight was one of those nights.”