The second period of Pittsburgh's 8-7 overtime victory against the Washington Capitals on Monday night at PPG Paints Arena was one for the record books.
The Pens scored six goals in a 10:51-minute span, while the Caps added three of their own. The nine combined goals are the most ever in franchise history for a single period.
"That second period is one of the craziest periods I've been associated with," head coach Mike Sullivan said. "I don't even know how to assess it coming out of it."
The Capitals hadn't allowed an even-strength goal in a span of 369:14 minutes entering the game, and goaltender Braden Holtby had surrendered just three goals total in his past five games, including a shutout streak of 169:12 minutes.
The Pens ruined the Caps' shutout party.
Evgeni Malkin snapped the Caps even-strength streak at 395:42 and Holtby's personal streak at 149:04 with a quick snap shot from the far the circle. That got the Pens on the board and brought the crowd to life.
"We just needed to score that first goal," Malkin said. "After that first call we had a little more confidence and played fast."
And then the rains came down.
When it was all said and done Malkin would post his 11th career hat trick, the Pens would post six goals and Holtby would finish the game sitting on the bench.
The Caps struck first in the period to take a 3-0 lead, but Pittsburgh rebounded with five straight goals to take a 5-3 lead. Washington tallied two more to even the score at 5-5. Malkin finished off the scoring for the record-breaking period with his hat trick tally and 21st goal of the season.
"To get quick (goals) like that, you get a lot of momentum from that," captain Sidney Crosby said. "The crowd was into it and there was lots of time left in the game. We fed off of that."
Here's a look at some of the accomplishments in that period:
*11 different Pens tallied a point.
*Defensemen Justin Schultz and Trevor Daley both tallied three assists EACH
*The team's combined 12 assists set a home record and tied for the overall club mark (vs. Quebec on Feb. 27, 1995).
*The combined 18 points tied a team home record for a single period (Nov. 22, 1972 vs. St. Louis).
*The final five goals of the period (Pittsburgh 3, Washington 2) were scored in a 3:32-minute span. That's a new Penguins' club record for fastest five goals scored by both teams.
For what it's worth, the Pens' offensive outburst occurred just moments after forward Patric Hornqvist went berserk in the Capitals zone. He threw his body at T.J. Oshie, crosschecked Karl Alzner and then tussled with Daniel Winnik.
Less than a minute after Hornqvist exploded, Pittsburgh exploded, and sent the Capitals back to Washington with their nine-game winning streak thwarted.
"He always plays 200 percent," Malkin said of Hornqvist. "He is crazy around the net. Hornqvist did his job tonight, going to the net, finishing his checks and it's easy to play with him."
Most importantly, the Penguins overcame a 3-0 deficit against one of the best teams in the NHL, and ended their own three-game skid.
"At that particular point that game could have gone one of two ways," Sullivan said with the 3-0 Caps lead. "That could have turned into a rout quickly, and it didn't. I give our guys a ton of credit for that."