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Snap Shots: Penguins 2, Red Wings 1 (OT)

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

Thoughts, musings and observations from the Penguins' 2-1 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena.

* Pittsburgh played the Red Wings on the second half of back-to-back contests. And the late-night arrival (2:30 a.m.) showed. The Penguins looked sluggish in the opening 40 minutes of the game. However, everything changed in the third period. The Penguins took over the game from the moment the puck dropped. 

The power play would prove to be the deciding factor. Pittsburgh scored twice with the man-advantage, including in overtime to win the game. The power play let them down Thursday night in Boston, but was the difference-maker in Detroit.

* Even head coach Mike Sullivan couldn't find the words to describe Sidney Crosby's ability to return from injury and still play at a high level. Crosby scored the game-winning power-play goal in overtime with a nice re-direct of a shot-pass from Evgeni Malkin. 

Crosby now has goals in all three games since returning from a core muscle injury. He also has six points (3G-3A) in that span.

Crosby also helped the Penguins tie the game in the third period, but not with his offensive play. It was his hustle in the defensive zone that led to Darren Helm tripping him and sitting in the box. Pittsburgh's Bryan Rust scored on the ensuing power play to even the score at 1-1. 

* Rust improved upon his career-year by scoring his 20th goal of the season (in his 34th game played no less). It's his first 20-goal campaign, and he will easily challenge for the 30-goal mark. With the season that Rust is having, it's possible he may have taken a run at 40 if he didn't miss 14 games due to injury. Actually, at the rate he's going he still might challenge for 40.

* Goaltender Matt Murray had a solid outing. The Red Wings threw a lot of shots on net - 29 - and he stopped 28. Murray had to be good in the opening two periods where the Penguins were outplayed to keep it a close game.

There weren't any highlight-reel saves, and that's how you know Murray played well. When he's at his best, Murray is reading the play, anticipating and getting ahead of the shot. He makes difficult saves look easy.

* The Penguins completed their 11th Dads' Trip with a 1-1 mark. The team is 12-7-3 all-time with the fathers present.

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