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Snap Shots: Blackhawks 5, Pens 3

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

Thoughts, musings and observations from the Pens' 5-3 loss to Chicago at PPG Paints Arena...

* The Pens' eight-game winning streak was snapped by the Blackhawks. Streaks are meant to be broken, but this one will hurt because it was a very winnable game for Pittsburgh. The Pens didn't get the job done on the PK front and some unflattering goals against Casey DeSmith were the main culprits. 

* The Pens PK has been dynamite all season long. Coming into the game the unit ranked fourth in the NHL with an 84.1-percent success rate. But Pittsburgh's PKers were responsible for essentially three goals against, though only one officially counted as a power-play goal. 

Pittsburgh had a 2-0 lead in the second period when Patrick Kane's cross-slot pass was finished off by Alex DeBrincat for a power-play tally to get Chicago on the board. Late in the second period - two seconds after a penalty expired - Duncan Keith's shot found the net to tie the game at 3-3. In the third period, seven seconds after a penalty expired, Dylan Strome gave Chicago a 4-3 lead. 

Although the second and third goals didn't register as power-play scores, it still fell on the PK shoulders and their inability to clear the zone. This isn't to knock the group, which has been phenomenal this season. They only surrendered one man-advantage goal in the previous eight games. They just didn't get it done tonight. 

* The Pens couldn't have asked for a better start. The team pounced to a 2-0 lead in the opening five minutes of the game on goals from Patric Hornqvist and Jake Guentzel. 

Hornqvist's goal was a beauty. Malkin, from below the goal line, found him at the dot. He snapped it far side, top corner. Hornqvist showed that he can score the pretty goals and the gritty goals. 

* It's only fitting that on a night in which the Pens were celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Stanley Cup championship, Blackhawks forward Chris Kunitz - a member of that '09 Pens team - would score his first goal of the season and first goal for Chicago. It was a critical goal that tied the game at 2-2 in the second period. 

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