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Guentzel’s OT Winner Lifts Pittsburgh Penguins Over Florida Panthers

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  • Florida could not get advantage of a Pittsburgh penalty in the 3rd period of time and the Penguins responded with just their 2nd OT victory.

The night began with a tribute to Matt Cullen’s longevity. It finished with a different sparkling participate in that highlighted Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Jake Guentzel’s progressively dazzling foreseeable future.

Guentzel gathered a lengthy flip pass from Sidney Crosby and held off Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson in advance of beating Roberto Luongo with a backhand 2:44 into extra time to give the Penguins a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.

Pittsburgh has struggled when pushed further than regulation this time — the Penguins entered with a 5-9 history in extra time and shootouts — but Guentzel delivered his club with a much-wanted two points with his 2nd objective of the night and 33rd of the time.

“I’ve generally considered Jake has that I-T,” Pittsburgh mentor Mike Sullivan claimed. “That’s aspect of the explanation he has this kind of chemistry with Sid due to the fact he has that ‘it’ factor.”

It was on complete show on the 24-calendar year-old’s winner.

“I experimented with to place the puck in there and hoped he’d skate into it,” claimed Crosby, who concluded with a objective and two helps to develop into the 48th player in NHL heritage with 1,200 job points. “He did a excellent career of holding off the male and supplying a excellent shift to complete the participate in.”

Matt Murray designed 32 saves for the Penguins although Cullen played 12:36 in his 1,500th job video game as the Penguins remained in the top wild-card spot in a crammed Eastern Convention.

Henrik Borgstrom and Vincent Trocheck scored for the Panthers but Florida dropped its fifth straight — 4 of them in extra time — when Guentzel broke in by itself on Luongo, who designed 34 stops but bit on Guentzel’s deke. He reached back in vain with his glove as Guentzel slipped the puck into the net.

“It really is disappointing, definitely,” Borgstrom claimed. “When you test your best — and they’ve been so shut, way too. It really is been hard and disappointing.”

The 42-calendar year-old Cullen — affectionately regarded as “Dad” on the club he aided get consecutive Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017 — joined some elite firm far more than a complete technology soon after his NHL debut, getting the 2nd American-born player and 20th all round to access the 1,500-video game plateau. His teammates honored him by carrying black jerseys with his common No. 7 in warmups, and Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel all aided existing Cullen with a handful of presents, together with a silver adhere and a Penguins-themed ATV.

A short online video tribute finished by thanking Cullen for the memories although urging him to support develop far more. Fitting. The Penguins are in need to have of a memorable stretch to assure on their own of a 13th straight postseason berth. Rarely a supplied for a gifted if erratic club that is invested the final 5 months mixing bursts of classic participate in with lengthy stretches of mediocrity.

Struggling with a staff whose playoff prospective customers are eroding by the day, it was far more of the very same.

Florida wanted just 1:45 to get the guide when Borgstrom’s shot from the remaining circle was redirected into the net by Pittsburgh defenseman Erik Gudbranson. The Penguins pressed to tie it many thanks in aspect to some spirited participate in by Kessel, who is using a goalless streak that dates back to Jan. 30. Luongo fended off two top quality odds from Kessel in the initially period of time but Pittsburgh pulled even 16 seconds into the 2nd when Mike Matheson’s turnover finished up on Crosby’s adhere in the Florida zone.

Crosby experimented with to get the puck to Jared McCann, but it was poke-checked away. No subject. Guentzel jumped on the unfastened puck and conquer Luongo from the slot. Crosby’s 55th aid of the time pushed his job level whole to 1,200, becoming a member of staff owner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux as the only Penguins to access the milestone with the club.

Crosby wanted fewer than 10 minutes to pick up job level No. 1,201. With the Penguins on the electricity participate in, he threaded a pass to Kessel. Luongo designed the stop but the rebound went suitable to Crosby, who pounded it household at 10:01 of the 2nd period of time to access 30 goals for the ninth time in his job.

Trocheck, a Pittsburgh native, evened it at 2 when his just one-timer from the bottom of the remaining circle zipped past Murray with 2:29 to go in the 2nd.

Florida could not get advantage of a Pittsburgh penalty in the 3rd period of time and the Penguins responded with just their 2nd extra time victory considering that Dec. 17.

“I believe (our extra time history) has kind of hurt us a small bit this calendar year,” Guentzel claimed. “It really is something we all took pleasure in that we can do greater, and they’re big points suitable now.”

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