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Insider Only On the Penguins: Electric Phil, Matt Murray, 1-Goal Games

Mr. 300

Back-to-Back 2-1 overtime wins for the Pittsburgh Penguins and back-to-game game winning overtime goals from Phil Kessel.

Kessel scored a breakaway goal 1:07 into overtime to lift the Penguins to a 2-1 OT win over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.

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Kessel’s OT winner was the 300th goal of his career, becoming the 19th American born player to hit 300 career goals. Along with Zach Parise (318 goals), Kessel is among two active American born players with 300 goals.

Meanwhile, Kessel is the 7th American born player who has 300 career goals and has been a member of the Penguins organization at one point in their careers.

Among the others:

Joe Mullen (502 goals, 5th), Bill Guerin (429 goals, 7th), John LeClair (406 goals, 9th), Scott Young (342 Goals, tied 12th), Ed Olczyk (342 Goals, tied 12th), Kevin Stevens (329 Goals, 16th).

Kevin Stevens is the highest American born scorer in Penguins history with 260 goals, Joe Mullen second with 152 goals as a Penguin.

While the Penguins would like to Kessel to put some more pucks in net during even strength play, in scoring consecutive overtime winners, Kessel is becoming electric in 3-on-3 play.

“What’s impressive about the goal tonight is that he was at a dead stop when he picked that pass off and he created separation from a dead stop,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Kessel’s OT winner. “It was enough separation for him to be able to get a really good shot off.”

Matt Murray had a bit of a rocky start to the season but he’s now rounding into form and Murray wins so much because of how elite he is in making timely saves.

Improving to 7-0-1 on the season, the Penguins have recorded points in all eight of Murray’s starts.

“It’s hard to win in this league if you don’t get a timely save, and Matt does that for us consistently,” Mike Sullivan said afterwards. “He’s a big reason why we’ve won these close games.”

One-Goal Games

The Penguins sit atop the Metropolitan Division with a 7-3-1 record and a major reason for that has been their ability to win one-goal games.

While Pittsburgh has a 10-1 loss to Chicago and 7-1 loss to Tampa Bay on their resume through the first 11 games, Pittsburgh is now an impressive 6-1-1 in one-goal games this season.

Hitting the Road

Pittsburgh hits the road for a five game trip vs Minnesota, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, before returning home Nov 7 to face the laughing stock Coyotes, before going on the road again for back-to-back games vs the Capitals and Predators.

Seven of eight on the road with three sets of back-to-backs during that span.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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