Big Picture Takeaways on Pens wild win
Penguins – Capitals will almost always have twist and turns on a game-by-game basis when they meet and Tuesday night was no different.
Pittsburgh rallied for a 5-4 overtime win on a Sidney Crosby game winner just 1:11 into OT.
Yes, the Capitals escaped their demons in 2018, but over the last 10-12 years we just continue to see games like this one where the Penguins find a way to defy the odds and get a ‘W’ against Washington in a game they had no business winning.
How improbable was this win?
Pittsburgh was outscored 4-1 during 5-on-5 play, received .846 save percentage goaltending in the win, and the Penguins were just bullied 5-on-5 for the first 30-35 minutes of play.
*Here’s how the Penguins did it:
*Scored a 5-on-3 Power Play Goal
*Scored a 5-on-5 Goal from a 4th line forward
*Scored a 5-on-3 shorthanded Breakaway Goal
*Scored a Power Play Goal
*Scored a 3-on-3 overtime Goal
— It’s going to be a while before we ever see that combination from a Penguins team. The Teddy Blueger 5-on-3 shorthanded goal was the Penguins first 5-on-3 goal shorthanded goal in nine years.
What made that goal so fascinating to watch was Casey DeSmith springing Blueger for the breakaway goal. A 5-on-3 shorthanded goal is rare in itself. A goaltender receiving a primary assist on a 5-on-3 shorthanded breakaway goal just defies logic.
Down to just four defensemen, the Penguins showed great resiliency in the final period and some change of the game. That’s a major credit to them. The Capitals, though, just completely embarrassed themselves in the loss and that should be the story after this one.
The mid and lower tier players along with the coaches will change over the years for both clubs, but someway, somehow, a mental edge just almost always seems to play out in the Penguins direction.
Short-term, the Penguins have racked back-to-back wins and every point is monumental this early in a 56 game season.
Bigger picture, is a fluke come from behind win just delaying the inevitable? There were so many cringe worthy moments for the Penguins 5-on-5, that wins like this just fuel this group that they can play lackadaisical and wreck-less away from the puck and get away with it.
I just continue to look at this personnel where in the long-run, they’re going to have to bore down their style of play to disguise personnel limitations against the top tier teams in this division.