The Return of Mark Eaton Brings OT Winner for Pens


Jean-Yves Ahern – USA TODAY

Heading into Saturday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins had a lot to work on before their game in Montreal against the Canadiens. One of the biggest things that was deterring the dominant play of the Pens was their lack of team defense. On Thursday night they left goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury out to dry numerous times, and as a result lost 4-1.

Brandon Prust opened up the scoring 5 and a half minutes into the first for the Habs where netminder Tomas Vokoun gave up a juicy rebound in the net-mouth and Prust pounced on the opportunity. It quickly seemed like it was going to be, “one of those nights,” for the Pens.

After 19 minutes of even play between the two teams, Brandon Sutter received the puck with a wide-open net after a deflection off of a stick. He buried it and sparked some life into the Pens.  The first intermission arrived as the teams headed to the locker room tied at one apiece.

The second period brought an onslaught of goals from both teams, adding up to a total of 6 for the middle frame. After having a 4-3 lead, the Penguins let PK Subban slip down low and bounce a puck off of Vokoun and into the net with less than a second remaining in the period to tie the game.

David Desharnais tallied the third consecutive Montreal goal 5:25 into the third to boost the Habs by a goal. After 3 minutes of nerve-racking hockey, Chris Kunitz tied the game on a one-time from the top of the left circle giving the Pens the energy they had recently lost. Less than 2 minutes later Sidney Crosby hopped off the bench and glided into the o-zone, and without taking a single stride, fired a loose puck in front of Carey Price to the back of the net. I’m sure Habs fans felt like this goal was the dagger, but Pens fans knew with Vokoun in net there was more to come. Sure enough, 30 seconds later the Canadiens answered with a goal of their own from Brian Gionta.

The rest of the period was back-and-forth play that brought lots of icing calls, and frustration, but nothing came of it as regulation ended in a 6-6 tie. Free hockey for the Frenchies.

Overtime started with a fast pace as both teams had decent chances before just 52 seconds into the OT frame, Brandon Sutter made a power move to his right side for a free shot on net, that he sniped passed Price for his second goal of the game, and the victory for Pittsburgh.

I’d like to think myself as a very invested Pens fan, and every game I am, but tonight’s game had me really emotionally involved. I witnessed two of the conferences best teams going back and forth, scraping and clawing for a very precious 2 points and I loved it.

Game Notes:

  • Mark Eaton (barring his first shift or two) was not a Wade Redden-esqe turn-style and didn’t make any turnovers. He played an overall solid game with his first game back with the Pens since 2010.
  • What’s going on with Brooks Orpik? He has been BAD the last week and could easily be blamed for the first three Montreal goals. The 32-year old is a tremendous skater and handles the puck well, but he is a defensive defenseman and needs to focus more on clearing bodies from the front of the net and retrieving loose pucks.
  • Max Pacioretty has officially returned to his 2011 play as he recorded a goal, assist, and 7 shots after a slow start to the shortened 2013 season.

Follow Danny Shirey on twitter @_DSHY


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2 Responses to The Return of Mark Eaton Brings OT Winner for Pens

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    Terese Carolan March 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm Reply
    • Thank you for the kind words! We appreciate it and hope that you continue to enjoy our content!

      Danny Shirey March 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm Reply

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