ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 24: Scott Nichol #12 of the St. Louis Blues shoots the puck on goal against Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Scottrade Center on January 24, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
1 Total Update since January 24, 2012
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
The PIttsburgh Penguins traveled to St. Louis on Tuesday night, looking to avenge a Thanksgiving week loss to the Blues and win their seventh straight game. Playing against the best home team in the league, the Pens would once again need extra time to decide this one. This time, however, it would take a shootout to extend the winning streak.
After a scoreless first period, Pittsburgh took a 1-0 lead on James Neal's 27th goal of the season. The power play was set up by Evgeni Malkin, who drew a holding call on David Backes as he niftily turned in the zone. Neal capitalized on the man-advantage, rifling a quick one-timer from the slot that found its way through the legs of Brian Elliott and bounced over the goal line for the lead. Paul Martin did yeoman's work in the corner to knock the puck free and put it on Neal's stick.
Steve Sullivan gave the Pens a two-goal lead ten minutes later in the second period. Sullivan cleaned up a rebound in front, knocking the puck out of mid-air and over the right shoulder of Elliott. Deryk Engelland stopped the puck at the blue line and put a quick shot on goal, and Sullivan was there to put his stick on the rebound in mid-air.
Patrik Berglund responded for St. Louis with two unanswered goals to even it up at 2-2. The first strike came at the end of the second period, as the Pens turned it over in the neutral zone leading to a two-on-one chance for the Blues. Chris Stewart fed Berglund, who then put a move on Marc-Andre Fleury to flip it into the back of the net. His second goal came on a penalty shot, as he put another deke on Fleury to even it up at 2-2. Berglund went backhand-forehand and fired it through the blocker side of Fleury.
Fleury, however, bounced back and was absolutely incredible in an amazing four-on-four overtime session. Fleury made a couple wonderful sprawling stops to stone the Blues and send it to a shootout. In the shootout, Fleury would continue his brilliance to deliver the Pens seventh win in a row. After an Evgeni Malkin goal, and a Fleury stop of Alex Pietrangelo, Chris Kunitz would bury the game-winner to extend the streak.
Pittsburgh now heads to the All-Star break on a winning note, defeating the NHL's best home team and riding their longest win streak of the season.
For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Penguins, visit SB Nation's Penguins blog,Pensburgh. For the opponent's perspective, check out St. Louis Game Time, SB Nation's Blues blog. For all your NHL news, visit SB Nation's NHL hub.