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Penguins Vs. Avalanche: Dominating Third Period Seals 6-3 Win For Pittsburgh

After a sluggish first period put them two goals down, the Pittsburgh Penguins put on a show in a dynamic third period, dominating an overmatched Colorado team. Just over a minute into the third, the Penguins evened the score at 3 on a Brooks Orpik rocket from the point. The puck changed directions, and caromed off the foot of Jay McClement. The puck popped up in the air and went over Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov's left shoulder. It was a little bit of good luck for the Pens but Orpik would take it for his first goal of the year.

Pittsburgh took its first lead of the night just minutes later on an amazing effort by Evgeni Malkin. With Malkin keeping the puck in the Avs zone on the forecheck, he would school the entire Avs defense to put the Pens up 4-3. Gabriel Landeskog would try to jump a pass from James Neal but Malkin would one-touch it through his legs and then work his magic from there - taking it to the front of the net and faking Varlamov out of his pads for a wrap around goal as he fell to the ice. It was one of the best looking goals of this young season for the Pens.

Pittsburgh would increase their lead to two goals at 5-3 on James Neal's 12th goal of the year. The goal came on the power play after a T.J. Gallardi holding call on Matt Cooke. It was a perfectly executed power play, as Steve Sullivan found a gap and passed across the ice to Neal on the far post. He quickly slammed it into an open net and the Penguins had three goals in less than 8 minutes. Neal's 12th goal of the season put him just one behind league leader Phil Kessel.

Kris Letang would then make it 6-3 on a beautiful individual effort. Letang flew into the zone and quickly shifted the puck to the backhand, slipping right by Avs defenseman Shane O'Brien. He then snuck the puck past Varlamov on a tough angle backhand, putting the game out of reach.

After being outplayed for the first 30 minutes of the game, the 3rd period was an amazing display. The Pens dominated on both ends, schooling a young Colorado squad. All the key contributors were involved as the Pens lit up the scoreboard and demonstrated why they're the points leaders and a force in the Eastern Conference.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.