Prior to the Penguins game with the Coyotes on Saturday, they received some good news, as it was announced that Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist would return to the lineup. Good news, right?
Well yeah, obviously, but as luck would have it, the Penguins can’t stay fully healthy, as Kris Letang went down in the second period, taking him out of the game.
But at least the Penguins won their second game (3-2) out of their past eight, right?
Before the game, forward David Perron was ruled out due to illness, but he wasn’t the only Penguin regular who would miss the majority of the game.
Just under seven minutes into the game, Pens forward Blake Comeau received a game misconduct for boarding ‘Yotes Andrew Campbell into the boards. Luckily for the Pens, they were able to keep Arizona off the board to keep the game even at 0-0.
The Penguins continued to have chance after chance against goalie Mike Smith, but he turned away 27 shots through the second period.
But the biggest loss for the Pens came with 4:45 left in the period, when Letang cleared the puck out of his own zone. After Letang cleared it — .54 seconds, according to Mike Kearney of 93.7 The Fan — Coyotes captain Shane Doan leveled the Penguins defenseman, causing him to knock his head off the boards and lay on the ice for a few minutes.
Dirty? Well, it didn’t seem it, but you be the judge.
Letang was helped off the ice and didn’t return.
The game entered the third period with the two teams still locked at 0-0.
The third period was a different story, though, as Arizona found the twine first, as Tye McGinn tipped in a Klah Dahlbeck shot from the point to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead just five minutes into the period.
Daniel Winnik, acquired earlier this season from Toronto, put the Pens on the board two minutes later as he put home a quick rebound to tie things up at 1-1.
Steve Downie, who fought Doan after the Letang injury, stepped up for his teammates again, as he broke the tie just two minutes later with a wrister just over the pads of Smith.
Up 2-1, Sidney Crosby, who assisted on the first two goals, worked his way to the front of the net (what a concept) as he put home the third and final goal for the Pens, as it caromed in off his leg to give the Penguins the 3-1 lead.
The Coyotes did score again, as they took advantage of the extra man with under two minutes to go when Tobias Rieder beat Thomas Greiss to pull to within one.
The Penguins were able to hold on for the win, ending their three-game losing streak at home.