Friday, October 22, 2010

Letang's Overtime Tally Finishes Off Predators

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – With the snap of his blade, defenseman Kris Letang snapped a decade-long, six-game losing streak for the Penguins in the Music City.

Letang’s wrist shot at the 3:49 mark of overtime sailed over the shoulder of netminder Pekka Rinne to give Pittsburgh a 4-3 victory in an intense, playoff-type game.

“I had a great screen and tried to put it on the net,” Letang said. “I think it went through his body. I was just putting the puck on the net.”

“Tyler Kennedy drove wide and dropped the puck to me,” captain Sidney Crosby said of the play. “’Tanger’ did a great job getting up into the play. I just found him wide. I don’t know where the shot went, but he got a lot on it. It was a great shot.”

The Penguins had to overcome 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 deficits just to force the extra frame. The heroics of big-gamers Crosby and Evgeni Malkin fueled the Penguins’ comeback and set the stage for Letang’s heroics.

“We felt like we were getting some good chances and just had to stick with things,” Crosby said. “’Geno’ was flying in the third and stealing pucks, creating things. When he does that, he’s tough to handle.”

Crosby finished with two goals and an assist, while Malkin chipped in a goal and an assist. The two hooked up in the third period to score Pittsburgh’s third tally to make it a 3-3 contest with 7:04 left in regulation.

Malkin started the play by battling for a loose puck and getting a shot on goal from the slot. Rinne kicked out a rebound right to Crosby, who buried the shot to even the score.

“They got the first goal right in the beginning, got the lead in the second, got the lead in the third; our guys kept responding,” head coach Dan Byslma said. “The way Geno and Sid, their determination to get that (third) goal and again in the overtime, it was an impressive hockey game in a lot of areas.”

The Penguins last won in Nashville Feb. 13, 1999 – the inaugural season for the Predators. Pittsburgh also triumphed in overtime (3-2) in that game.


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