Anything can happen in a NHL game. One team could be favored to win, but then, all of a sudden, they are blown out. This is what happened on the night of Oct. 23. Fans predicted that the Toronto Maple Leafs were going to win. However, with hustle and perseverance, the Pittsburgh Penguins secured a blowout victory.
When a team is missing their top talent, they can’t be expected to win. The Penguins were missing Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Bryan Rust. To top it all off, they were going against one of the stronger teams in the league, that team being the Maple Leafs. They possess talented players, like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander. Pittsburgh rallied, and blew the Leafs out 7-1.
Drew O’Connor struck first with a redirected shot from Marcus Pettersson. Maple Leafs’ forward Jason Spezza struck not even one minute later, tying the score 1-1. The rest of the first period went on without anymore scoring. However, the Penguins opened the second with four goals from Mike Matheson, Jason Zucker, another goal from O’Connor and a one-timer shot from Pettersson. It was 5-1 in favor of the Penguins going into the third period.
The third saw more scoring from the Penguins as Brian Boyle ripped a shot right past Leafs’ goaltender Michael Hutchinson only 20 seconds in. Evan Rodrigues had the final goal and secured an absolute blowout victory for the Penguins. The hockey world favored the Maple Leafs to win, but the Penguins practically steamrolled them.
Notable Figures For Pittsburgh
Tristan Jarry has to be mentioned when reviewing this game. Jarry played incredibly well, and as a result, he was undoubtedly one of the main reasons Pittsburgh won. He faced a total of 29 shots and saved 28. This means he had a stellar .966 save percentage. So far this season, Jarry has been astonishing and if he keeps this up, Pittsburgh will have nothing short of a fortuitous season.
Head coach Mike Sullivan created the strategy and juggled the lines, making him one of the main reasons the Penguins won. He had to go into the game without his star players, and somehow was able to rustle up the victory. It’s no wonder how he became the Penguins’ winningest coach in team history. The knowledge and connection he has with the Penguins’ players is almost unmatched by any other coach.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have become quite the team without their star-power. O’Connor is having an incredible rookie season, and a few players are having amazing bounce-back seasons. Jarry performed admirably, and Pettersson proved himself once again as he tallied three points on the night. Once the stars come back, this team could be an underdog for the Stanley Cup.
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