The Pittsburgh Penguins squandered a 2-0 lead, fell behind by a 4-2 margin, scored twice with their goaltender pulled from the net in the closing minutes of regulation play, and beat the Canucks 5-4 on a Sidney Crosby shootout goal in an NHL game played Tuesday night in Vancouver.
The Penguins (32-12-1) won for the 17th time in their last 20 games, took a 17-point advantage over new second-place team Philadelphia in the league’s Metropolitan Division, and now lead Boston by seven points in the race for the top playoff position from the Eastern Conference.
Brian Gibbons and Evgeni Malkin found the net to give Pittsburgh a two-goal advantage by the 5:25 mark of the second period, but Vancouver’s Jason Garrison scored in the second frame, and teammates Chris Tanev, Chris Higgins and Zack Kassian added third-period goals.
Trailing 4-2 with 1:11 left in regulation, the Penguins pulled goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, and Kris Letang and team captain Crosby responded by scoring man-advantage goals just seventeen seconds apart to tie the contest at 4-4.
Crosby was the only player to score in the shootout.
Pittsburgh is 4-0 in shootout games this season, and has not lost a shootout in two years.
Rookie goaltender Eddie Lack was saddled with the loss, as he replaced injured veteran Roberto Luongo. Vancouver has lost five games in a row, and dropped to 23-13-9.
The Penguins will continue their three-game trip in western Canada with a 10:00 PM game at Edmonton on Friday. Radio pregame airtime on 96.3 KQW will be 9:30 PM.