Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penguins Rally Past Avalanche, 4-2; Bennett Scores Two Goals

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penguins Rally Past Avalanche, 4-2; Bennett Scores Two Goals

Article excerpt

DENVER ? The Penguins needed that win.

So, quite possibly, did their coach.

After a long, strange trip out West, the Penguins rallied from behind to beat the Colorado Avalanche, 4-2, on Wednesday night at Pepsi Center in their most complete game of a four-game West Coast swing.

Beau Bennett, playing in the shadow of his former college, the University of Denver, scored two key third-period goals. Then Olli Maatta appeared to convert game winner, a strange goal that took two reviews to finally stand. It was credited to Patric Horqnvist.

"Anytime you're going on a trip like this, the loss to L.A., we felt we played better in Anaheim. Tonight we were way better," said coach Mike Johnston. "So that's a good way to head home. We've got a rested L.A. team sitting there waiting for us. We know we can play better than we played last time against them."

After a big win in San Jose, the club lost back-to-back games to the L.A. Kings and Anaheim Ducks over the weekend.

Pressure appeared to be mounting on the club and Johnston.

General manager Jim Rutherford expressed his displeasure with the team following the losses. He was not happy with the club's starts, the general determination of the players, and said the team has been underachieving.

Despite that, Johnston said after morning skate he felt no extra pressure to win in Colorado than any other game.

But they did win. And this time, it was in convincing fashion.

"I thought we got off to a great start. We knew that was one of the areas we really needed to build on," said defenseman Brian Dumoulin. "That was really important for us. I think everyone believed even though we were down a goal after the first period. We all really stuck together."

Rookie Daniel Sprong finally cracked the lineup, defenseman Kris Letang returned from a two-game absence due to an injury, and the Penguins forged ahead without Pascal Dupuis, their longtime emotional leader who retired a day earlier because of blood clotting issues.

Each player had a No. 9 decal affixed to his helmet in honor of their friend and teammate, whose skates, jersey, and gear hung in his stall for one last night in the locker room. …

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