Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Outnumbered Power-Play Goals Lead to First Defeat Avalanche 4, Penguins 3

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Outnumbered Power-Play Goals Lead to First Defeat Avalanche 4, Penguins 3

Article excerpt

When the Penguins had five players on the ice Monday night against the Colorado Avalanche, they might have played some of their best hockey of the young season.

The problem is they didn't always have five players on the ice. Or, for that matter, even four.

The Penguins gave up two power-play goals in their 4-3 overtime loss to Colorado Monday night at PPG Paints Arena, after allowing just one in their first two games.

"I think we just need to clean it up," center Matt Cullen said. "We're three games into the season, but we're dealing with a lot of the same people killing, so we need to be better. We all know that and we expect a lot better out of ourselves."

In both cases, the Avalanche's power-play goals came at times when the Penguins (2-0-1) could have put a stranglehold on the game.

In the first period, the Penguins seized early momentum with goals from Phil Kessel and Matt Cullen for a 2-0 lead. They were generating chances in front of Colorado goalie Calvin Pickard and looked poised to extend their lead even further.

Instead Nick Bonino and Chris Kunitz took back-to-back penalties that gave the Avalanche (2-0-0) a 5-on-3 advantage, on which Iginla capitalized. Less than two minutes later, Patrick Wiercioch scored again for Colorado and the score was tied heading into the first intermission.

"It's hard to kill 5-on-3s," coach Mike Sullivan said. "They've got two extra guys on the ice. What we have to do is not put ourselves in the position where we have to kill 5-on-3s. We can't be giving teams opportunities like that. When we're on the penalty-kill, we can't kill another penalty."

The Penguins actually did manage to kill off their second 5-on-3 situation of the game, early in the third period. A few minutes after that, Trevor Daley gave them a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal. …

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