It wasn’t exactly how the coach drew it up, but the Penguins managed to earn a 3-1 victory over the Coyotes. They came back form a 1-0 deficit with two goals in the second period, from Brandon Sutter and Daniel Winnik. The Sutter goal may be one of the weirdest the Penguins have scored this season.
It occurred on a Penguins power-play. After defenseman Ian Cole rattled the puck around behind Arizona goalie Mike Smith’s net, Smith went back to play it. His thought process was clearly to shoot the puck down the ice, but he didn’t count on the presence of Sutter. The clearance hit the center’s backside and deflected into the open net to tie the game at 1-1. The goal gave the Pens the momentum to grab another one.
The second goal was on a deflection by Winnik. Kris Letang’s shot from the point was redirected into the net to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead and set them on their way to a win.
The victory, which snapped a four game losing skid, was sealed with an empty-net goal by Sidney Crosby, who had an assist as well.
Smith ended up with 34 saves on 36 shots, while Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 30 saves on 31 shots.
Winnik’s goal was his first as a Penguins since being acquired in a February trade with the Maple Leafs.
Arizona has scored one goal or less in 10 of it’s past 13 games during a slide in which they have 16 losses in 18 games.
It was a nice win for the Penguins, as Crosby said.
"Hopefully we can rally off this one and build off it," said Crosby, who earned his 50th assist of the season on Winnik's goal and drew three penalties in the game. "We finally got a bounce. We were due after all we've been through the last week or so."