Penguins turn monumental collapse into mind-blowing NHL record vs. Devils
The Pittsburgh Penguins jumped out to a 6-0 lead against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. Many Penguins fans might’ve assumed the game was well in hand and opted to watch something else since the game was clearly sewn up.
Not so fast.
The Devils put forth a furious effort in the third period by netting a whopping six goals in the frame – but it was still not enough to defeat Pittsburgh, who won the game 7-6 on the back of a Sidney Crosby goal with 8:45 left in regulation.
According to ESPN Stats & Info this is the first time a team has lost a game in which they score 5 goals in a period (let alone 6):
The Penguins are the 1st team in NHL history to win a game in which they were outscored by 5 goals in the 3rd period.
Entering tonight, NHL teams were 0-270-0 in the regular season and 0-9 in the postseason when they were outscored by 5+ goals in the 3rd period. h/t @EliasSports
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 21, 2021
This was a truly zany game, as it featured fluky odd goals and an absolute avalanche of scoring on both sides. Despite its brilliant comeback, the Devils were unable to finish it off as the magisterial brilliance of Crosby’s goal was the final nail in the coffin.
While the Penguins are in the thick of the playoff hunt with 59 points on the season, the Devils are hovering around the bottom of the standings in the East Division with 34 points, so this loss would’ve clearly been more damaging to Pittsburgh than New Jersey.
The Penguins are clearly aiming to reach the heights of past seasons, such as their back-to-back Stanley Cup wins in 2016 and 2017.
The Penguins have been without center Evgeni Malkin since March 16 with a lower leg injury, though the 34-year-old franchise icon did skate around with the team before their matchup against the Devils.