New policy here on the blog. We'll ignore the negative (the loss on Tuesday to the Habs, along with the first two periods last night) and talk only about the positive (the third period and OT last night).
Things were bleak heading into the third period against the Lightning. The Pens were out shot in the first 14-5, and couldn't score with a full two minutes of a 5 on 3 advantage in the second. That seemed to be rock bottom.
The effort in the third was HUGE. The Lightning were content to sit back and trap. The Pens just kept on coming. Despite the fact that everyone was yelling "SHOOT!" whenever a Penguin had the puck in the offensive zone, the Flightless Birds still managed 12 shots for the period. If they manage 12 shots per period while still being somewhat selective in their shots, they'll be just fine.
Malkin scored early in the period to give the Pens some life. On a side note, Malkin played a great game. Steigy and Errey were falling all over themselves to call it an inspirational performance, and one that will be remembered. I didn't see it going quite to that level, but it was good.
Later in the period, Eaton threw a puck at the net and it banked in off of the leg of the Lightning defensemen. It was the only shot on net for the night from a D-man other than Ryan Whitney.
Cooke then suckered Gary Roberts into punching him in the head. How does Gary let himself get roped into these things when he's 57 and has a one-goal lead in the third? Anyway, the Pens got the best revenge possible and scored on their power play to tie the game.
Things were back and forth for a bit before OT, and then in OT as well. Geno ended it with some quick hands around the net with less than 10 seconds left in OT.
Big win for the Pens. They have a history of comebacks turning around their season. Look at the big comebacks, albeit much earlier in the year, against the Caps the last two years and how they launched the team to much better success.
Let's hope that happens now, because the Pens need it badly. They're in a good spot for success too - right here at home in the Igloo for a few games.
Next up: Columbus comes to Pittsburgh for what will hopefully turn into a regional rivalry, if the Blue Jackets ever get to be a good team, on Friday night.