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Erik Karlsson scores in overtime as the Penguins rally to stun the Canucks

Matt Vensel, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Hockey

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Erik Karlsson scored the overtime winner Tuesday as the Penguins beat the Vancouver Canucks, 4-3, at Rogers Arena.

After a few end-to-end rushes in overtime, the puck came to Pittsburgh’s big offseason pickup. He buried the winner with 3:18 remaining in the extra period.

Despite being down their top two wingers, Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust, they put up a fight. They stunned the Canucks to extend their winning streak to three.

The Canucks – the top team in the West under former Penguins assistant Rick Tocchet – raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first. They gave the Penguins little room to breathe as they spent a sizable chunk of the period in Pittsburgh territory.

Nils Hoglander netted the opening goal midway through the first. The Canucks were all over the Penguins during that shift. Hoglander nearly scored, stuck with it to recover the loose puck and seconds later rifled a rebound past Tristan Jarry.

Vancouver tacked on a power-play tally late in that period. Pittsburgh’s kill got lured out of position, leaving Brock Boeser alone for a one-timer from the slot.

 

The Penguins rallied back in the second with a pair of goals from Rickard Rakell.

He flustered former teammate Teddy Blueger into a giveaway, took a pass from Sidney Crosby then pulled the puck through the legs of giraffe-sized defender Tyler Myers. Rakell briefly had his back to goalie Thatcher Demko after he spun 180 degrees on that move, then he pivoted back the other way to beat Demko.

That beauty gave the winger goals in back-to-back games. But he wasn’t done.

Rakell made it 2-2 after the Canucks gifted the Penguins a long 5-on-3 power play. Coach Mike Sullivan shuffled his personnel ahead of that big opportunity, parking big Jeff Carter in front and putting Evgeni Malkin back on their top unit. Decisive puck movement led to Rakell finishing off an alley-oop from Crosby.

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