Tanev Scores OT Winner, Penguins Deal Avalanche First Loss

PITTSBURGH — Brandon Tanev scored a short-handed goal in overtime and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat Colorado 3-2 on Wednesday night, the first loss of the season for the Avalanche.

Tanev, Pittsburgh’s biggest free-agent pickup in the off-season, scored his first goal with the Penguins at 3:57 of overtime. He swooped into the zone short-handed and threw a shot on goal that went between Philipp Grubauer’s pads. Colorado forward Gabriel Landeskog knocked the puck into the net, giving Pittsburgh its fourth straight win for the first time since an eight-game winning streak last season.

The Penguins’ Sidney Crosby continued a season-long, seven-game point streak, scoring his fourth goal of the season. Jake Guentzel added to his six-game point streak with his fifth goal in four games. Matt Murray made 26 saves.

The Avalanche, the NHL’s last unbeaten team, looked to start the season with six straight wins for the first time since 2013-14. The best start in franchise history came during the 1985-86 season, when the team was located in Quebec and the Nordiques opened 7-0.

Nathan MacKinnon scored his third for Colorado, off an assist from Mikko Rantanen. Both have a six-game point streak to open the season. Matt Calvert also scored, and Grubauer stopped 30 shots.

Colorado Avalanche Nathan MacKinnon
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

MacKinnon tied the game at 2-2 at 2:56 of the third period. Alone in the slot, MacKinnon took a pass from Rantanen and flipped a wrist shot past Murray.

Pittsburgh played without five of its top nine forwards.

Jared McCann missed the game with a lower-body injury, forcing defenceman Juuso Riikola to play left wing on the team’s fourth line.

Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad have been out for five games, while Alex Galchenyuk missed his fourth on Wednesday. All have lower-body injuries. Bryan Rust has been out since the start of the season with an upper-body injury.

Calvert opened the scoring 3:16 in. He beat Murray with a shot to the glove side on a pass from Matt Nieto.

Crosby evened the score at 17:22 of the first on an individual effort with the teams at 4-on-4. He chipped the puck past Erik Johnson along the boards, worked around Samuel Girard in the slot and backhanded a shot past a fallen Grubauer.

Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Guentzel gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead at 15:30 of the second. He took a pass from Crosby, pulled the puck under Ryan Graves’ stick and flicked a wrist shot over Grubauer’s shoulder.


Penguins D Kris Letang surpassed Jean Pronovost for fifth on the team’s all-time games-played list with 754. Letang’s season-opening six-game point streak ended. … Avalanche D Cale Makar was unable to become the second defenceman in NHL history to begin his regular-season career with a six-game point streak. … Avalanche F J.T. Compher returned after missing three games with a lower-body injury. … Colorado didn’t score a power-play goal in a game for the first time this season. … Pittsburgh has seven wins and points in eight of its last 10 home games against the Avalanche.

Up Next

Avalanche: Continue a season-long six-game trip Friday at Florida.

Penguins: Host Dallas on Friday.


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Dan Scifo, The Associated Press