A triumphant return for Kristopher Letang
MISE À DAY
In his first game of 2023, Quebec defenseman Kristopher Letang had four points, including the game-winning goal in overtime, in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 7-6 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena.
Neck-and-neck in the Eastern Conference playoff race, the Panthers and Penguins surely didn't make it. pleasure to their respective head coach by relegating the defensive game to oblivion.
No less than six goals were scored during the first period, including the first by the 35-year-old Montrealer, absent in recent weeks in due to a lower body injury and the death of his father.
Letang showed his versatility by skillfully deflecting a shot-pass from Brian Dumoulin to make it 3-2. A few minutes earlier, he collected an assist on Rickard Rakell's 18th goal of the season. In doing so, Letang became the 23rd defenseman in Bettman league history to tie 400 career points.
He then teamed up with Evgeni Malkin late in the third period, when the Russian attacker hit the target with a hard one-timer throw.
After Malkin's success, Carter Verhaeghe brought both teams back to square one with his second of the game and his 25th of the season ー a new single campaign high for the former Tampa Bay Lightning.
< p>The one who is nicknamed “Tangier”, however, closed the debate in overtime by defeating Alex Lyon with a precise slap shot.
Danton Heinen, Drew O'Connor and Sidney Crosby completed the scoring for the Penguins. For the latter, it is a 15th goal in his last 17 games against the Florida team.
Matthew Tkachuk, Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad replied for the visitors.
< p>CH honored in Tampa
Former Montreal Canadiens Corey Perry and Mikhail Sergachev helped the Lightning defeat the Minnesota Wild 4-2, at Tampa.
Perry notched his seventh and eighth goals of the campaign in the second frame, responding each time to goals from Joel Eriksson Ek and Kirill Kaprizov, respectively. Steven Stamkos scored the winning goal, then Nikita Kucherov scored the final highlight in an empty net.
Sergachev meanwhile had two assists.
Andrei Vasilevskiy signed the victory by virtue of a performance of 33 saves. At the other end, Quebec's Marc-André Fleury faced 38 pucks.
In Vancouver, Rick Tocchet was booed by fans when he was shown on the giant screen in his very first game at the helm of the Vancouver Canucks, a duel against the Chicago Blackhawks.
One fan even added the insult to insult by throwing a Canucks jersey on the ice at the start of the game.
The new head coach still had a successful debut with the Vancouver team, which triumphed 5 to 2 against the Hawks.
Tocchet replaces Bruce Boudreau, crowd favorite at Rogers Arena and fired on Sunday after a week of lingering rumors.